Top of the Hill|
Boots and Blisters|
Who's Who and New
On the Right Track
Business as Usual|
|Top of the Hill||by Mike Dugger|
Fall is also the time of year to start thinking about selection of officers for next year. As a preview of the process, I will ask for nominations at the October business meeting. Nominations will be accepted through the close of business at the November meeting. Those nominated will be contacted to verify that they are willing to serve. The election will take place at our December meeting, immediately after which the new officers assume their duties. We are publishing a list of officers' duties below, so everyone can get an idea of what is done today to manage this team, and those thinking about running for office can get a sense of the scope of responsibilities. We will devote some space in the newsletter and time at the November business meeting to allow the candidates to tell us their plans for their term in office. During this process, we should ask what the candidate has done in the past to serve CSAR. CSAR's reason for existence is to provide search and rescue services, so it is also appropriate to ask about the mission experience of the candidate. We want the most experienced people possible to lead our team.
I encourage everyone to check out our training officer's report. The land navigation training held last month was a real eye-opener. Just goes to show that answering multiple choice questions about it and actually performing orienteering are two different things. The way the training was performed forced people to be more self-reliant than most of our past trainings, and really demonstrated the need to practice land navigation at an individual level. True that we frequently search on trails, but for our own safety as well as that of our teammates, and the good of the subject, we need to be able to navigate in the wilderness without relying on GPS. The same philosophy applies to search techniques and litter operations. I can't think of a better argument in support of adopting standards for the duties we perform on missions.
Finally, I made a serendipitous discovery in a colleague's office today that I just had to share with you. Advice for creating an enthusiastic team from an expert on team building: Look for ways to make new ideas work, not for reasons they won't.
|Boots and Blisters||by Larry Mervine|
Fourteen team members participated in this month's training. At five o'clock five team members rushed to set up the compass course at Elena Gallegos Park. We started the training at 8:00 pm. Five teams with two members each were given a true bearing. They had to calculate the magnetic bearing, and then follow the bearing to a point placed earlier. Once the point was found each team radioed base camp, described the clue at the point and were given another true bearing. The distance was also given.
Arriving at Elena Gallegos Park, I figured all we only had to do was walk the bearing and set the points. But as teams were reporting back to base camp there seemed to be a problem with teams finding their points. At 10:00 pm teams were called to return to base camp.
What was the problem? Most teams had a problem with calculating declination and judging distances. Western states have an easterly declination, so the following is true:
|Map to field||True minus declination equals magnetic bearing.|
|Field to map||Magnetic plus declination equals true bearing.|
The other problem was distances. Teams were given a .4 km distance, but walked 2 km before calling in. What does this mean? It means we need to practice our map and compass skills. So in September I will be offering another map and compass training. Below is an outline of the next map and compass training, which I estimate will take 4 hours:
|Hike of the Month||Tunnel Springs and North Crest Trail||0730, Sep 27/28, 1997|
|Trailhead: Tunnel Springs near Placitas - see member guide|
|R.T. Distance: 10 miles||Elevation Min/Max: 6200/8600|
|Hiking Time 5 hours||Hazards: The Usual|
|Topo Maps: USFS map of the Sandias|
|Business as Usual||by John Mindock|
I spent a month (off and on) developing the FAQs for the website, designed to complement the Introduction page. I tried to make them as specific as possible so a person considering SAR would have detailed answers to common questions. Suggestions for modification were reviewed at the last officer's meeting, and some were incorporated.
For the record, here's the process for distributing or changing any information about Cibola that is intended for public release: Since it is not appropriate for any non-elected member to represent the team in an "official" sense, any publication that could be construed to represent the team must be approved by the officers (or at least the president, if time is a factor). Send suggestions to any of the officers so that they can be discussed and approved. If there is an urgent need for action (due to timeliness of the information or inaccuracy), make that known so the issue can be expedited.
|Mini Lesson||by John Mindock|
During a debriefing after an assignment, field teams are commonly requested to report their `Probability of Detection'. Often this is divided into two types - Responsive and Unresponsive. Often, the POD is formulated by using `gut feeling' based on experience, wishful thinking, and some idea of what was expected in the first place. Note - POD's higher than 80% are defacto counted as 80%, perhaps due to legal concerns.
Unresponsive POD is simple to fathom - if the subject was lying within your search area, but unable to respond to you, what's the chance that you saw him? This usually is a function of the size of the area, the number of searchers, the rate of travel, the terrain/flora, the subject's clothing, and the thoroughness of the search tactics. Weather and darkness also can figure into the calculation. A subject may be unresponsive because of death, unconsciousness, weakness, fear of searchers, or evasion.
Assuming that the standard attraction techniques (yelling, whistles) are used, what is the probability that the person was in the area you searched, and yet you did not hear him responding to you? This measurement is a function of the size of the search area and the number of searchers. Rate of travel, terrain/flora, and thoroughness are not really factors one way or another. Weather (such as high winds) may figure in, but darkness has no bearing. Responsive POD is never less than unresponsive POD, for obvious reasons.
Significance of POD to the Mission Management
Subsequent to the `initial attack' portion of a mission, the territory being searched is subdivided into portions called `search segments'. After a certain amount of effort over several operational periods, mission management develops a strategy where they start eliminating search segments. This is often used to justify a decision to suspend the mission. The criteria for suspending a mission are somewhat subjective, but for this paper let's say that much of that decision is based upon reaching 75% POD in all segments within the subject's probable range of travel. This range is determined by statistical analysis of many missions nationwide with similar subjects, as described in documents used by Incident Management for planning the search. At this point, the teams being deployed notice a change in assignment directives, hearing instructions like `search this segment to a 80% POD' instead of `go up such and such trail'. The nature of POD has shifted to a pre-deployment specification, as opposed to an assessment of the results upon return.
The decision to suspend a mission will occur after a number of operational periods, and the subject will have been in the elements for a significant time. The assumption at that time will be that the subject is no longer able to respond. During this phase of a mission, the assignment to search a segment at `x' POD really means an unresponsive POD. This normally goes unsaid during the team briefings, but it is the only sensible interpretation, i.e., if the person is still highly likely to be responsive, we wouldn't dare consider suspending the search yet.
Management Usage for Responsive POD
There are scant few scenarios where this is used to make management decisions. Perhaps if a team had not used common attraction techniques (whistles, etc.), or if there had been a howling wind, a low responsive POD might instigate a re-search of the area. Another scenario would be where searchers spread out too far to hear each other and the subject might be in-between. If your team returned with a very high responsive POD in the early stages of a mission (when the subject might still be likely to be responsive), mission management might decide to send teams into other high-potential areas instead of re-searching your area in an `area search' mode.
Management Usage for Unresponsive POD
From a practical standpoint, unresponsive POD is more likely to have an influence on management decisions than responsive POD does. A search segment can be eliminated from further searching if the area has been covered to a high unresponsive POD. There is a somewhat rigorous set of cascading mathematical calculations that depict the actual cumulative POD's and the prescription for elimination. As mentioned above, the nature of the assignments change to where a high unresponsive POD is requested prior to deployment. This dictates the search tactics, and the thoroughness to be applied.
"Efficiency" vs. "Thoroughness"
In previous paragraphs, it was mentioned that thoroughness is a factor in POD. Lack of thoroughness in this sense does not imply sloppiness, laziness, or some other less-than-desirable behavior. Thoroughness and efficiency are different aspects of the search spectrum, and neither is right (or wrong) by itself. Efficiency refers to searching the largest territory in a minimal amount of time, using limited personnel resources. Thoroughness means ignoring time/personnel constraints and looking `everywhere'. In general, efficiency implies rather swift passage while thoroughness denotes a slower pace. Hasty teams are intended to perform `efficient' searches as opposed to `thorough' ones. Looking behind every bush, rock, and log (in an effort to be extremely thorough) is contradictory to the theory of using hasty teams, and represents improper execution for their assignment. Since hasty teams are responsible for 80% of all finds, it is important to perform the proper techniques during such an assignment.
A corollary to this is that a low POD is acceptable (indeed, often expected) of hasty teams. On the other hand, `area search' teams are expected to be thorough, and generally are counted upon to return with a very high POD. Failure to return with a high POD may require the segment to be re-searched.
Self-Quiz on POD - Part 1
|Coming Attractions||by Tom Russo|
|Public Relations||by Chuck Girven|
On August 19, Mike Dugger and Terri Mindock represented Cibola at the kickoff for the fiscal year 1998 Combined Federal Campaign for United Way. Pete Dominici was the guest speaker. This meeting is where representatives from federal employers around the state learn about campaign objectives to communicate back to their workplaces. Mike and Terri met with campaign organizers and offered Cibola's services as guest speakers. We also got to see Lynn Green (Bill's wife) dressed as the statue of liberty! What a photo op!
|On the Right Track||by Mickey Jojola|
|Web News||by Tom Russo|
|NMESC Notes||by Mickey Jojola|
|Member Spotlight: Ken Johnston|
I became a member because I have always been fascinated by survival techniques and improvising my way in the woods especially after hearing that a friend of mine had died of hypothermia while hunting less than a mile from his cabin.
Being a member of CSAR has taught me a lot and I've had an excellent time on missions and trainings. I don't have any personal "finds" although I've been on a lot of missions. I'll never forget wheezing with Don Gibson on Bart's Trail or getting pulled off a cliff face with the help of John Mindock's boot hanging over the ledge above me, or me and Bob Ulibarri jammin' thru that last mud puddle in El Rito with my Ford F150. The bivys have been outrageous too. One of my most memorable missions was the one up the Windsor Trail to Puerto Nambe and then across Lake Peak, Penitente Peak, and finally down from the top of the Santa Fe Ski Basin. I also had a really good time showcamping on top of the Sandias with huge bonfires and summer bivys sharing various concoctions with names like SPF15. The Chama train trip with Jerry Wheat's midnight "recon" mission was unforgetable.
During my six years with CSAR, I've also had the pleasure of being president of this fine group. I was given the oath of office by campfire light during the Mount Taylor Quadrathalon in 1994 by then outgoing president John Goorley. Before handing over the administration to Mike Dugger at Melissa Smith's Christmas/Election party in 1995, our team had about doubled in size, instituted some key team procedures and become very well respected in the NM SAR community. I had invaluable help during my tenure from many team members on numerous projects and committees and I think that spirit of volunteerism still holds true today. I look forward to more good times with CSAR in the future.
Oh yeah, in my other spare time I have lived in Albuquerque for 18 years, been married to Cyndy for 16 years, worked in uptown as an Investment Consultant (currently with Everen Securities) for 15 years and have fun raising my son Jeff who is 12. Life is good.
|Feature Article: Officer's Duties||by Mike Dugger|
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