|Top of the Hill||Boots and Blisters||Business as Usual|
|Pinching Pennies||Who's Who and New||Gearing Up|
|Coming Attractions||Mini Lesson||On the Right Track|
|Member Spotlight||Public Relations||Bronze Boot|
|Statewide SAR Notes||Feature Article||Web News|
|Special Notes||Disclaimer/Copyright||Classified Ads|
| Recent Missions
|| Callout Information
|Top of the Hill||by Larry Mervine|
|Boots and Blisters||by Tom Russo|
Cibola Search and Rescue will not conduct training events solely for the benefit of other search and rescue teams. We may, however, invite members of other teams to our own training events for the purpose of enhancing our relationship with those teams and improving our own ability to function with them on search and rescue missions. When members of other teams participate in trainings sponsored by Cibola SAR they must sign the same liability waiver required of Cibola members. Members of Cibola SAR who choose to present trainings to non-members outside of sanctioned Cibola SAR training events do so as private individuals, not as agents of Cibola SAR. They are not authorized to use equipment owned by Cibola SAR for this purpose nor are they authorized to speak on behalf of Cibola SAR, its members or policies.Once again, I'm delighted to spend a chunk of my newsletter article thanking members for their help with training duties. March and April have been quite hectic, with so many of the team taking Wilderness First Responder. Several members have stepped forward to take up the training flag, and have provided training opportunities for those of us who are not sitting around watching slide shows of nasty wounds.
James Newberry and Joyce Rumschlag held a well-attended search techniques training at Pine Flat picnic ground on the 15th of April. I look forward to their debriefing at the May meeting.
James Newberry and Mickey Jojola joined me on April 30th to run a litter handling evaluation. This was the make-up evaluation to finish what Larry started on the 8th: as you may recall, Larry announced that he would hold a litter evaluation that day if and only if 6 people called to let him know they'd be there. Larry got his 6 to call, drove up from Los Lunas to hold the eval, but unfortunately only 4 showed and he couldn't do the whole thing. Mickey, James and I met 8 members for the make-up session, and those who had partially completed the one on the 8th got their evals finished up, and the rest of the crew got their evaluation out of the way for the year. Mickey and James are now certified to run litter evaluations, and I really do appreciate their effort and willingness to go the extra mile to help the team run smoothly.
On the subject of evaluators: Mike Dugger and Larry Mervine are currently evaluators on all subjects. Terry Hardin, Mickey Jojola, and James Newberry are additional evaluators for litter handling. Susan Corban is the only other land navigation evaluator. David Dixon is the only other evaluator for Search Techniques. May's evalation on Sunday the 21st will be on Land Navigation, and Susan and I will do the evaluating. The evaluation will begin at 10am at Elena Gallegos Picnic Ground, before the potluck picnic (see "Special Notes"). If any among you wish to become evaluators for this subject, please contact me.
June's training will be Land Navigation, taught by Paul Donovan on Sunday, 11 June. Paul will use some of his copious spare time to lay out a navigation course in the Cedro Peak area on Saturday, and run a classroom session on navigation on Sunday at the Tijeras Ranger Station on south 14th. The navigation course will have its base at Chamisoso Canyon, and we'll head over there to run the course after the classroom session. As usual, you're expected to bring all appropriate gear, which should be easily recognized as code for your full SAR pack and plenty of food and water. Typical duration of the navigation course is 3-5 hours, so be prepared to spend some time hoofing it around in the woods.
Congratulations to Chris Murray, who passed his Technician class amateur radio license exam at ESCAPE. We look forward to hearing you on the air soon, Chris. Unfortunately, the FCC is so backlogged since the restructuring of Amateur license classes that it is taking about 6 weeks to process new licensees. Chris's new callsign will appear in the phone tree as soon as it is available.
Congratulations to Steve Buckley, Tony Gaier, Steve Kolk, Jeff Phillips, and Holly Pickens, who all passed their PACE exams at ESCAPE.
Congratulations to Art Bisbee and James Newberry, who were certified as PACE evaluators at ESCAPE.
ESCAPE was terrific this year, as I'm sure you've heard by now. From first hand experience I can tell you that there were some excellent medical classes, taught by experts in wilderness medicine. Dr. Bill "Doc" Forgey was there talking about "Field Detection and Treatment of Hypothermia" and "Delayed Transport Protocols for Orthopedic Injuries," and Dr. Mike Nelson gave a talk on "High Altitude Sickness." I spent my Saturday being overwhelmed with information on these subjects, and it was a day well spent even though I now have symptoms of "high information density cerebral edema." Others attended classes on GPS, rope and climbing skills, Introduction to Amateur Radio for SAR, and a plethora of other interesting subjects. Larry Mervine and David Dixon taught two sessions of Search Techniques, Paul Donovan got a record crop of 48 attendees to his Map and Compass class, and Tim Manning of AMRC and I had 22 people show up to our litter handling class. In addition to having a great time working with folks in class, I spoke to a number of other training officers, and hope to be able to improve our relationships with other teams in New Mexico through more trainings and participation in our mock search.
Planning for our Mock Search is proceeding well. Contrary to what I had said at the last meeting, I've decided to run the pre-event planning under the Incident Command System. Jeff Phillips is our notoriously efficient Logistics Section chief, and I'll be serving as Planning Section chief for Operational Period Zero, which began earlier this week and will extend right up until the practice mission number is activated, beginning Operational Period One. I'm working on getting us a practice mission number and planning out task assignments for the mission, Paul Donovan is working on getting the approvals from Open Space and the Forest Service to use the trailhead parking lot, and Jeff is making phone calls, sending emails, and basically making sure that all the logistical hurdles are cleared by the time we get to the search. Then we'll give Jeff a break and let him hump a pack for a few hours, and Paul will get lost. Several team members are being tapped to be ICS section chiefs for Operational Period One. To remind you, the mock search will begin sometime in the early evening of July 15th, so clear your plate and be ready to hit the trail when the call comes. We have a number of other teams joining us, so please let's have a good showing of Cibola members. Santa Fe SAR, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department Mounted SAR, Sandia Search Dogs and Bernalillo County ARES have already said they will be there, and several others such as San Miguel SAR, White Mountain SAR, Taos SAR and AMRC have expressed some interest, although with the travel time involved we might not see all of them.
As before, we will have a real, live subject hoofing it out early on Saturday morning, and the subject's family will notify the FC (Cliff Meier) that there's an overdue hiker sometime in the early evening. From there, everything will proceed as a real mission. Keep your fingers and toes crossed that no real mission begins during the mock search this time.
As you might have heard by now, the Selective Availability scrambling of GPS
signals was turned off at midnight, Eastern time on 2 May 2000. This means
that GPS signals are no longer artificially limited to 100 meter accuracy.
Watch this space for results of a quickie experiment I did that night to check
out the difference.
|Hike of the Month||Otero Canyon||0900, May 20, 2000|
|Trailhead: 3.8 miles south on Hwy 337 from the stoplight in Tijeras|
|R.T. Distance: 4 miles||Elevation Min/Max: 6800/7200|
|Hiking Time 6 hours||Hazards: Fast moving mountain bikers|
|Topo Maps: Sedillo 7.5' Quad.|
|Hike Coordinator: James Newberry|
|Business as Usual||by David Dixon|
Some members would like to get together to practice tracking. See Susan.
People taking WFR and going to Escape need to bring a blank videotape for a copy of the missed class.
On sign in sheets at meetings and missions please write out Cibola SAR instead of CSAR.
Susan has revised (again) the mission callout script. New sheets are available and will also be placed in orange folders by the secretary.
David has orange Pager callout folders available.
Mike goes over expenses and revenue for last 4 years. Our expenses are getting ahead of our income. There is discussion on how to increase income. Escape reimbursement is then discussed. The officers propose paying $75 per person maximum and $2000 team maximum. This applies to members or prospectives who have had orientation by Escape. Reimbursement proposal is made and seconded. Proposal is approved by unanimous vote.
Frances wants to know who is going on the Hike of Month.
Joyce and James will be doing Search Techniques Training on Saturday.
Paul Donovan suggests an August bivy at Williams Lake by Taos possibly including a Training. The weekend after August meeting is suggested. Larry mentions that it's good if you bring your usual pack with just a few overnight additions.
All gear cache bags now have id tags. James makes everyone pat themselves on the back for all of their great volunteer work.
ICS ICS will be used at the next training and the Mock Search in July. There will be a Mini-Lesson round table on ICS before the June 8 meeting. We have provided Rick Goodman with updated team Section Chief info.
State does provide them but Jeff still interested in ordering some vests.
A few team members are planning on becoming PACE evaluators at Escape.
Mickey asks all to turn in last months pager test forms.
|Pinching Pennies||by Mike Dugger|
|Who's Who and New||by Susan Corban|
Tony Gaier, Ed Mighetto and Steve Buckley have had orientations and will soon be appearing at a mission near you.
At the moment we have 42 members on the team, 27 active, 15 prospective.
|Gearing Up||by James Newberry|
Paratus Et Vigilans
|Coming Attractions||by Tom Russo|
|Public Relations||by David Dixon|
Cibola Search and Rescue does not encourage you to attempt to conduct search and rescue activities or field exercises without adequate training and safety precautions. This presentation does not constitute adequate training to perform these activities or exercises safely and Cibola SAR assumes no responsibility in this matter.
I went to college in Oregon, then to law school in New York City. I picked New York because I thought at the time I wanted to work in international relations. I lost interest in the subject when I realized I didn't like living in big cities, which would be required if I were to work in that area. So after graduating I returned to Eugene to work in a small business law firm. I moved to Albuquerque a couple of years later, primarily as a change of scenery and climate after living most of my life in rainy Oregon.
I began my New Mexico law career with the Rodey Law Firm, where I worked in a variety of areas before settling into an environmental and natural resources practice, representing companies needing help with permitting, compliance and other such issues. I ended up as Chairman of Rodey's Environment and Natural Resources Department until my retirement from the practice in 1998.
I left the law seeking greener pastures. I had set myself goals when I became a lawyer, and after meeting them I wanted to embark on a new path, with new goals, though I wasn't sure at the time what those goals would be. After a year or so of retirement, I decided to go back to school to earn an MBA, which I could use to pursue a career in some field of business. I've since enrolled in the Anderson School at UNM, where I just finished my first semester.
I'll be graduating in a year and a half, and at that time my wife Cindy and I will decide whether to stay here in New Mexico or to move to a more vibrant economy. In the meantime, I've been enjoying membership in CSAR, and look forward to many more missions with my fellow members.
|Web News||by Watt's Gnu|
|Statewide SAR Notes||by Tom Russo|
|The new Garmin eTrex GPS receiver: A SAR geek's first impressions||by Tom Russo|
At a street price of about $120, the eTrex looks like a pretty good deal, especially since it's small and light. Powered by two AA cells, the eTrex is reportedly capable of about 22 hours of operation in "Battery Save" mode, which compares favorably to the 24 hours that the Garmin 12 is supposed to get out of four AA cells. In Battery Save mode the receiver is not on continuously, rather it cycles on and off. The eTrex is quite light, about five ounces with the batteries on board, and is considerably smaller than the other Garmin units. Like most new GPS handhelds, it has a 12-channel receiver, so the wait for an initial position fix is short --- 15 seconds was typical during the time I have played with mine.
Garmin's done a good job of positioning the controls on this unit. There are only five clearly labeled buttons on the side of the unit, right within reach of your fingers as you hold it. I can't say I ever objected to the front-panel controls of my Garmin 38, but I can see that I will quickly get the hang of this new layout.
Unlike the other Garmin units I have used, there is no single "data" page that shows position, heading, altitude, speed, trip odometer and time at a single glance. There is a page, the "pointer" page, where you can obtain all of this information, but only one of those pieces of information is visible at a time and you have to cycle through them with the "up" and "down" buttons.
On to the "Map Page" --- all of the Garmin units will plot a map of your current position, a record of your travel ("tracklog") and the location of programmed waypoints, and will optionally rotate the map to keep it oriented with your direction of travel. The eTrex is no exception (although the cute little animated stick figure walking at the current location is unique to the eTrex), and unlike the other units, you can't disable the tracklog (a very useful feature overlooked by many GPS users, who often leave it off all the time) but there is one important difference that took a bit of careful reading of the "advanced" user's guide to work around: there is no pan feature that lets you move the map around on the screen to view different parts at one scale. There is, however, an ability to plot a waypoint on the map if you go to the "Waypoints" page, select a waypoint and then select the "Map" option on the "review waypoints" screen. This will plot the waypoint on the map page and display that portion of your tracklog that fits at the current zoom level. I do think the Pan feature would be much easier to use when trying to get things done quickly in the field, but this somewhat obscure feature does the trick.
Moving on to the "Mark Waypoint" screen we get another cutesy feature: a little man holds a flag with a waypoint name on it, and a cartoon speech bubble holds the "OK" button. The UTM or LAT/LON of the current location appears at the bottom where you can edit it, and you can also select the waypoint name and edit it. Despite studying the simplistic, thirteen-page user's manual that came with the unit and the supposedly "advanced" (50 page) user's guide available for download at Garmin's website, I could not determine if it was possible to set "relative" waypoints on this unit, and it appears that this feature is unavailable. A relative waypoint, supported by all of the other Garmin units I have used, allows you set a waypoint based on a bearing and distance from another waypoint. This is a powerful feature that has a real place in search and rescue, and its omission from the eTrex software is a serious one for our purposes. I hope Garmin will eventually provide an update to correct this, even if it means they have to take out some cute graphics to make room for it in the program memory.
Fortunately, there is a way to the "Mark Waypoint" screen that doesn't involve navigating through a menu screen --- pressing and holding down the "Enter" button takes you there in one step.
The "Waypoint" screen allows you to select from your stored waypoints. This is one thing that is certainly improved over the older units. The eTrex provides a page with alphabetical tabs that list subsets of waypoints alphabetically, contrasting well against the inferior method used in the older units that only let you select from a single alphabetical list --- if you had lots of waypoints stored on one of these older rigs this was a real pain in the posterior aspect of the gluteus maximus. Highlighting a waypoint in the currently selected subset and pressing the "Enter" takes you to a "Review Waypoint" page that lets you delete, edit or map a specific waypoint. There is also an option on the "Waypoints" screen that allows you to call up a list of the waypoints nearest to your current location. All of these are useful and convenient features that won't take long to get used to.
On the "pointer" screen, you get a page that is similar to the pointer pages of other Garmin units: it indicates your current heading (as long as you are moving, of course), and the bearing to a selected waypoint, if "GOTO" has been activated. At the bottom of the page is a small box in which one piece of additional information can be displayed. By pressing the "up" and "down" buttons on the left side of the unit, you can page through important pieces of information like your current position, bearing to a selected waypoint, your current heading, and so forth. As I said before, I prefer the "one page fits all" version of the other Garmin units, but all this information is available here even though it takes a bit of button pressing. This is clearly just a matter of personal preference, and I'm sure others will disagree with me that this is an irritant. In fact, I might even change my mind after I spend enough time getting up close and personal with this rig.
As is essential for all use of GPS with a map of any flavor, it is possible to select the map datum and position format from a wide variety of common choices. It was easy to go to the "System" menu and select UTM/UPS and NAD83 before I even opened the manual, and it will be simple enough to change it when I have to use an older USGS map.
Lastly, Garmin has chosen to use a different data and power connector for the eTrex than they use on all the other units. This may mean that if incident management ever goes to a system where they try to download GPS data from field teams as they return, the eTrex might be unusable for them until the new data cable becomes commonplace. It also means that the cheap ($10) knock-off "pfranc" data connector that Mike Dugger described in his March feature article isn't an available option, and you'll have to fork out the $38 that Garmin charges for its own proprietary cable. Like they say, the great thing about standards is there's so many to choose from.
All in all, I'll probably keep the eTrex and use it when it seems adequate, but I'm not quite ready to toss the old Garmin 38 just yet. While the older unit is slow and heavy by comparison, I can easily envision a situation where this new unit's emphasis on ease of use over maximum functionality will cripple it for use in the field. And I'm probably not completely alone that I run the risk of bursting a blood vessel every time I see a grinning cartoon hiker mixed in with my useful information. I would also recommend that if you were looking at the eTrex to replace an older unit or as a first unit primarily for SAR use, that you might want to keep looking for a better deal on one of the more fully-featured handheld units. On the other hand, the eTrex is light and easy to use, and is a 12 channel unit, so it seems to be a good buy if you're looking for something that provides basic GPS functionality without much complication.
I'm sure none of the hams on Cibola SAR would neglect the FCC regulation that requires licensees to keep a current mailing address on file with the FCC. Before August this used to require that you complete a paper form and mail it with a copy of your operator's license. Between August and now it required that you use a modem to dial directly in to the FCC Wide Area Network, and the process was a real pain. But the FCC has just made it a bit quicker to do this with the implementation of on-line filing through the Universal Licensing System (ULS) on the Internet. If you received your licence after the ULS went on line (August 16th 1999), then you are already registered with ULS and should have received a licensee ID and password. To check if you're already registered, go to the ULS page and do a license search for your callsign. If it shows a licencee ID in the results, you're registered already. If not, you can go to the ULS web site at http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/uls and chose "ULS Registration." Unfortunately, the FCC has gone the way of most federal agencies, and you'll be required to provide your social security number. Once you have your ID and password you can choose "Callsign registration" and associate your callsign with your ID. This process need only be done the first time you interact with ULS. Thereafter you can submit administrative updates (e.g. address changes) using the "Online Filing" button. Your new address will be on file with FCC immediately, and you should have a new copy of your updated license in the mail within the week. This process requires the "US security" version of Netscape that can be obtained for free from Netscape.
It should be noted that the FCC requires you to be registered with ULS to do any business with the FCC related to your ham license, so going on-line and registering with ULS now is in your best interest. Once you're registered you can provide the Volunteer Examiners with your ULS ID instead of your social security number if you take upgrade exams, and if you move in the future you'll have one less change-of-address form to mail. -- submitted by Tom Russo
|Disclaimer and Copyright notice||the Editors|