Volume 2, Issue 7
July 10, 1997
and Mickey Jojola
"That Others May Live..."
During the past few months, many of my articles and discussions at meetings have been on the subject of training standards. Why am I so caught up on the idea of training standards, anyway? Do we really need them? Let me start by describing what I think such a system might look like. Very simply, a description in our bylaws about what minimum set of skills every person on this team needs to have, plus a requirement that each member have the training annually, or every six months, or whatever interval is appropriate. Many of these would be covered by the existing state certification system, so we need do nothing more. Those not covered by state certification would require that we adopt an existing standard for that skill (few exist other than NASAR, which is very comprehensive), or write our own. Training events would be organized to provide training in all the skills we decide are needed as a minimum. In addition to taking attendance, we would document that each member participated and demonstrated the skill(s) being taught.
|Top of the Hill
||by Mike Dugger
In addition to protection against liability in the unlikely event that we are called upon to justify what we claim to be able to do, standards are a good idea anyway. One argument against standards I have heard is that our present system is good enough. Right now we require our members to attend two training events every six months. Are you satisfied that your teammate has all the training needed to handle the situation? Suppose they met our requirement by attending training on search techniques and litter packaging within six months. Now you are in unfamiliar country and must rely on your land navigation skills to get back to base camp. Was that add or subtract magnetic declination? If you’re lucky, you or someone else on your team attended map and compass training and can get you home. Of course, to be sure you can handle the situation, you could go to all the training events and not worry about what anyone else can do. I think this attitude undermines a fundamental premise on our team - that we rely on one another. Our cooperative spirit and teamwork is one of the things that sets us apart from many other teams in the state. I would personally want a second opinion out there, or the opportunity to offer an informed recommendation, not everyone blindly following one person. Are we going to be a team of peers, or do we want a few "experts" that are always the team leaders on field assignments?
Changing the subject…remember that it is the responsibility of the person who holds team pager #1 (or pager #2 if pager #1 does not answer the page) to call the person who pages our team. If more than one member calls the person paging us, it makes us look unprofessional as well as taking time away from getting our team deployed. We have a deployment system in place that has proven to be effective. If you think it is not working, bring it to the attention of the officers and we’ll address the problem as a team. Don’t take it upon yourself to modify our system on the spot.
Summer Bivy '97, June 14-15, 1997 (by Chuck Girven)
|Boots and Blisters
||by Larry Mervine
On June 14th 1997 Cibola Search and Rescue had their annual summer bivy. This year Larry Mervine, our training officer decided to incorporate the use of GPSs in the training. We were given the UTM coordinates to the camp site and the CSAR members had to choose the best way there by using a topo map (Aspen quad). Our objective was to arrive by 1800, but as usual, things do not go as planned. The last of the eight members and two guests arrived at camp around 2030.
We arrived at the Santa Fe Ski Resort parking lot at around 1300 and proceeded up the Windsor Trail to the Nambe Lake Trail turnoff, from which point it was all uphill until we reached Nambe Lake. Two members had gone up earlier that morning to try some fishing. With this in mind, the rest of us forged on with hopes of fried fish awaitng us. The weather was clear for most of the day but as night came on a thunderstorm started to roll in. As we hiked to our camp we all admired the scenery that surrounded us. We went from summer type weather to six feet of snow in just a matter of hours. Yes, that's right, snow. The lake we were hoping for fish from was still mostly frozen over from winter. After everyone set up their night's bivy we had supper. Mike Dugger was scheduled to give a talk on summer clothing, but decided to let our experiences with diverse weather conditions on our day's hike suffice. We all knew what to do when we are out on a mission and bad weather rolls in. After supper most of us retired to try and get some sleep. With all the snoring that was going on there was no fear of any wild animal paying us a visit. It probably sounded like a crew of lumberjacks were cutting down the forest and the animals stayed away for fear of their lives.
Morning came and was crisp and clear. After a brief breakfast we struck camp and departed on the hike back to the cars. On the way back a few members encountered a couple of lost hikers and helped get them turned around and headed towards their right destination. We stopped and talked with several other hikers about conditions by Nambe Lake, and the need to drink more water.
The GPSs CSAR members recently purchased proved their usefullness on this hike. Because more and more of our missions are occurring out of district in areas where we are not familiar, a map and a GPS will help us to know where we are and locate basecamp too.
The training for our pre-business meeting training is litter packing by
Mike and Bob.
The following weekend the training is a mock search on the
West side of the Manzanos. We will be using the litter training from the
pre-business meeting training. The directions will be passed out at the
business meeting. This training will be like a real search with teams
being deployed in search areas. The time is set for 1:00 pm, Sunday, July
13th. This is mid-day, so be prepared for hot desert conditions. Some
ecommendations for hot desert conditions: Lots of water, sun screen, sun
glasses, hat, long pants and shirt. Also, this area will be flat and
featureless, so think about how you will navigate.
Meet at 12:30 pm at the McDonalds in Los Lunas. Directions: Take I-25 South,
exit at #203 (Los Lunas), go east 4 stop lights. You will see the McDonalds
on the left-hand side. Further directions will be distributed. Don't be late.
Upcoming training in August: Low angle litter evac.
This is a loop route. Go west up the Cienega trail to the S. Crest
trail. Go south to the Canoncito trail. Go east to the Faultytrail.
Return North to the Cienega. The Cienega picnic ground is a place
where the Forest Service charges a fee. If you go on the dates above,
and have the orange SAR decal on your vehicle, you are exempt from the
fee because I have registered these dates as SAR training with the FS.
If you go on any other dates, the orange decal is not recognized.
|Hike of the Month||Cienega, South Crest, Canoncito, Faulty trails||0730, Jul 26/27, 19971997|
|Trailhead: Cienega trailhead - west end of Cienega picnic ground (Crest road)|
|R.T. Distance: @8 miles||Elevation Min/Max: 7400/9400|
|Hiking Time: @4.0 hours||Hazards: Unleashed dogs, poison ivy.|
|Topo Maps: FS map of the Sandias|
A new phone list has been created. The branches are fundamentally based on ZIP code. This is to make collaboration on car caravans, etc. more simple.
If you have any concerns about your branch, please contact me.
We modify the phone list occasionally because it gets spread out geographically as new persone get added to their mentors list.
I recently added Search Techniques and Frequently Asked Questions pages to the Home Page, and soon will be linking a Gear/Clothing List to the FAQs.
|Business as Usual
||by John Mindock
We're working on switching our "real" website from Albuquerque ROS (http://www.abq.com/csar) to
Southwest Cyberport which has a UNIX based system more closely resembling our development
server, but because my wrist is acting up again, the going is slower than I'd like. Look for
some nice improvements soon though.
Look for more of Mickey's Pathogen articles. Also, we just received permission to reprint
some really nice articles by John Krist of the Ventura County Star.
||by Chuck Girven
We had a PSAR meeting on June 23, 1997 at the IHOP on Tramway and Central. Three CSAR members were in attendance. We reviewed the NASAR coloring book that I recently ordered. We discussed the CSAR coloring book we have in the works. The next PSAR meeting will be at Chuck Girven's house at 1830 on July 14. There will be a BBQ grill going so bring a hamburger patty or two (or anything else you'd like to grill and/or share) and join in on the fun. We will be looking at pictures and plan on arranging a new display for presentations.
||by Chuck Girven
The K-9 standards guild is finished and out for review. After months of writing and rewriting, thanks to Mary, we can look forward to moving on. Our next "adventure" is to come up with training forms which will be somewhat universal (between airscent and trailing). These forms will aid us in further training and trouble shooting, if needed. These forms will be available in the near future.
|On the Right Track
||by Mickey Jojola
Well it's that time of year again and the K-9 resource unit is planning its second anual overnighter. The purpose of this event is to give the dogs and their handlers a chance to intensivly train for the weekend. It also gives us handlers, and others who are interested, a chance to get to get together and brainstorm for future events. It also serves as a CTF (Chew The Fat) around a campfire in the wilderness. I expect that this year's will be as fun as last year's. All are welcome and encouraged to attend and participate. This year we will hold it in the Jemez Mountains past Fenton Lake between Jemez Springs and Cuba. Details of the location will be availabe on the voice mail or contact Mickey or Mary Berry.
Some trainings coming in the future include another working weekend with the Bernalillo County Mounted SAR, this may include another helochopter; and water search techniques, which involve the subject near a body of water. And many many more.
Mary and Chuck said they wanted some of the new blood to write a
spotlight, and as long as we've got so few missions now I guess I have
|Member Spotlight: Tom Russo
I am an immigrant from the Eastern Bloc, where I was born and where I
lived for the first 23 years of my life. I benefitted greatly from
the education available through the New York City Public School
System, and eventually received my B.A and M.A. in physics from Hunter
College, where I met my daughter Katarina's mom, Elyse. We married in
January 1986 and in June 1986 we fled to the United States,
specifically Texas, where I attended gradual school at the University
of Texas at Austin for four years. After mucking around as an
experimental physicist for those years I decided I was much more a
theoreticial sort of a guy and switched advisors; my new advisor
promptly defected to New York's Columbia University, and I was
repatriated for two years while I finished my degree in Chemical
Physics there. Katarina was born there, and was pretty much the only
good thing I can remember about the Rotten Apple during those two
During my stay at the University of Texas at Austin I'd spent the
summer of 1988 at the Santa Fe Institute's first annual Complex System
Summer School at St. John's College. Thus began what Edward Abbey
would have called my "lifelong love affair with a pile of rocks." I
returned to Santa Fe with Elyse for a vacation in Santa Fe National
Forest the next year, and from then on looked for ways I could get to
live out this way. After my two-year stint at Columbia that
opportunity arose when I managed to fool the folks at Los Alamos
National Laboratory into hiring me to do computational chemistry for
three years, during which time I became the half-time single dad you
see before you today. And after that the Los Alamotians were still
fooled thoroughly enough to recommend me to someone down here at
Sandia to do more of the same. I learned about CSAR from the article
in the Sandia newsletter, and I called Bruce Berry about joining the
team within minutes of reading it. I haven't been on very many
missions yet --- daddyhood takes precedence, and people seem to like
to get lost most often when I've got that hat strapped on --- but I'm
looking forward to a long and happy relationship with this great group
Andrew Parker, April 1997
|There weren't any nominations this month, but these pictures represent previous Bronze Boot recipients receiving the award.
Chuck Girven and Bob Schwartz, May 1997
The new board met on June 21st at the State Police Office on Carlisle.
The meeting went well with the main focus being on the ESCAPE. If all
goes as planed, we will try and meet next year at a new establishment up
north (maybe?). As soon as details come in I will let you know about
the WFA classes to be held this fall.
||by Mickey Jojola
As members of the search and rescue community we have a lot to be worried about. With hiking in the middle of the night to the constant danger of falling rocks or falling off cliffs. One thing of great concern, but rarely addressed is the danger of pathogens. These can exist either in the natural environment such as giardia, hanta virus, and tetanus or in the form of blood born pathogens such as hepatitis (A - G), AIDS, or even influenza. The purpose of this first article is to try and inform you of the possible hazards that could exist in the field for SAR volunteers. The next article will focus on the location, prevention and the possible treatments of such pathogens. First on the list of "Wee Beasties" are those that we in the field are likely to encounter. Those are the viruses and bacteria associated with environmental factors such as water, rodents, or animal fecal matter. These consist of Giardia, Cryptospridiosis, Hantavirus, Lyme disease, and the Plague.
|Pathogens in SAR
||by Mickey Jojola
- Giardia: This particular nasty is caused by the protozoan Giadia lamblia and is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, weight loss, or malabsorption (not able to absorb nutrients from food). Giardia is difficult to diagnose and treat since it acts very similar to the flu.
- Cryptospridiosis: This is caused by a one-cell animal known as Cryptospridium parvum or "crypto". This particular little critter is way to small to be seen without a microscope. The symptoms include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps and upset stomach, and/or a slight fever. In general symptoms first appear between 2 and 10 days of infection and may last for as long as 2 weeks. If the person has a healthy immune system the infection may not last long. One major problem with crypto is that even after a person "recovers" from the infection they may pass the disease to others for months. It only takes a very small amount of cryptosporidia to become infected.
- Hantavirus: This monster was made famous a few years ago when many people in the Navajo Nation where infected by this mysterious illness. It is not exactly known what causes the virus other than the fact it is carried by rodents and passed through their urine and feces. Symptoms are very similar to the flu that is what makes it so difficult to diagnose. It starts with assorted aches and pains followed by fever. A few days later the lungs are attacked which then become filled with fluid from leaking capillaries. The symptoms rapidly worsen. Death is quite common among those stricken with the virus.
- Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium, Borolo burgdorferi, which inhabits deer ticks. Not all deer ticks carry this disease but the number of cases are increasing. Symptoms include a mild rash, joint pain, and fatigue. If left untreated the long-term condition could lead to arthritis, carditis and neurologic disorders.
- And last but not least is the Plague: There are 3 forms of the plague; Bubonic, Septicemic, and Pneumonic plagues. Bubonic plague is characterized by enlarged, tender lymph nodes, fever, chills and prostration. Septicemic plague symptoms include fever, chills, prostration, abdominal pain, shock and bleeding into the skin and other organs. Pneumonic plague has fever, chills, cough and difficulty breathing; rapid shock and death could result if not treated early.
The plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia Pestis and is transferred from fleas from infected animals, direct contact with infected tissues or fluids, or respiratory droplets from those infected with the plague.
The other side of these pathogens lies within the blood and tissues of those infected. In the field it is not only possible but probable that a SAR volunteer will come in contact with a subject, or other person, who has been injured. Injury does not imply that the person is infected with a contagious and deadly disease but precautions should be taken nonetheless. Of the many nasties out there this article will focus on Hepatitis (A - G), AIDS, Streptococcus A, and Influenza.
- Hepatitis A: This bug is accompanied by jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea and intermittent nausea. The virus is caused by the Hepatitis A virus and is transferred by fecal-oral or food/waterborne sources. In general there is no chronic infection.
- Hepatitis B: Caused by the hepatitis B virus, it is somewhat worse than Hepatitis A. Symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and vomiting. About 10% of infections lead to chronic liver disease including primary liver cancer. This virus can be passed a number of ways including the blood and other bodily fluids.
- Hepatitis C: Still worse in the series, this virus' symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Caused by the hepatitis C virus. Of the people infected 85% will develop chronic liver disease and of those 70% will die form chronic liver disease. This disease is passed through bodily fluids such as blood.
- Hepatitis G: This relatively newcomer has little information as of yet. It is transmitted through the blood and in general 90%-100% of infected persons develop chronic infections.
- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS): This disease is transmitted by contact with any bodily fluids. Symptoms may be delayed for up to several years from infection. Symptoms include constant illness and being easily infected with other diseases and death. AIDS is a very complicated and deadly disease. Needless to say precautions should be taken to avoid contact with bodily fluids.
- Streptococcus A: While this is not a contagious disease, it is becoming more and more common. Otherwise known as "flesh eating bacteria", it is caused by the streptococcus virus (the same virus which causes strep throat). This disease can start from just a small cut on the skin. It is characterized by necrotizing fascitis, which is a severe infection of the soft, connective tissues underneath the skin. Streptococcus grows quickly and can lead to gangrene.
- Influenza: While not an exotic, disease influenza can be deadly. While there is no known cure, except rest, it is advisable to seek medical attention. Influenza is passed through bodily fluids and aril mists from the lungs.
This list is by far not complete. As you can see from those listed, these little nasties are not to be taken lightly. In the next article we will discuss sources of infection and prevention/treatment.
Occasionally we are searching in the vicinity of campers, cabins, or homes on the 'urban interface' to the Forest. Sometimes we are mistakenly presumed to be law enforcement officers, and certain individuals might react to that presumption in a manner that could endanger us.
|Caution Near Civilization
||by John Mindock
Some cautions need to be taken, especially late at night:
- Unless someone on the property or campsite is awake and outside, don't enter. The presence of a light is not insurance that someone is awake.
- In the event you do encounter someone at the site, identify yourself as 'Search and Rescue', tell them what you're doing, and ask permission to look in the area. Describe the subject and ask the people you've met to call the SP if they see him. If you are suspicious that the people are hiding something, leave the site and radio your information to Incident Management.
- When you're in the vicinity of homes, cabins, or campsites, it is prudent that you refrain from using the so-called 'active' attraction techniques (yelling the subject's name, blowing whistles, and shining headlamps into the site).
- There are patches of private property in the Forest, and they are often sparsely signed. In the unlikely event that you encounter an owner, simply leave the property.
- Although land that is leased for grazing is 'public', ranchers may not look kindly on your presence (nor may the dominant bull, for that matter).
- If there is any doubt, call Incident Base, explain the situation, and ask for instructions.
- On a slightly different but related note: Never go near wild 'tomato' plants, especially if they are growing in pots.
Areas of this nature where we might be sent are:
The Cedro peak region, Evergreen Estates near the south Piedra Lisa trailhead, the Tramway trail, the Tunnel Springs area, lower trails on the East side of the Sandias, and the various campgrounds of the Manzanos. During hunting season, any hunting camp should be treated as a potential safety hazard.
- Who provides wilderness Search and Rescue (SAR) services in New Mexico?
SAR missions are conducted by non-paid volunteers under the authority of the State Police. There is a State statute known as the 'SAR law' that sanctions the system, and a document called the 'SAR Plan' that details it. The Incident Command System (ICS) is mandated for running SAR missions.
- How does a SAR mission get started?
Specially-trained State Police officers decide if the circumstances are appropriate for a SAR mission. If so, trained volunteers (labeled Field Coordinators) are called to manage the mission. They choose the management and field resources for the mission, and ensure that Planning, Logistics, and Operations are performed as required.
- Do you need to know how to rappel or climb mountains?
No - in fact, the majority of assignments at missions are for 'groundpounding' - i.e., searching on foot. However, some teams do specialize in 'technical rescue', which requires mountain climbing skills. Individuals on other teams also are capable of technical rescue and perform those duties occasionally.
- Do you need to be an EMT or a paramedic?
No - but some SAR personnel have such credentials. Searchers who are not medically trained are expected to request trained personnel to the scene if the situation dictates. Most SAR personnel know the basics of Wilderness First Aid.
- Do you need to be a volunteer fireman or an ambulance worker?
No - people from a variety of occupations volunteer for SAR.
- Do you need to be an Amateur Radio Operator (HAM)?
No - but many SAR personnel obtain at least a technician's license. Communications by HAM radio are often the only way to talk to incident management personnel from remote locations. On missions, we also are temporarily licensed to use the State SAR frequency (155.160).
- Do you need to be certified by any agency?
It is not a requirement in general for SAR teams in New Mexico, but CSAR requires its members to be certified according to the latest NM State SAR standard, within one year after joining the team.
- How much do you get paid?
Nothing for your time - but you can get reimbursed by the state for the cost of fuel used to travel to/from missions and certain specially-designated trainings. The personal satisfaction of working with others for a common humanitarian purpose is substantial.
- How often do you train?
Cibola SAR normally has one or more trainings per month, generally on a weekend morning. We also have a speaker or training prior to our monthly business meetings.
- What gear and clothing do you need?
You need items that will allow you to spend 24 hours safely in the wilderness, in whatever weather that might occur. Check the required Gear and Clothing List and talk to other members to get an idea of costs. Expect to spend at least $500 for the basics.
- What level of physical fitness is required?
At this time, there are no set criteria for CSAR. But an "average" mission scenario would be the ability to hike for at least 4 hours at a 2 mph rate, in terrain above 8000 feet, carrying a 30-lb. pack.
- Do you need to buy a radio?
No - but every search team (usually 3 people) is required to have at least one in order to deploy into the field .
- Do you need wilderness survival training?
All field personnel are expected to be able to perform SAR duties safely in the wilderness. Inclement weather is one of the realities, and we provide information on how to handle it safely. In addition, our Gear and Clothing requirements go a long way towards aiding in survival. We do not learn how to eat grubs, make fire with two sticks, or things of that nature.
- How long do you stay in the wilderness?
SAR field personnel are expected to be able to be self-sufficient for 24 hours, but usually you're in the field less than 8 hours at a time. The time can lengthen considerably if the subject is found injured deep in the forest, or for certain assignments that can't be completed more quickly.
- What other skills are required?
None are required when you start. We provide training in Orienteering, Communications, Safety, Gear/Clothing concepts, Litter Evacuation techniques, and other topics.
- What insurance coverage is provided?
The State provides coverage for travel to/from the missions. It also provides liability and accident insurance for mission activities. No other type of insurance coverage is provided.
- How much does it cost to join a team?
It varies by team. Cibola SAR has a one-time $10 application fee, to cover the cost of documents that are provided. Of course, the gear and clothing can get expensive, and radios are the most costly item.
- What types of teams are there in the Albuquerque area?
CSAR primarily specializes in groundpounding (searching on foot) - there are others that specialize in technical rescue (mountain climbing skills), field communications, home-based communications and logistics, horse search, and dog search. Most teams have members who possess skills in more than just the team specialty. Two of the teams (including CSAR) have extensive gear for litter evacuations.
- What are CSAR's specialties?
Our primary specialty is groundpounding - searching on foot. Our secondary specialty is litter evacuation.
Since more than half the team members own 4-WD vehicles, we also provide search capabilities using those vehicles. Certain individuals on the team have other SAR skills, such as technical rescue (mountain-climbing) and dog handling. All CSAR members are required to be capable of groundpounding.
- Are there any age limits for participants?
CSAR limits participants to age 18 or over. There are no maximum age limits.
- Can you join even though you're not capable of hiking for long distances?
CSAR requires groundpounding as a skill, so you would be more comfortable on a different type of team, such as a communications team.
- Can my dog be useful for SAR?
There is a local team that specializes in SAR dogs, and there are other similar teams around the state. CSAR also has some individuals who train SAR dogs. Dog handlers train quite often (generally once a week or more). In the past three years, dog resources were used on about ten percent of CSAR missions.
- What level of participation would be expected of me?
CSAR expects you to attend 3 business meetings, 2 trainings, and 1 mission per 6 months. However, members are encouraged to participate much more than this minimum guideline. Experience and training are very important - the subjects of our searches deserve more than just minimal attendance by our members.
- What is the procedure for team callout?
The appropriate mission management person calls our team page number. Two team members volunteer to carry the pagers for a month. One of these pager-holders contacts the caller and updates our hotline with the mission information. Then certain team members, who are branch leaders on our phone tree, call the people assigned to their branch. Members who can deploy leave a message on the hotline, and a few minutes later the pager-holder reviews the messages and provides a headcount to the mission management. Generally the callout is completed within 1/2 hour of the page.
- How soon after joining can I go on missions?
CSAR requires an Orientation, generally less than an hour, which is offered to candidates after they have attended three CSAR functions. The Orientation focuses on basic SAR concepts, callout procedures, Gear/Clothing requirements, and team rules. After that, you can ask for a Gear/Clothing check vs. our required list. Upon passing the G/C check, you will be assigned a mentor who will call you for missions.
For the first six months, you must always be partnered with a CSAR member on any field assignment. This is not because we don't trust you, it's so you learn how CSAR members conduct themselves on missions.
- How often do you get called?
We averaged 45 missions in 1995 and 1996. Most missions occur on weekend nights. Attendance is optional, but team members are expected to give SAR activities a high priority.
- How far away do you respond?
CSAR responds statewide. Each individual can decide whether to respond to any particular mission. Usually about half our missions are in the Albuquerque area. Generally a search is conducted using local teams for the first 12 hours and then more-distant teams are called.
- Do you handle dead bodies?
Unfortunately, sometimes people die before we find them. We treat them with dignity and retrieve their remains for the benefit of their loved ones. Individuals who are sensitive to this aspect of SAR need to evaluate whether they can deal with such a situation. Of course, any mission can turn out to be a body recovery, and participation may be unavoidable once you're in the field on an assignment.
- How do I join a team?
Generally you go to one of their meetings - all teams have some process for acquiring new members.
For CSAR, you can call our hotline (ask a member), or send an e-mail to John Mindock. We'll give you a call (or
e-mail) and tell you more about CSAR or SAR in general. We can also provide
contacts on other teams in Albuquerque or other parts of New Mexico.
Happy Birthday to Terry Hardin (6/10) -- submitted by Chuck Girven
The information in this newsletter was gathered from many sources and presents facts as we believe them to be true. This newsletter is not meant to be an official document, but a means to disseminate team information.
||(20 words maximum, no services)