Volume 2, Issue 8
August 14, 1997
and Mickey Jojola
"That Others May Live..."
I would like to clarify a couple of topics, based on questions by several members about recent missions. One has to do with chain of command during a mission, and the other with medical issues during subject evacuation. Hereís how it is supposed to work:
|Top of the Hill
||by Mike Dugger
When you are given an assignment by Incident Command staff, it becomes your job to complete that assignment to the best of your ability, within the bounds of what is safe for you and your team. By all means offer any additional information to the command staff that might help them better formulate their strategy, or protect future teams from hazards in the field. If you encounter conditions that prevent you from completing your assignment safely, communicate this to base camp and request further instructions. The command staff will be grateful to hear any information that will help them execute the mission in a safe and effective manner. In the worst case, if you are still instructed to do something that you feel is not safe you should respectfully decline, return to base camp, and offer to take a different assignment or sign out of the mission. Never, under any circumstances, deliberately disobey instructions from Incident Command staff. The IC is in charge, and assuming that you know what should be done better than the IC undermines the entire premise of how SAR is conducted in New Mexico. Become a Field Coordinator if you want to be in charge. I donít want to be a heavy, but to make sure CSARís position on this is perfectly clear: any "freelancing" will be investigated by a panel of our peers, and result in swift and absolute action in the form of removal from the team.
On the topic of medical issues, we may sometimes be uncomfortable with how a located subject is treated by medical responders on a mission. If a medical provider on scene chooses a course of action that you feel is not in the subjectís best interests, you have the right to communicate your concerns. The preferred approach is to mention your concerns directly to the medical provider first, in as private and non-confrontational a manner as possible. If they maintain that their chosen course of action is appropriate, DONíT ARGUE - an evacuation is neither the time nor place for an argument. The Incident Commander is ultimately responsible for the subject, and the IC will rely on the medical provider on scene to act in the subjectís best interests. You may communicate your concerns privately to the IC as soon as you are able, via cellular phone or in person after you return to base, if you wish.
I am very proud of how our members handle themselves in the face of difficult situations. Given many options on how to behave, our members consistently conduct themselves in an appropriate and professional manner, per CSARís culture. I congratulate each of you for reinforcing our reputation for professionalism. Your conduct shows that we are a team in the purest sense of the word, rather than a group of individuals with a common organizational name. Our training has prepared us well to be effective search and rescue volunteers. Keep up the great work!
It was a hot Sunday afternoon. We met in Los Lunas at McDonalds and then
drove to the base camp. Don Gibson, acting has Incident Command (IC), briefed
us on the lost subject. We were given search areas with maps. After an hour of
searching the search was 10-22 (canceled), but team three reported one of
the searchers was bitten by a snake (a surprise planned by the training
officer). Three teams had to return to base camp to retrieve the litter and
gear, then transport the gear to the subject. The subject was professionally
evacuated out. Why did we litter a snakebite victim? Below is some information
about snakebites taken from Commonsense Outdoor Medicine and Emergency
Companion by Newell D. Breyfogle.
|Boots and Blisters
||by Larry Mervine
How to tell, if person has been bitten:
- Children, the elderly and individuals with hypertension are most vulnerable.
- Most reported snakebites occur on hands, arms and legs.
- To avoid a snakebite, stay on the trails, use a stick to beat the ground,
place your hands carefully while climbing (especially in crevices and holes),
and maintain alertness around streams and areas of poor visibility.
- Snakes are most noticeable between 9 am and 9 pm, but are most active between 3 pm and 6 pm.
- Snakes prefer temperatures between 60°F and 90°F. They cannot not
tolerate temperatures over 110°F. Although considered fairly inactive when
cold, snakes may strike in temperatures below 40°F.
- People usually know when they have been bitten, but sometimes a snake
is hidden in a crack or under a rock, and the person crashing through brush
does not hear the warning buzz and may not realize the source of the sudden
- There will be distinct fang marks, usually two.
What to do:
- Subject will feel immediate sharp burning pain.
- Swelling at the site will occur within 5 to 10 minutes, spreading rapidly.
- Subject will feel numbness and tingling of the lips, face, and scalp 30 to 60 minutes after the bite.
- From 30 to 90 minutes after the bite, the subject may experience twitching
of the mouth and eye muscles and a rubbery or metallic taste in the mouth.
- After about an hour there may be weakness, sweating, vomiting and fainting.
- In about 2 or 3 hours there will be bruising at the site and later, large
- In serious bites, the subject will have breathing difficulties and may collapse after 6 to 12 hours.
The main objective as a first-aider is to slow the spread of the venom and get the subject to medical aid.
Specific antivenoms have been developed for most snakes, but they are not
normally recommended outside of the hospital.
- Calm and reassure the subject to slow circulation and reduce shock.
- Place subject at rest and keep him from moving to slow the spread of the venom.
- Wash the bite area gently with soap and water.
- Splint the limb to prevent movement, but watch the advance of swelling.
- Keep the limb level with the heart.
- Transport urgently to medical aid, by air medevac if possible.
What NOT to do:
Most medical experts no longer recommend the incision and the suction
procedure for treating snakebite injuries. They recommend the Extractor suction device. It is estimated that 20% to 35% of the venom can be extracted if treatment is started within the first 3 minutes.
- Do not give alcohol.
- Do not cut the fang marks.
- Do not try to suck out venom.
- Do not apply a tourniquet.
- Do not apply cold to the site.
*** Cibola is not a medical team. If a snakebite is reported or happens
notify base camp. Apply treatment if so directed by a medical person.
Parts of the trails on this hike were built recently, so are not on
the topos. Unfortunately, vandals have destroyed the new signage that
the Forest Service put up. From the parking area, follow trail #56
down across the arroyo. About 8 minutes out, there is a trail that
splits off from the main trail, going uphill. (374.6, 3877.2). Follow
this trail about 12 more minutes to a flat spot where there is a 4-way
trail intersection (374.2, 3877.2). The right branch is blocked by
rocks and trees. Straight ahead leads into the Tunnel Canyon area. We
want to go left, up the hill to the ridge, generally heading towards
the south. About an hour after this junction (374.7, 3873.7), there
will be a `T' intersection. A few feet along the right branch of the
`T", there will be a 10-in diameter tree leaning across the trail.
Take the branch of the `T' that goes under the tree. Twenty minutes
later (374.5, 3873.0), there will be a circle of stones at another
`T'. Go left a few feet, then take the stone-filled downhill path into
Otero Canyon. There is also a dirt path on the left, which would
return you to the `leaning tree' intersection.You are now on the
return portion of the hike -simply follow the trail that is near the
bottom of Otero Canyon. Along the way, there are a number of trails
that lead off to the right, up out of the canyon - ignore them for
|Hike of the Month||Otero Canyon area||0730, Aug 23-24, 19971997|
|Trailhead: Otero Canyon - see member guide|
|R.T. Distance: @7 miles||Elevation Min/Max: 6900/7400|
|Hiking Time @3.5 hours||Hazards: Speeding mountain bikers.|
|Topo Maps: Mount Washington, Escabosa topos |
The team owns two 155.160 radios, two GPS's, and two map kits. In an attempt to ensure that those items are used at missions, they are provided to people who are most likely to attend. This likelihood is based on the past six months mission attendance, and is reviewed after June and December each year. The equipment goes to people who do not have similar equipment of their own. The map kits go with the GPS's, and we try to spread the radios and GPS's to different persons.
The past six month review showed the following as the top ten mission attenders. John M., Mike D., Chuck G., Paul H., Larry M., Terry D., Mickey J., Terri M., Bob S., Bob U. Based on these statistics, the team-owned equipment will remain with the people who have had it for the past review period (Terry, Mickey, Paul, Bob).
|Business as Usual
||by John Mindock
|Mini Lesson: Ground Search Techniques
||by John Mindock
There are a number of standard search techniques. The choice of technique differs by the situation. Sometimes the Incident Command staff will dictate the preferred technique, but more often it is expected that the trained SAR volunteer would know which is appropriate.
Ground search modes can basically be divided into two types - hasty team searches and area searches.
One important concept in searching is the POD (Probability of Detection), defined as the probability that the subject was noticed if he was in the search area. `Responsive' POD is that for which the person is able to respond if he notices the SAR team. `Unresponsive' POD is that where the SAR team would find the subject but he could not respond to them (dead, unconscious, fatigued). Responsive POD's are generally high because our attraction techniques would alert the subject to our presence. Unresponsive POD's vary by the type of search mode we are using.
The primary duty of a hasty team is to rapidly cover their assigned area, which is often a trail or other well-traveled area. Their unresponsive POD is usually high in the immediate vicinity of their trek, but much less a short distance from it. The unresponsive POD of other modes tends to be very high throughout their assigned area. Studies show that hasty teams are the ones who most often find the subject.
In any mode, the team is looking for clues as well as the subject. Clues might include footprints, clothing, fire remains, and other things which may be associated with the subject. It is important that the teams recognize the likelihood that a clue is relevant to the search. If the clue is obviously too old, or not related to the subject (e.g., a cigarette butt and a non-smoking subject), the team should not waste radio time on it. If there is any possibility that it might be related to the subject, the team should mark it and describe it to the Incident Command staff. Experience is often the best teacher in this respect.
`Attraction' is a standard approach that should be used during most any mode of searching. Methods of attraction include blowing whistles, calling the subject's name, using flashlights, etc. Caution in residential or camping areas should be used so as not to awaken someone who would take offense to the noise.
Hasty techniques generally involve searching on routes where a person most likely would travel, such as trails, canyons, arroyos, ridgetops, etc. A hasty team is not performing their search correctly if they stop to look behind every bush, divert long distances off their assigned route, etc. The expectation for unresponsive POD in the hasty mode is high on the route, but low in the surrounding area. The desire for speed is high, with 2 mph being a common expectation. Provided that speed can be kept up, it is OK for a hasty team to spread out parallel to the designated route, instead of all walking in each other's footprints.
If the hasty mode is not being used, the search basically becomes an `area search' of one type or another. The searchers may be in small groups or a large line, but the underlying idea is to spread out a certain distance and search an area. The expectation for unresponsive POD in this mode is high, and the expectation for speed is low. Many times, the directive is to cover at a 65% or better unresponsive POD, thus potentially eliminating that area from further searches. An area search team is performing poorly if they rush through the area and return with a low unresponsive POD. This applies even at night - it just takes more time.
If it is a large line search, there will be leaders who coordinate the line's advancement. But even in a small group, the advancement needs to be controlled and methodical so that the area is thoroughly covered. If one person speeds ahead of the group, the area may not be covered to the assigned standard.
In this mode, the searchers should strive to investigate every bush, rock formation, downed tree, etc.
Often GPS coordinates are used to delimit the area, but it is better if geographical features are the boundaries - the search team can recognize them more easily.
Tracking is a sub-technique of either the hasty team or the area search mode. Tracking footstep-by-footstep is inherently a slow process, so is somewhat improper in a hasty mode. However, this can be mitigated by using the leapfrogging method of tracking. In this case, some members of the hasty team move ahead parallel to the direction of travel, attempting to `cut sign'. Other team members continue the footprint-by-footprint trailing, but re-deploy if tracks are found further ahead.
If tracks are found while in an area search mode, it is proper for some (or all, if the tracks are positively identified as belonging to the subject) members of that team to begin tracking and leapfrogging.
Of course, any change in strategy should be approved by Incident Management.
Finally, in any search mode, the members of a team should try to remain in either voice or visual contact. If the assignment causes them to split around obstacles, they should plan to rejoin each other beyond the obstacle. Failure to remain in contact can significantly lower the POD, and also waste time (and radio batteries) while the team tries to find its members.
Self-Quiz on Ground Search Techniques
- What are the two basic modes of ground search techniques?
- Under what circumstances might one choose not to use `attraction' techniques?
- What are the characteristics of unresponsive POD's that are generally expected of a hasty team?
- What sort of unresponsive POD is expected of a team doing an area search?
- What is an example of an improper technique for a hasty team?
- What is one consequence of a person rushing ahead of his teammates during a line search?
- What is an example of an improper technique for an area search team?
- What is the chief drawback of footprint-by-footprint tracking?
- What should happen if a line search detects tracks that are positively identified as the subject's?
- How often should team members re-establish contact (visual or voice) with each other?
First off, let me state my sincere apologies to David Dixon for not getting my article in the newsletter in time last month. So let me take care of this first: As Membership Officer of Cibola SAR let me be the first to say WELCOME to David Dixon.
|Who's Who and New
||by Bob Ulibarri
David Mahoney and Sarah Leedale are ready for an orientation and may have it completed by the time the August newsletter is published, so please welcome them on board when you see them.
Now on a sad note, Reed Burnett and Bill Winter have resigned from the team. Both have stated that other commitments have caused them to reevaluate their priorities and sadly CSAR was on the low end of the list. Reed and Bill have told me that when things settle down in other areas of their lives they would like to come back.
||by Chuck Girven
- The next Member Spotlight will be on Ken Johnston. Anyone interested in doing a spotlight should either submit one via the web or send email or a fax to one of the editors.
Cibola Search and Rescue is invited to participate in the annual East Mountain Rendezvous on August 23-24. The location has been moved from the Ski area to Roosevelt School in Tijeras by the cement plant. We will be setting up at 10:00 am -- the event starts at 11:00 am and runs thru to 6:00 pm each day. We will need several people to man our displays and help in our various presentations. This event usually attracts a good crowd and gives us a chance to let the public become aware of what we do and possibly get some new prospective members. There will be a PSAR meeting at the IHOP on Central and Tramway on Monday, August 18th at 6:30 pm. If you are planning to help at the Rendezvous, please come to this meeting. We will be discussing what presentations we will be doing and other related topics. We could really use your help!
||by Chuck Girven
Well it's time again for our yearly K-9 retreat which will be held August 23 and 24. This year we will be holding it in the Jemez about 3 miles past Fenton Lake. We will be leaving Albuquerque at around 1400. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. That evening we will be having a pot luck dinner followed by a CTF around a campfire.
|On the Right Track
||by Mickey Jojola
In the morning we will be attending the East Mountain Rendezvous where we will give a demonstration in the morning. For those not able to leave at 1400 or want to leave earlier, the directions are as follows:
Take I-25 North to the Bernalillo exit (highway 44). Go West on Highway 44 to San Ysidro. At San Ysidro go North toward the Jemez Pueblo. Just past Jemez Springs (about 3 miles) there is an intersection to the left with a sign to Fenton Lake (Jct 126). Follow that road to the lake (close to the lake the road turns to dirt). Go about 7 miles past the lake and look for the trail tape. We will be monitoring 800 MHz and the team frequency 155.265. If you have any questions please feel free to give either Mickey or Mary a call. We hope to see ya there!
I was born in Farmington, NM in 1964. In a way you might say that I am a
native of New Mexico. I actually grew up in Denver, Colorado where my
parents worked. I spent my summers down on the Isleta reservation with
my grandparents. See I am a NM "native". During those summers here, I
spent my time fishing and camping with my grandparents. My father
taught me to love the outdoors. With many fishing and hunting trips I
was able to gain an appreciation for the outdoors, especially the
|Member Spotlight: Mickey Jojola
After I graduated from high school, I spent a year working odd jobs and
generally bumming around (as I was way too smart for college). When I
realized that I wasn't going anywhere, I decided to go back to school. I
attended Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado. At this time I
was married and shortly after my first year I was blessed(?) with my
daughter Tiffany. After obtaining my degree in Soil Science, my family
and I moved to the panhandle of Oklahoma so I could attend school for my BS.
I really missed the mountains and hiking of home but at the time my
education came first. Shortly after graduating from Panhandle State
University, I got divorced (sort of a graduation present). I won
custody of Tiffany and we moved to Stillwater, OK to get my MS in
Soil Chemistry/Fertility. School was very hectic, raising Tiffany,
studying, and doing research. While living in Stillwater I became very
interested in dog training. A good friend whom I met while employed at
OSU introduced me to obedience training. Her husband was a police
officer who trained streed dogs. Actually he is the one who got me
interested in tracking and trailing dogs. I was able to work with him
training both bomb and drug dogs for various police departments. After
training my first dog, a black and tan German shephard named Thudashun,
I became interested in search and rescue. Oklahoma didn't really have a
SAR team but I was determined to someday join one. With all of that
going something was missing. During my breaks form work (I ran a
research lab) and school, I found myself wandering back to NM and its
beauty. Once I graduated, I decided to look for work here. It seemed
an eternity but I finaly landed a job and moved to Albuquerque in
December of '94.
By February '95 I was introduced to Cibola SAR. I felt welcome from the
begining. It was like a big family, well sort of. Anyway I found my
haven. I was hooked from the begining and still am. I am currently
training my partner and buddy Jake (the SAR dog) for wilderness air sent
search. I hope to have him in the field this summer. I am also k-9
training officer for the Cibola k-9 resource. My big goal in the future
is to have an effective k-9 presence on the team. It may be a long haul but
I think that it will be worth it. SAR and Cibola are a big part of who I
am today. I appreciate all who are involved in search and rescue and look
forward to working with everyone in the future. See 'ya in the field.
As many of you know, Southwest Cyberport recently donated space on their web server to CSAR. Since their Unix platform and configuration more closely matches that of the development site at Sandia (and my experience), much less effort is necessary to develop and maintain this site than the website donated to us almost a year ago by Albuquerque ROS which runs on a Windows NT machine. I'd like to thank all three companies for their generous donations and excellent support. Because of ABQ-ROS, CSAR has had an early presence on the World Wide Web; Sandia's donation of a development server made it possible to develop advanced tools and features such as user authentication and the web-based newsletter; and SWCP will make it possible to move forward with a system several of us have access to and experience with (so development and maintenance responsibilities can be shared rather than dependent on one person).
I'd like to thank Tom Russo for doing the lion's share of the work modifying the CSAR website for our new host while I've been recovering from another wrist surgery. There's still some work to do before we officially switch over, but any of you who are interested in previewing it may do so by connecting to http://www.swcp.com/csar. CSAR members should activate their password-protected account in order to be able to access the Members Only section. Click on the Guestbook link from the Home Page, state that you're a Member (vs. a Guest), enter the TEAM password (same as on the Sandia website -- ask Mike, Tom, Chuck, or me and we'll tell you if you've forgotten), then enter your name, a username you'd like to login with, and a private password (it's not all that private so don't use one you use elsewhere). If you're not a CSAR member, please sign the Guestbook (as a Guest) so we know who you are and how to contact you.
Marnie Boren received the Bronze Boot last March for her participation in the Mt. Taylor Quad on February 15th. The team volunteered to help with the race, but Marnie competed in it. Unfortunately, I (Mary) misplaced the photo that was taken at the March business meeting. Well, I cleaned my desk and found the photo (I knew it was there somewhere), so here it is.
||presented to Marnie Boren on March 13, 1997
Sorry, Marnie, that it's so late!
There have been no nominations this month.
Last month I discussed the possible consequences of contracting various pathogens relevant to the SAR community. I would like to take the opportunity this time to discuss prevention and treatment of said pathogens if exposed. Unfortunately there are some nasties out there that don't have a "cure". In general the likelihood of contracting these diseases is rare, but the possibility does exist. Care must be taken at ALL times when anyone is being treated for injuries which involve open wounds or other bodily fluids.
|Feature Article #1: Pathogens in SAR, continued
||by Mickey Jojola
The other side of these pathogens lies with in 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 nontheless.
- Giardia: If diagnosed early the treatment is relatively simple. Large quantity of antibiotics. Generally, three different antibiotics are employed at the same time. These kill most all of the flora (bacteria), good and bad, in the gut lining. It is then recommended that you take a bacterial supplement (beneficial bacteria) to replace what was destroyed by the treatment.
- Cryptospridiosis: This is one of those little nasties that doesn't have a treatment. In general, if the infected person is healthy, the disease will pass on its own. While the subject may feel uncomfortable for a while, the body's immune system will take care of it. Drinking plenty of fluids or an oral rehydration therapy mix will help. It has been reported that the use of anti-diarrheal medication provides some relief. An infected person should take precautions to insure that the disease is not transferred to other people. This is done by washing hands, not sharing food or drink, and avoiding public bathing areas (swimming pools included). Prevention is the best medicine. Avoid contaminated water sources and wash after handling injured persons.
- Hantavirus: The best way to treat this monster is to try and stay away from situations, which would cause the disease. The key is to stay away from areas (caves and rodent nests) which may have rodent urine, saliva, or droppings. At this time there is no known cure for Hantavirus. The sooner after infection the better your chance of recovery. This disease can result in death even if treatment is sought.
- Lyme Disease: An Insect repellent employed in areas where there is an infestation of ticks is the best preventative measure. Antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease. Unfortunately Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose. Always check for ticks after returning from the field.
- And last but not least is the Plague: Generally the plague is not a threat to humans any more. There are still cases of the plague being reported every summer but when treated promptly there are rarely any complications. To prevent exposure to this disease it is best to stay away from rodents, especially dead flea infested ones. Once the rodents die the fleas will look for a new host, which can be humans if they pick up the animal, but more commonly dogs. Any K-9 handler, or pet owner, should dust or otherwise treat their animals for any sign of fleas. Preventative measures, such as flea collars or sprays, are best.
I hope that this mini series has enlightened you as to some to the problems we as SAR volunteers face in the field. These diseases are not just related to search and rescue though. We face these problems in our everyday lives as well. If precautions are taken all the time then we have a chance to lead a happy and healthy life.
- Hepatitis A, B, C, and G: Prevention is the only key to this disease. At the present time there is no known cure for any of the hepatitis strains. Hepatitis A may last as long as six months and doesn't develop into chronic disease. B and C on the other hand can and generally does develop into chronic illness. Persons at risk, such as those in the health care professions (EMT's included), should take gamaglobulan injections, which will prevent the disease. Others should stay away from known infected persons, which may be injured.
- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: There is no cure for HIV or the AIDS virus. Prevention is the only way to stay safe. It is best, as with most of the diseases listed, to stay away from blood or other body fluids. People with the virus do not get better. While some may stay relatively healthy for long periods of time, the disease is always with them.
- Streptococcus A: Cleanliness is the best medicine. If a person washes cuts and abrasions they are unlikely to contract this disease. If one suspects infection they should, as with all suspected illnesses, contact their doctor. Unfortunately Streptococcus A is highly resistant to many antibiotics, therefore a number of different treatments may be necessary.
- Influenza: Plenty of fluids and rest will help to keep this nuisance at bay. Infected persons should just stay home and rest. There is no vaccine for the Flue, although there is preventative vaccines that will cure it. Rest and rehydration are the only choices.
On the Garmin GPS display for UTM's, the letter `S' appears near the first coordinate. This does not mean we are in South America or that our GPS is set up incorrectly. Rather, it is simply a letter assigned to a zone of latitudes. Each zone is eight degrees high, beginning at -80 (near the South Pole) and ending at +84 (near the North Pole). The zones are labeled with a letter, beginning with `C' and progressing upwards through `X'. Since `I' and `O' are not used, the `S' zone contains North Latitudes 32 through 40, which encompasses all but the very Southwestern portion of New Mexico. Incidentally, the numeric zones with which we are more familiar are each six degrees of longitude, and we are in zone 13 except for a portion of western NM, which is in zone 12.
|Feature Article #2: The "S" in GPS
||by John Mindock
See http://www.utexas.edu/depts/grg/gcrafts/notes/coordsys/coordsys.html for much more on map coordinate systems.
FOR SALE: Pair of Outdoor Research Gore-tex "Crocodile" Gaiters in size small--worn once. They are not the right size for me. $40.00 or OBO, contact Tom Russo at 823-4554 if you're interested.
||(40 words maximum, no services)
FOR SALE: Motorola HT220 two channel hand held radio with charger and two batteries. Already has CSAR and NM STATE SAR crystals installed. Doesn't need HAM license to operate. $150.00 - Contact Chuck Girven at 899-8573 if interested.
We will be performing a pager test to determine the viability of our pager system. This test will take place starting Friday, August 15th through Wednesday, August 20th. We will skip Sunday. Please fill out the forms as accurately as possible. We will be using this information to determine the accuracy of the paging system. -- submitted by Mickey Jojola
There will be an Equipment Committee meeting on Wednesday August 20th at St. Chads Church. The meeting will start at 6:30 and will run to 8:00 pm. If you have any questions or suggestions please plan to attend. -- submitted by Chuck Girven
Special thanks to Don Gibson and ACCUTRAK, Inc. for donating time and material to help make our new PSAR display stand.
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.