Lost and Found... the newsletter of Volume 7, Issue 1
10 January 2002
Editors: Mike Dugger and Tom Russo

Cibola Search and Rescue
"That Others May Live..."
Top of the Hill Boots and Blisters Business as Usual:Meeting Minutes
Who's Who and New Coming Attractions Bronze Boot
Feature Article Web News Disclaimer/Copyright
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Top of the Hill by David Dixon , President
Welcome back to another year in search and rescue. I hope you all had a great holiday.

I would first like to thank all of you who encouraged me to do this position and for giving me the opportunity to be President. I look forward to the challenge with the hope that I can live up to the team's expectations. Secondly, I would like to thank last year's officers for all the hard work they did for the team. I saw firsthand the efforts they put into their positions to keep Cibola running smoothly. It was great working with all of them and I salute them for a great year. I in turn look forward to working with new officers. I know from our first meeting that they are eager to serve and do their best to make 2002 another great year for us.

At our first meeting the officers established primary goals this year of team unity and participation. As I have said in the past we are much more than missions. Yes, that's why we're all in search and rescue, and it would be great to be able to have more, but that's the one area we can't control. We can control the type of team we are though, how we work together, treat each other and look to others. This takes everyone doing positive things for Cibola with all members in some way contributing to these goals. In fact, what a great time for some new year's resolutions - call them personal goals that also help the team! I'm eager to offer some suggestions:

Obviously there's a lot to do. Let's all help unify and participate to continue to make this the great team that it is.

I would like to end with a special thank you to ex-Treasurer and now ex-member Brian Lematta. Brian's work schedule forced him to move on but his time with us will not be forgotten. In addition to managing our finances last year he also corrected via many legal hours a necessary change in our operational structure. Cibola is very grateful for the time and hours he gave us. Good luck Brian.

Good searching and rescuing to us all.

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Boots and Blisters by Aaron Hall, Training Officer
I'd like to applaud everyone who came out for our first ever Night Litter Handling Training in December. This was a scenario-based training. We had a subject (Mickey Jojola) and his dog (Jake) waiting approximately 1 mile from the trailhead with a simulated back injury. The rescue team was given the assignment of transporting the litter and the gear to the subject, packaging the subject, and bringing him out in the litter. We assembled the litter and wheel, placed the gear in it, and hauled it to the subject. After packaging Mickey using the Evac-u-splint, we hauled him out.

Lessons learned: First, assembling the litter and using it to haul the gear is a good way to get the gear to the subject. Second, the Evac-u-splint is more difficult to use in the cold. We found that it was stiffer and more difficult to smooth out and that the vacuum pump was difficult to attach. Third, the subject still needs insulation when packaged in the Evac-u-splint. Fourth, someone must comfort and control the dog (Jake was very concerned about his owner).

Our next training will be Land Navigation on Saturday January 12 at 9:00am. The location will be the Embudito trailhead. I chose this trailhead because we have never done a training there before. Its near the East end of Montgomery, but you'll have to follow the directions on the hotline to find it. I had never been there before our last mission, and I admit, I had trouble finding it. The training will cover map and compass skills, terrain identification, and navigation of a compass course. It will be a great opportunity to brush up on your skills for the next Land Navigation Evaluation on Sat. February the 23rd.

Our next regular evaluation will be Litter Handling on Sunday, January 27th, at 9:00 am. The location will be the Embudo trailhead at the East End of Indian School. Because we have a lot of members who are NFC (and because we want to see all of you in the field) there will be at least one extra evaluation this month. Joyce has volunteered to conduct a search techniques evaluation (Thanks Joyce!) on January 20th, time and location to be announced, call the hotline or e-mail me for more info.

One other note about trainings and evals: I'm changing the eval / training schedule a bit. In the past we have done evals the first weekend of the month, and trainings the weekend following the meeting. This year we will typically have trainings the weekend after the meeting, and evals the last weekend of the month. This arrangement allows us to have a weekend without a scheduled SAR event between each scheduled event.

Looking toward the future: February's training will be our annual winter skills training / winter bivy on the weekend of the 9th. Be thinking about your winter gear, you'll need it to stay warm. I'd like to do the bivy someplace other than the Sandias. I'm thinking about Santa Fe or Mt. Taylor. Any suggestions?

Plea for help: I need all the help I can get with training and evaluations. If you would like to conduct a training and / or an eval please let me know. I'll help you get all set up. Also if you would like to conduct a pre-meeting training let me know right now all the slots are open.


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Business as Usual:Meeting Minutes by Jeff Phillips, (former Secretary)

Minutes of 08 Decmber, 2001 Business Meeting and Christmas Party

Members Attending

Several. Exact number and names unsure due to lack of 211 Form.

President's Report

Tom opened the meeting at 1740 with "how-dos" and proceeded on to awards. For "Fastest To Active" or "Rookie of the Year" Adam Hernandez was awarded. Aaron Hall and Art Fischer shared the "Highest Mission Attendance" Award. Mike Dugger was awarded "Highest Training Attendance". Finally, Paul Donovan was awarded the "Outstanding Service Award"

Treasurer's Report

Brian reported income, expense and net worth and then announced his resignation from the team.

New Training Officer's Report

The Saturday 12-15-01 training on Evening Litter Handling at Embudo was announced.

New Business

Elections results were tallied by Mickey Jojola and Mike Dugger. President - Dave Dixon, Vice President/Training Officer - Aaron Hall, Treasurer - Art Fischer, Membership Officer - Steve Buckley and Secretary - Joyce Rumschlag.

New President Dave Dixon closed the business meeting at 1755.

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Who's Who and New by Steven Buckley, Membership Officer
I'll start of by wishing you all a "Happy New Year!" Thanks for electing me as the Membership officer. Let me take a few moments to outline my approach to this job.

As I see it, I have two customers. The first is you, the membership of Cibola SAR. In this role I will keep track of everyone's participation history and update the Website database on your certification and training status. Please review your membership data and make sure it is accurate. If you see a problem, please E-mail me and I will work the issue.

I will try send you an E-mail or call you on the phone if you are getting ready to go NFC (Not Field Certified) or have some other membership issue. There are several key members that went NFC this month. Most need a Liter Eval and there is conveniently one scheduled for this month. Please make an effort to get this done so I can go back to being a good cop versus bad cop. We need you on missions!

Remember, it is your responsibility to meet minimum participation standards.

My other customers are the subjects that we serve on missions. The downside of this job is I have to notify members when they fail to meet Cibola participation guidelines and go NFC. To remain field ready and available for missions all members must attend a minimum of 2 trainings every 6 months and pass the 3 field certifications in the calendar year. This is the minimum requirement for members and I will enforce this standard. I understand that Cibola is a volunteer organization, but I feel that training is critical to providing quality service to the subjects of our missions and with 4 evaluations for each certification throughout the year and a great training every month, staying mission ready shouldn't be hard.

Finally I want to say goodbye to two Cibola volunteers. Erik Aspelin resigned a few weeks ago. I am sure you all join me in thanking Erik for his support of our team and wish him well in his future endeavors. Michael Bridges moved on to other interests. I want to thank him for his interest and wish him well in the future too.

I am here to help, please let me know what you need.

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Coming Attractions by Tom Russo
Welcome to the seventh volume of Cibola Search and Rescue's newsletter, Lost... and Found. The newsletter was established late in 1996 under the administration of then-president Mike Dugger. It's original intent was to be the mechanism for communicating monthly information to the team; until that point you got updates on all manner of things on separate slips of paper on the table in the back of the room, and if you missed a meeting you missed the updates.

It wasn't long after that that the newsletter started containing interesting feature articles and minilessons. But somewhere along the line folks stopped being interested in writing such things, and the newsletter got bare. Let's make this volume the one where we get interesting again. Steve Buckley has written a feature article for this issue, and Joyce Rumschlag is working on a mini-lesson on CISM for the next one. Let's follow their example and write about subjects near and dear to our hearts.

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Bronze Boot by David Dixon
Frances Robertson knew what she needed to do - attend December's litter training to stay active. She wasn't going to lose her membership over a little ol' cast. So despite a hobbled arm (and I'm sure some extra pain) she was right there in the cold and dark with the rest of us, helping tie in and then hauling the litter out with her good arm. Now that's dedication!

The Bronze Boot Award is back and given this month to Frances Robertson for duty above and beyond medical problems. Congratulations Frances for staying with it and with us!

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Web News by Theris Nonuz

The team website can be accessed at http://www.cibolasar.org/
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THIS HAPPENED TO ME - IT REALLY DID! by Steven Buckley
The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

The time was September 1977 and I was stationed with a combat engineer unit in Alaska. We were at our annual glacier training at the Ekluta Glacier about 30 miles northeast of Anchorage. This was a great time for me as I finally got to do the formal mountain training I went to Alaska to do. This is the first time I got to rappel, practice crevasse evacuation, build a suspension bridge over the raging, silt-filled, river that came from under the glacier (and throw the lieutenant in after the bridge was finished--we did tie a rope to him to fish him out).

One thing that we got to do that was pretty interesting was climbing a scree slope to check off the "Scree Training" part of the syllabus. This slope was pretty impressive. It was something like 1000 feet high and displayed the typical differentiation of rock size by location. The lowest part of this slope was composed of talus (fist sized and larger) the upper of scree (smaller than fist sized). The first part of the talus slope was composed of beach ball sized rocks. The rock diameter slowly got smaller until we hit the talus/scree boundary about several hundred feet up the slope.

Our party was composed of two NCOs who were conducting the training and about 15 guys from the 1st platoon led by our lieutenant. We also had a senior sergeant with us who in charge of the mess (that's Army talk for food) tent. The mess sergeant's young son was accompanying us (unauthorized; the Army takes a dim view on treating training like a family outing--more on this later).

We steadily climbed up the slope. Some of you may find this hard to believe, but I out climbed everyone and I arrived at the top of the scree slope about 15 feet ahead of the competition. This "summit" party was composed of the mess sergeant and his son, a junior NCO, a friend of mine, a private, and myself. The top of the scree slope can best be described as a pointed cone of sand piled against the rock wall. The rock wall continued at least 1000 feet above this location. There were marble-sized rocks zinging by every second or so. I remember being surprised by these flying rocks even though I was standing on a huge pile of them (I said I was in good shape, I didn't say anything about being smart.) Of course, we had left our steel pots (Army talk for helmets) in our tents. Hey, those things are heavy! (Lesson #1: The easy course is not always the best course.) My equipment consisted of an ice axe (I still carry one while hiking), mountain boots, a standard Alaskan Army uniform (think thick wool shirts not BDUs), pocket stuff (knives, matches, etc.), and a balaclava. I figured that the zingers were not too much of a concern since the balaclava provided some protection and the only real concern was that one might "take an eye out".

The advance party that I mentioned were at the very top of the scree (where else would we be?) watching the lieutenant and the rest of the slackers -- I mean troops -- move up to the edge of the scree about 30 feet from the scree summit. The training sergeant was in the center of the scree slope about 100 feet below my position. The other training NCO was with a single straggler about 500 feet below us.

Listen up folks because here comes the moral of the story.

The training sergeant was upset that this guy was so far behind and that his lack of performance was tying up his training assistant. The training sergeant started yelling at these guys in order to find out what was wrong and get their status (Lesson #2: Don't make excess noise on a scree slope, really, don't!) We noticed that the zingers started coming by at two per second, three, four, a dozen -- the lieutenant, training sergeant, and the rest of the team took cover under a 10-foot overhang about 30 feet from our location. The "summit" team hunkered down against a 3-foot vertical rock wall at the scree summit. The zingers became golf ball sized, softball, volley ball, beach ball (no doubt on their way to the base of the scree slope to be with the rest of their kind). I didn't get really scared until the sound of the falling rock took on an ominous deep, loud rumble.

Observers in the valley later stated that these rocks were the size of cars! I tried to become one with the rock, and almost succeeded. The private was 3 feet behind me in the direction of the rest of the platoon, the junior NCO was a foot to my left (I remember being mad because he was doing a better job of "becoming one with the rock" than I was), the kid was two foot beyond him with his dad about a foot beyond him. My friend was still a few feet below the rock wall (not for long, he flew up the slope to the mostly imaginary protection of this 3-foot wall). I spent several nanoseconds wishing desperately for my helmet. I realized that I never had to wonder what being in an artillery barrage was like (take cover, pray, hope there was no rock/round with your name on it, wait it out).

I noticed the kid was exposed. I yelled at the junior NCO to pull the kid towards us and give him some cover. He didn't seem to hear me (rock slides tend to be noisy). I attempted to move around him and got whacked in the back with a fist-sized rock (talus you know). I decided the kid was only going to get moral support from me after that rock strike. The mess sergeant looked up and saw a rock coming. He threw himself on his son (earning a Soldiers Medal he would never get -- Army training and family don't mix, officially). My friend threw his arm up to fend off the rock (breaking it in three places). The rock careened off of his arm and whacked the mess sergeant in the head (fracturing his skull and blocking the rock that would have killed his son). The lieutenant yelled "somebody's bought it". The rocks continued to be influenced by gravity, bouncing of off a little ledge at the top of the 3-foot wall we were crouching by. The rumbling slowly died off. We all came up for air and the lieutenant ordered us to evacuate the slope. The private launched himself into the air and landed at least 20 feet down the slope (the kid learned to fly!) His next jump only took him about 15 feet. He continued down the slope in big bounds. The mess sergeant policed up his kid and headed down the slope, bleeding from his head wound. My friend headed down the slope in short steps holding his arm like it hurt.

About half way down the slope we stopped to access the wounded. Of the "summit" team, we took one fractured skull, one broken arm, a big bruise and shallow cut (normally not a problem but it was on my back!), a couple of welts (on the other guys), and an undamaged kid. We should have had several deaths but we were obviously in the hands of a higher power. The wounded were evacuated out by helicopter. The pilots felt a compelling need to chase mountain goats on the way to the hospital.

I know this is a long story but let's review the bidding. A good climbing helmet costs about $50. What's your head worth? Don't yell while standing under rotten rock. It's just not safe. Climb safe! Back to Top
Disclaimer and Copyright notice the Editors
The contents of this newsletter are copyright © 2001 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. TML>