Lost and Found... the newsletter of Volume 4, Issue 12
9 December 1999
Editors: Tom Russo, Mike Dugger,
and Susan Corban

Cibola Search and Rescue
"That Others May Live..."
Top of the Hill Boots and Blisters Business as Usual
Who's Who and New Mini Lesson Member Spotlight
Public Relations Statewide SAR Notes Web News
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Top of the Hill by Larry Mervine
For some of us another year has passed as Cibola Search & Rescue members. And for some --- or should I say most? --- this was their first year. I would like to thank our current officers for the work they have done. My job as president is a lot easier when officers do their jobs well. We reached our goal for new Ham operators, but still lag behind on increasing membership by 50%. Missions are down again this year, which makes other team activities even more important. Our turnouts for trainings have been good, but we still need to do better.

See you out there. Back to Top
Boots and Blisters by Tom Russo
We had a slightly different style of training on Saturday, 13 November. Members who had to miss it, but wish to look at the handout we passed out may get a copy on the members only website, under "Training Handouts." The debriefing web page --- accessible from the training record in the database --- has a little bit about the results of the "experiment" we did on hasty search.

It was a very nice day, and we spent just a little time going over some of the incredibly obvious fine points of active searching in the hasty mode. Afterward, I ran everyone through an abbreviated version of the "Pot Test" that was run down at ESCAPE '99: I laid out 20 medium-sized green flowerpots in an area 100 feet on either side of a trail 200 feet long, and asked team members to walk down the path and conduct a hasty search of the area. As they walked, I marked the point at which they saw each pot on graph paper that I had prepared for the exercise, and by doing so could keep a record of what direction they were looking when they found it.

Here's a quick summary of how each person performed on this (names withheld to protect the innocent):

SearcherStartEndtime# found% found (POD)rate foundleft foundright found
19:459:505 min1260%2.4 per min4/9=44%8/11=73%
29:539:585 min1680%3.2 per min7/9=78%9/11=81%
310:0010:077 min1785%2.4 per min7/9=78%10/11=91%
410:1110:154 min1575%3.75 per min5/9=56%10/11=91%
510:1810:246 min1680%2.7 per min8/9=89%8/11=73%
610:2810:324 min1155%2.8 per min3/9=33%8/11=73%
710:3910:423 min1360%4.3 per min4/9=44%9/11=82%
810:4710:492 min945%4.5 per min2/9=22%7/11=64%
910:5510:583 min1260%4 per min4/9=44%8/11=73%
1011:3111:354 min1365%3.25 per min5/9=56%8/11=73%
1111:4011:455 min1785%3.4 per min8/9=89%9/11=82%
1211:4811:524 min1575%3.8 per min7/9=78%8/11=73%
1311:5511:594 min945%2.25 per min3/9=33%6/11=54%
1412:0212:053 min1575%5 per min5/9=56%10/11=91%
1512:0712:103 min1155%3.7 per min3/9=33%8/11=73%
1612:3412:373 min1365%4.3 per min4/9=44%9/11=82%
While I have done next to nothing with this data, one thing can be seen: most of the searchers seemed to find more clues on their right than their left. I did, in fact, notice that people tended to walk down the trail looking to their right most of the time, although I have not correlated this with right- or left-handedness. Note also that the people who found the largest number of clues (bold) tended to take longer, and that the person with the best rate of clue detection (5 per minute) was not the one who found the most clues. Another thing not clear from this table, but very clear from the sheets of graph paper, was that people tend not to look behind themselves very often. Some of the pots I laid out could only be seen after the searcher had passed them, and those who tended not to look back missed them. Here's a table of how many searchers found how many clues by looking back:
Clues found behindNumber of searchers

So it is pretty clear that we need to be a little more conscious of whether we're really looking at the whole "searcher cube" around us: up, down, left, right, backward and forward. If we only look ahead while searching, we're not doing all of our job.

Hats off to the two people who found the one clue that was farthest from the trail: this clue was about 80 feet away from the trail and down trail about 40 feet. One searcher found the clue by looking back after walking 100 feet down the trail, the second found it after walking 140 feet down the trail.

Susan Corban ran an exercise that imitated a situation she encountered during the mock search back in April. For those who don't remember the mock search, I went off early in the morning and pretended to get lost, the team got called at around 7pm. Sometime around 9pm we had a real mission, and in fact thought there was someone really lost right around the area in which the mock search was being held. While the mock subject and the teams were returning to Training Incident base, we were all supposed to be looking for a teenaged girl who had had an argument with her dad and was last seen at our trailhead. While I was hoofing it out of a wash that brought me from the Whitewash trail to the Embudo trail, Susan's team was standing on Embudo Trail watching my headlamp bouncing toward them. Susan and her team, thinking I might be the lost kid, began calling to me, blowing whistles, and generally trying to get my attention, and were distressed that the apparent subject of the search wasn't responsive. On my end, I wondered why there was a search team standing way off in the distance and apparently not doing anything at all. The point? I heard nothing at all, and the sound of those whistles wasn't carrying anywhere near as far as they had been assuming.

At this training, Susan positioned teammembers at the scene of the crime on Embudo Trail, and had other teammembers start moving toward the trail from far down the wash. All the while, the member at the trail would blow a whistle periodically, and the person in the wash would continue walking until hearing the whistle. Thereafter, the "subject" would continue walking toward the trail while calling back to the searcher. The idea was to hammer home how close one has to be to hear, and how easy it is for little noises like the rustling of the hood of your jacket, a radio transmission, or even just the sound of your own footfalls to completely wash out the small sound of a distant person calling for help. We really do need to stop, stay still, be quiet and listen when we're trying to perform sound attraction.

Curtis Crutcher blindfolded people and tried to get them to point at sounds. His point was that it is surprisingly difficult to pinpoint sounds when deprived of visual references, which is something to be aware of when on those nighttime searches.

For those who can't make the proposed UNM WFR class in January As you all know by now, we've been looking into a Wilderness First Responder class in Albuquerque. If you find that you might not be able to attend that class, here's a possible alternative.

Beginning January 4 the Santa Fe Mountain Center will sponsor a 72-hour Wilderness First Responder course. The course will be held daily at the Center and will finish up on January 12.

Instructors will be provided by Wilderness Medical Associates. Cost per person for this program will be approximately $400.00. Class size will be limited to 30 participants.

If interested, please contact the Santa Fe Mountain Center as soon as possible. The phone number is: 983-6158. The Center is located on the back road to Tesuque almost next door to Shidoni Foundry and Gallery.

For those who are interested in the NM SAR Support practice exercise on Friday, 10 Dec: here are the particulars. The event will begin when everyone meets at the intersction of North Navajo Road and NM 47 by 1900 on Friday, 10 December. See below for directions. The actual exercise will be based at the JFK Campground area on the West side of the Manzanos, East of Belen.

NOTE: Because of widespread interest in attending this training, it will be counted toward Cibola training requirements; if you were looking for one extra opportunity to fulfill your minimum yearly dosage of CSAR training, you got it in this one. This training has been issued a SAR Practice Mission number of 990006.

The training will run from 1900 on the 10th until early in the morning of 11 Dec. According to the SAR Support flyer, they will "commence termination" at about 0415 with the intention of departing the practice area by 0615. Expect winter conditions and come prepared as for a search! This is not a mock search, but a navigation/communication exercise. Members with radios and licenses to use them should monitor the 146.960 (Albuquerque Metro) repeater en route.

If you have a Capilla Peak USGS Quad it is strongly recommended that you bring it, and it has been suggested that the Tome NE Quad would come in handy as a reference if you have it.

Directions to rendezvous point: Go south on I-25 to Belen, exit 195. Go east on I-25 By-Pass to NM 314 (old HW 85). Go south on 314 to NM 309 (Reinken Rd. -- downtown Belen). Go east 2.3 miles on NM 309 (lots of construction, go past Dodge dealer on left, Blakes Lotaburger on right, over the river) to NM 47. Go south on NM 47 for 2 miles to North Navajo Road -- just past Country Club Estates. There are two large stone (adobe blocks) pillars on the east side of NM 47. This is North Navajo road. This is where we will meet all the participants for sign in and briefing. Then we will go east on North Navajo Road (dirt, rough) for 8.3 miles to Trigo Springs Road (north / south road). Turn north on Trigo Springs road and go 3.1 miles then take a sharp right turn to the east. Go 6.7 miles east to campground. Rendevous: N Navajo & HW 47, 34degrees 37.68' x 106degrees 42.88'. Campground: 34degrees 40.45' x 106degrees 28.12'

Hike of the MonthCabezon Peak0800, Dec 19, 1999
Trailhead: Cabezon Parking Area
R.T. Distance: 4 milesElevation Min/Max: 6400/7785
Hiking Time 3 hoursHazards: exposure, loose rock
Topo Maps: Cabezon Peak 7.5 Quad
Hike Leader: Susan Corban
Meet at 0800 at the parking lot of Smith's at Carlisle and Menaul. If the weather is questionable (the roads may be impassable, not that we can't handle bad weather) call me. To get to the trailhead, drive west on NM 44 from Bernalillo. About 19 miles past San Ysidro turn left onto NM 279. There will be a sign for "San Luis, Cabezon." Continue 12 miles to the southwest, past the village of San Luis. Turn to Cabezon at BLM road 1114. If we get precipitation, travel on these roads is ill-advised. If road conditions are in doubt, check with the BLM. There is one walk-up route to the top of Cabezon. All other routes require technical climbing equipment. The trail starts at the parking lot south of Cabezon, and, after an initial scramble up very loose tallus, winds counterclockwise to the top. One must crawl over several exposed areas with vertical walls falling away to the side. A view of the Rio Puerco valley from the top reveals numerous other basalt columns or volcano lava plugs in the area.
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Business as Usual by David Dixon
Larry welcomed new faces Damian Arguello, Nick Karnaze, Willow Foster, Bill Grantham, and Eric Wonkel.

Nominations for Officers for 2000 will close at the end of tonight's meeting.

James Newberry is the new Gear Committee Chair.

There will be a Potluck after the December Business Meeting.

Pager sign ups are needed after February.

Rick Goodman of State SAR is asking for Section Chiefs and other volunteers for emergency needs during Y2K.

Amber Pickel is an active member.

There is a standing invite for everyone to go eat/socialize after all events. There will also be an organized social time from now on at Escape.

Susan and all officers request feedback from all about team and how things are going for them.

ARES 500 # has changed. Everyone should be aware. Revised sheets are available for orange callout folders.

Inquiry has been made to Albuq. Ambulance Service about ride-alongs. Anyone interested needs the following: over 18; schedule at least a week in advance; shifts are 10-13 hrs; basic clothing of white shirt and blue pants; health insurance coverage. Contact Sherry Shane at 761-8211.

Susan passes out above information on sheets.

Hike of the month is not in this months newsletter. See the handout or leader, Frances Robertson.

Previous months finances and balance are given.

November 13 Training will be on Sound Attraction/Hasty Search.

Last Evaluation of 1999 will be Search Techniques on December 4.

December's training on the 12th will be Litter Handling at Piedra Lisa.

SAR Support is having an Overnight Training at JFK Campground on December 10-11. This will count as a Cibola Training.

Tom would like next year's Training to be run by a Training Team of 2 or more people plus himself. He would also like more evaluators.

WFA class was great. Thanks to the Crutchers and Dixons.

Cibola is interested in a 2-person Wilderness Version CPR course sometime next year.

Team has 2 donated pagers available to a member for a $20 donation.

The PR committee will put out/replenish our supply of posters at various locations around the area.

Remember that there is much more to this team than missions and when there aren't many think about donating your time to committees and other team needs.

State SAR
Mike gives a brief updated overview of PACE and the exam. In the past few year(s) there has been some problems getting material mailed out. There will be only 2 sessions/year, 1 at Escape and another at end of the year and other end of state. To become a PACE evaluator requires 1-2 hours of training. This can be done at Escape. Mike and Larry are certified and can do Cibola people on written but not the pack check. They could also certify a large enough group of CSAR (10-12) to become evaluators.

State SAR Resource Directory by Rick Goodman that lists SAR teams, FCs, SCs is not out yet. May take awhile.

Gene Mortimer has discount catalogs available for those interested in ordering.

Susan Corban gave an outline of her ongoing pursuit of WFR training and Medical Protocol for the team. She distributed a handout which is verbatim on the website minutes. Back to Top
Who's Who and New by Susan Corban
Chris Murray is active this month. Welcome, Chris, we're glad you're on the team. Back to Top
Mini Lesson by Susan Corban

Wind and Search & Rescue

What's the Windchill Factor?

Wind can contribute to loss of body heat, especially when combined with moisture and lower air temparture. We all know hypothermia can be deadly. You might leave Albuquerque feeling warm and toasty only to find that the wind in the mountains makes you (or a subject) extremely cold. The windchill factor is clearly illustrated in the table below. For example, at 10 degrees F, a 25 mile per hour wind produces a -30 degree F chill temperature. The temperature zone at which flesh may freeze within a minute is easily found in the mountains of New Mexico in the winter. The table is based on dry, exposed flesh.

Table courtesy of the US Forest Service.

How to Estimate Wind Speed & Direction

Estimating wind characteristics can be important in search and rescue. Air stability, speed, and direction are important to search dogs as well as helicopters. Air stability involves wind speed, estimations of cloud cover, and solar insolation. Air stability classifications range from A (poor) to F (excellent). If you have the opportunity to accompany an air scenting dog, you will learn how easily a scent can be blown by the wind or dissipated, especially in windy, dry New Mexico conditions. Air stability is a factor in determing the probability of detection (POD) of a dog team. If you are in the field and must call in a potential helicopter landing zone (LZ) to Incident Base, you will need to estimate wind speed and direction. To determine wind direction, toss a little New Mexico dust into the air with the toe of your boot or drop it from your hand. If the ground is snow-covered or frozen, bits of crushed, dry leaf will serve the same purpose. Wind speed can be gauged using the following guidelines provided by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) publication, Managing the Lost Person Incident.

Less than 4 mph Direction of wind (if any) shown by smoke but not by wind vane.
4 to 7 mph Wind felt on face; leaves rustle; wind vane moves.
8 to 10 mph Leaves and small twigs in motion; wind extends trail tape
11 to 14 mphWind raises dust and loose paper.
15 to 25 mphSmall branches and small trees in leaf begin to sway; crested wavelets form on inland waters.
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Public Relations by David Dixon
I would like to end the year by thanking Susan, Larry and Don for their work on the PR Committee this year. Through the hard work of all I think we satisfied our '99 recruitment goals. We welcome Frances Robertson on our committee and any others interested in helping. We'll give her lots to do next year.

I hope everyone's Public and Private Relations are great over the holidays and through the coming year. Back to Top
Member Spotlights
Gene Mortimer sends this month's Member Spotlight.

Susan threatened to reverse the needle on my compass if I didn't give her my life's story for the next Lost... and Found newsletter. I told her that if she did that I might pass the next land nav evaluation in record time! Well here goes! My life adventure may not put me in the category of Sir Ernest Shackleton, but I have been to Antarctica and am entitled to eat with one foot up on the table since I have been around Cape Horn. Had I been around the Cape of Good Hope, I could eat with both feet on the table, but that might look funny if not downright dangerous if I were to drop a bowl of hot soup in my lap! That would be very easy to do crossing the Drake Passage on a round-bottomed ice breaker in twenty five foot seas. Believe it or not, that is an average sea there. Oh well, so much for levity.

I was born in Las Vegas, NM, in 1943 and went to high school there through my sophomore year. That summer, at the tender age of 15, I boarded a banana boat in New York and sailed through the Panama Canal to Chile with a friend and his family. Many stops along the way afforded me my first look at how others in foreign lands lived. That was probably my first big adventure in life if I don't count smoking cigarettes behind the clubhouse with my first grade girlfriend, Ruth Keith. I finished my last two high school years at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell where I had the distinction of playing football with Roger Staubach (well, almost since he was a college freshman and I was high school). For those of you who may not know, Roger played one year for NMMI before he went to the US Naval Academy and on to Dallas Cowboy fame. That is the year NMMI won the Junior College Rose Bowl championship.

Life after NMMI took me to college, I don't remember how many, but I soon grew restless and decided that it was up to me to punish Fidel Castro for his pinko commie attitude so I joined the Marine Corps. Suprise, suprise, I didn't end up in Cuba, but at Marble Mountain in South Vietnam in 1965. Spending my career in helicopter outfits made me a prime candidate wanted by Uncle Sam. Thanks Lyndon, I will always think of you, too! Actually, I was quite pleased to go because this was going to be my second big adventure in life right up there with smoking cigarettes with ol' what's her name. I will never forget her. I got out of Vietnam ('nam' was after my time) with all of my body parts, a Bronze Star with combat "V" and some magazine and newspaper headlines and a chapter in General Walt's book. Sounds like I am a drinking member of the VFW, but I am not.

After the Marine Corps, I got married, had two kids, and went back to college to earn an MS in entomology at the Aggie college down south. My major work was in wildlife disease. After graduating, I managed to hold down a job for 25+ years and decided to retire before I got too old to do anything. Sometime between then and now I skied up Denali and wintered (part of it, anyway) in the Brooks Range when -30 degrees was still considered cold. I called this fun?

In 1993, my wife of 26 years died of pancreatic cancer. She was diagnosed at Christmas time and died at home in late April. She taught English, math and other assorted classes over 25 years in several different communities in New Mexico.

In late 1994, I married my present wife, Mary, whom many of you have met. She retired from US West in 1990 after her husband died of complications from diabetes. She worked there for 28 years and worked several years at BDM and United Way. She does volunteer work for the American Cancer Society and is a nine-year breast cancer survivor.

Both Mary and I are active outdoor enthusiasts of hiking, biking, canoeing and especially skiing. We have recently finished building a home up in Taos Ski Valley and intend to enjoy much of our retirement there. We also love to travel off of the beaten paths and have spent time camping in Alaska, Canada, the Bahamas (we want to go back and travel by mail boat), Argentina and Antarctica. Our three children often have trouble finding us! This is really great, huh!

I am interested in Cibola Search and Rescue basically for three reasons. Primarily, I like to help people who need it, but I also like to be outdoors and to challenge myself and my abilities. That's about it in a nutshell, folks!

Larry Mervine has given us his story.

My life started in Akron, Ohio. As a kid, I played in the woods behind our house oand helped my dad build the house we grew up in. Through junior and high school I did a lot of running and hiking in wooded parks around the Akron area. I spent the summer between junior and senior high school in Europe, visiting Germany, France, England and Spain.

In college I started toward a major in sociology, then changed to anthropology, but dropped out after two years. I spent the next ten years wandering from one warehouse job to another in different states. One of those stops was Colorado, where I worked maintenance at Keystone Ski Resort. In Colorado I learned a lot about mountain wilderness, hiking seven 14,000 foot peaks one summer. The I attended my first search and rescue meeting, but moved before getting really involved.

Time to get my life in order. Although traveling and working at many different sites was exciting and interesting, it did not pay well, so I went back to school. At this time photography was my favorite hobby and I was able to work part time in a camera store while attending school, majoring in Data Processing. Now with degree in hand, what to do now? Move to New Mexico. My parents had retired to Deming, New Mexico. What a great place to start a job search. Surprisingly, there was a computer software company (the only one) in Deming looking for computer programmers. I was hired on the spot. You may or may not know that Deming is in the middle of nowhere. After four years it was time for a change. Triadic Enterprises was my former employer, which had Valencia County as a client. When a position opened, I applied for a computer programmer position. After two years I was promoted to Data Processing Manager. Eight years later I'm still working at Valencia County.

Actually, before coming to Cibola, I belonged to Manzano Search & Rescue. Remembering my Colorado days, I asked the County Fire Marshall if there was a search & rescue team for the Manzanos. He said no. But a year later told me that a new team was forming. Manzano SAR team had been meeting for about a year when two strange characters named Don (Gibson) and Jerry (Wheat) attended a business meeting. Over the course of the next few months Jerry and I became the team's training officers. Don told us if we wanted to go on missions we needed to join Cibola Search and Rescue. We did.

There have been times on a mission, when the body aches, it's dark and the subject is nowhere to be found, when you wonder 'why am I here?' But, after a good night's sleep, you know you have done a good deed and that feels good. Back to Top
Web News by Tom Russo
Again, there was not much effort expended this month in expanding the website, although I did tweak a few of the programs to make them run smoother, fix a couple of broken links, and tinker with some database reports that the officers run every now and then. Our hit rate has exceeded 15,000 per month for several months running, now, attracting visitors from all over the world. There have even been a few people from other states asking for information on how to join us, and we had to suggest, very gently, that perhaps the state SAR resource officer wouldn't reimburse gas and oil for a commute from San Fransisco to the Jemez. Larry Mervine's sister has checked in and thanked us for giving her somewhere to come to check out what her brother's been doing lately. In short, the web site continues to get our message out there, and we hope it is as beneficial to our own members as it appears to be to the rest of the world.
The team website can be accessed at http://www.cibolasar.org/
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Statewide SAR Notes by Tom Russo
As reported at the meeting, there are only going to be two regularly scheduled PACE exams from now on, and it is said that they won't be cancelled no matter what. The next PACE exam is on Saturday, 11 Dec. in Santa Fe. Gail Zimmerman emailed the following information on Tuesday:

Time:  1200 - 1600
Location:  Santa Fe, St. John's College, Evans Science Lab, room 111, 
between the "Bell Tower" and "Parking ", immediately north of the "Bell 
Tower" Admin building on the map at the following website:

For registration (we need to know how many are coming), if you haven't 
already done so:
PACE hotline 505-625-1307 or e-mail rlathrop@dfn.com

If you do not have your study packet, you may not get it in time if you 
call today or later.  If you are in Santa Fe, you may be able to pick one 
up from Rick Goodman (call ahead first, 827-9228).
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Disclaimer and Copyright notice the Editors
The contents of this newsletter are copyright © 1999 by their respective authors or by Cibola Search and Rescue, Inc., and individual articles represent the opinions of the author. Cibola SAR makes no representation, express or implied, with regard to the accuracy of the information contained in these articles, and cannot accept any legal responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions that may be made. Articles contained in this newsletter may be reproduced, with attribution given to Cibola SAR and the author, by any member of the Search and Rescue community for use in other team's publications.