|Top of the Hill||Boots and Blisters||Business as Usual:Meeting Minutes|
|Who's Who and New||Mini Lesson||Feature Article|
| Recent Missions
|| Callout Information
|Top of the Hill||by David Dixon , President|
Cibola is proud to turn over James to the state. We all know he'll do a great job because we also know that it's his enthusiasm that got him there. He'll tell you though that he's got a lot of listenin', writin', learnin' and talkin' to do. On the other hand this means that James will be leaving and it's time for me to again put together some thoughts on a member's time with us. In his case it's a little easier knowing that he'll still be around in SAR.
James spent over three and a half years with Cibola - the whole time as a great, hard-working member. He served for a time as Gear Chair and last year as Training Officer. It was always great to work with him on trainings, evals or missions - or for me as a fellow officer. His easy-going and open-minded style served him well with us and should also with the state. (Although sometimes he'll need to show his assertive side as we also know he can do). I used the following description for another member who left us last year and it's obviously very appropriate to apply it to James - he became the quality, field ready member this organization strives to produce and have the SAR community see. Cibola SAR says congratulations to you James and good luck, as you'll definitely need some of that too. Finally, since he kept saying "call me, really, call me" - don't worry, we will, and often.
Cibola Search and Rescue also extends our best wishes to Rick Goodman on his departure. Since he'll be running the state ICS Trainings we know we'll also see him around. I, for one, am hoping for more SC classes. (Are you listening James?)
Good searching - at least we all had a few more chances to do so this month!
|Boots and Blisters||by Aaron Hall, Training Officer|
May began with the annual ESCAPE conference sponsored by NMESC at Philmont Scout Ranch. Teams from across the state attended the conference. Cibola SAR was well represented with eleven people from the team in attendance. The conference sessions were good and the weather at Philmont was beautiful. Four people passed their Ham radio license exam (Aaron Hall, Jennifer Dellinger, Tony Gaier, and Steve Buckley), and one person passed the PACE exam (Jennifer Dellinger). James Newberry was announced as the new Search and Rescue Resource Officer for the State of New Mexico. James will replace Rick Goodman as the State SAR Resource Officer. Way to go James!
The next training opportunity in May is the Airport Disaster Drill on Tuesday, May the 21st. The disaster drill is an Emergency Services exercise that will be held at the Sunport. A mass casualty disaster involving an airplane will be simulated and the Albuquerque Emergency Services and hospitals will be asked to deal with the disaster. Volunteers are needed to participate as injured subjects (they are still looking for about 30 additional subjects) and "meeters and greeters" (people who show up at the airport to meet family and friends who are on the plane). Injured subjects will be moulaged (extensive make-up to simulate injuries) and their simulated injuries will be treated by emergency personnel. The drill will take all day on Tuesday. Contact me (Aaron Hall) or Bruce Berry for more information (contact me for Bruce's phone number and email address).
Bruce Berry is also looking for several volunteers to assist with the moulaging for the disaster drill. A three hour training is required, and this will take place on Wednesday, May 15th at 1pm. Volunteers will be taught how to apply the make-up to make the simulated injuries look realistic. The moulaging itself will take several hours on the day of the drill, beginning at 7am. Contact Bruce Berry for more information.
May's evaluation will be Land Navigation on Sunday the 19th at 9:00 am at the Bear Canyon Trailhead on the East end of Spain. Please leave a message on the hotline if you plan to attend. Also, bring some sunscreen, you'll spend most of the morning hiking in Bear Canyon during this evaluation, and its prime sunburn time.
June's evaluation will be Search Techniques on Saturday the 22nd at 9:00
am at the Embudo Trailhead on the East end of Indian School. June's
training will be on the Saturday the 8th at 9:00 am at the Elena
Gallegos Trailhead and will cover Hasty Search and Sound Detection.
Please bring any sound generating device that you think you might
reasonably carry on a Mission (no tubas). I'd like for us to spread out
and test them to help determine which sounds can be heard well. Also,
bring a mountain bike (to facillitate spreading out)and a radio if you
|Hike of the Month||Loop hike in the Sandias||0800, May 18, 2002|
|Trailhead: Cienega Picnic area - west end|
|R.T. Distance: 12-13 miles||Elevation Min/Max: 7514/9440|
|Hiking Time 5-6 hours||Hazards: cougars and bears on lower Faulty in A.M. Footing on trail on some parts.|
|Topo Maps: Sandia Crest|
|Hike Coordinator: Joyce Rumschlag|
|Business as Usual:Meeting Minutes||by Joyce Rumschlag, Secretary|
Pre-meeting mini lesson was presented by Frances Robertson. Frances had demonstrated how we could make our own backpack food just but dehydrating prepared foods. She had samples of some meats and fruits she had done previously.
David Dixon called the meeting to order at 1920 with the introduction of officers and then the general attendance. Discussion of reimbursement for CE's need for WFR was resumed from previous meeting.It was voted on by the membership 13 to 0 to reimburse half the cost up to $75 per person up to a team maximum of $1000.
In Aaron's absence, David reiterated the upcoming schedule of training and evaluating events. ESCAPE forms were available and must be in by April 15, or pay $5 more for registration and risk not having a wide choice of accommodations. The team will reimburse attending members up to $50 to a team maximum of $1000. Bring receipts to the next meeting. Pre-meeting lesson next month will be pack check. Bring your pack ready to be inspected.
Art Fischer announced a budget committee meeting at his house on April 29, 2002 at 1900 hrs. The team received a Thank you card from a recent subject. United Way sent Cibola a check for $529.
Stephen Buckley reported that the team now has two members: Stephen Teller and David Chapek. Six people passed the PACE exam last week. Committee members working on the Member's Guide please reply by e-mail that you have/have-not received you guide and advise of any changes you feel necessary. Items needing discussion include by laws and gear list.
Gary Williams and Bruce Berry would be receiving Cibola's Newsletter with the final page of members in tact. This page is removed when newsletters are generally sent out.
Tony Gaier has "whatever you need" See him after the meeting. We discussed whether or not to move the gear to the alternate site at Frost Road. For the time being we'll keep it where it is with Stephen Buckley visiting the cache on a weekly basis when he can so we have a presence at the fire station.
No meeting this month.
|Who's Who and New||by Steven Buckley, Membership Officer|
We received several new E-mail contacts this month but had no new prospective members.
On another note, I accepted the resignation E-mail of James Newberry today. Normally, this would have been the textbook definition of "a bad day!" Instead it was the first sign of a new beginning for New Mexico SAR and the subjects that we serve. In the two years that I knew James as a fellow team member, I came to consider him one of the finest men on our team (no small praise given the quality of this team) as well as a good friend. The dominant characteristics I noticed in James were his willingness to help wherever needed and his down-to-earth common sense. Both of these traits will serve the State of New Mexico very well. James was a competent team member, a dedicated officer willing to "go the extra mile" to help keep the team in top form, a tireless contributor on a mission, and a friend to all on the team. I don't know what else to say to James other than thanks from the team, congrats, and I hope to see you monitoring a mission once and awhile.
I still need mentors. Please E-mail me if you are willing to serve. I have completed the first iteration of the Member's Guide and got comments from several members of the committee. I am almost ready to consolidate all the comments and run it by the committee.
|Mini Lesson: CISM, Part 3: Be Prepared||by Joyce Rumschlag|
We get called on at any hour of any day. We may be 1022'd halfway out the door or end up spending the night tied in on the side of a mountain. We have seen lost kids reunited with their families and have found lost skiers who were not. All of this effects us.
Rarely do we come home from a mission and say : "I wouldn't have changed a thing with the way the mission was run." Conversations about what we weren't happy with can be helpful. That may be a good thing if we use it as a learning experience.
But what prepared us to find a subject that hasn't made it? Most of us are hopeful that the team we are on will make the find, but we rarely are. But what happens when we are on the team that has found a permanently unresponsive subject? I guarantee you that everyone on that team will have a different reaction all the way from "I'm just doing my job" to "This one really got to me".
There is no right or wrong response since these are our emotions. Who we are and what our life's experiences have been determine how we will react and when we will react. I've talked to people who seemingly were unaffected by a situation only to have problems years later. That's why we do interventions. Debriefings are done 24 to 72 hours after a critical incident. Defusing are done on scene. Even if you think that you're not going to have a problem after a critical incident, and a debriefing is called, please go. Your take on the situation will help fill in the blanks for other team members so that a total picture can be formed. Your presence alone can help someone right away and may help you down the road.
Next month: The big one
|Web News||by Tom Russo|
As I have promised for ages, I'm completely rewriting the scripts that handle all of our member, mission, certification, training and Continuing Education databases at the website. The current programs that handle this stuff comprise over 12,000 lines of Perl 4 code. Much of that bloat is due to what Larry Wall (the author of the Perl language) refers to as "false laziness" --- over the years I have added new functions by cutting-and-pasting code for old functions and tweaking them, without doing the real work of making reusable, maintainable generic functions. I'm making up for that, and have part of the member information database scripts rewritten in object oriented Perl 5.
The good news on this is that the code should have fewer bugs when I'm finished. In fact, just this week I managed to find a solution to an annoying problem in the old newsletter handling scripts as I rewrote parts of the security software, and was able to incorporate my new stuff into the old programs so members should encounter fewer problems as they submit newsletter articles. Maybe they'll submit more of them.
The better news is that there has never been a better time for someone so inclined to get in on the maintenance of the website. I inherited the old scripts a long time ago, learned how they worked, changed them, learned how to extend them, and in the end have the software equivalent of Fibber McGee's hall closet. As I rebuild the thing from the ground up, there is a lot of opportunity for a hacker-minded person to learn the ropes without having to plough through a ton of legacy code. I have had one person express interest in getting in on this, and another suggest that it would be an interesting thing to spend the 26th and 27th hour of the day on. Anyone else feel like getting down-and-dirty with Perl, SQL, HTML, CGI and Unix?
The bad news, of course, is that from time to time I'll be breaking things. I'm trying to minimize these occasions by working on the new stuff without touching the old stuff, but in the case I described in the last paragraph that was not possible. If you encounter something on the website that worked yesterday and doesn't work today, you may be trying to access it while I'm debugging something. If the problem doesn't go away in a half hour or so, please contact me.
The worse news, of course, is that if I do this right I'll take several weeks or months of programming effort, and when I'm done you won't be able to tell the difference.
The team website can be accessed at http://www.cibolasar.org/
|SAR Cutting Tools||by Steven Buckley|
The debate over the exact meaning of the items on our gear list got me thinking about the types of knives best suited for SAR operations. Let me start by saying that there is no ideal knife for SAR. The choice you make will suite your requirements and will be based on factors like cost, intended use, availability, etc. I decided to approach the subject of SAR knives from a functional standpoint.
Knives are used for cutting. Cutting can be categorized as slicing, chopping, gouging, and chipping. Slicing includes chores such as opening food packages and cutting line, chopping includes cutting through branches and cutting steps in snow and ice, gouging is using the point to remove material using a prying motion, and chipping is using the point to chop.
SAR knives are predominately used for slicing. This is why I have been allowing any knife to qualify during orientations. A very small knife (one to two inch blade) can do most of the SAR slicing chores. It can't realistically do any chopping (too light), gouging (too weak), or chipping (too light and too weak). It will handle 95% of all cutting tasks that we are likely to encounter on a mission but it might be a little inappropriate for tasks such as cutting through a climbing rope.
A larger folding knife with a three to four inch blade is ideal to accomplish all of the SAR slicing functions. I like a knife that has a single blade at least three inches long, has an edge that includes a small serrated section combined with a conventional edge, has some belly (curve) in the conventional edge, and has a sharp point. A light-weight synthetic handle is a plus and a locking blade for safety is a must. Features such as clips and lanyard holes are up to individual taste. The blade steel should be a cutlery-grade steel such as 440 stainless or one of the exotic alloys such as AUS-34. Ceramic blade knives should be avoided as they are too brittle to be dependable. You can purchase a quality knife of this type for $20-$50. If you want a cheaper knife, handyman knifes with these characteristics can be found in building supply stores for $10-$20. Knives that cost under $10 may be suitable but should be carefully selected for quality.
Looking back on my SAR experience, all of my cutting tasks have been handled using one of my single-bladed folding knives. On the other hand, I carry 3-4 knives on SAR missions. The primary knives that I carry are a Benchmade Ascent folding knife and a Victorinox Clasic Swiss Army Knife. These are the same knives I carry in my everyday activities. The Ascent has a three-inch AUS-34 blade with an epoxy coating for weather resistance. It has a hole in the blade for one-handed opening and a pocket clip. The Classic does have a small blade, which is great for trimming nails and cutting line, but I find that the scissors and tweezers are the tools I use on the Classic most. These two knives are the only knives I have needed on SAR missions. I also carry two non-folding knives on SAR missions. One is a CRK Straight KISS that I bought at ESCAPE two years ago. It is intended as a back-up to my Ascent and has never been used but is light enough to throw in the pack and forget it until it is needed. The other knife is a Cold Steel SRK with an epoxy coated six-inch blade.
Before I go on let's discuss the characteristics that a SAR straight knife (non-folding) should have. Personally, I am a fan of straight knives. Straight knives offer many advantages such as ease of use (they are always ready to cut without reconfiguring such as un-folding), strength, and durability. They are clearly the choice for some of the tougher SAR jobs such as chopping branches and small trees to make expedient items such as splints and chopping steps in snow and ice. Larger knives are examples of SAR tools that you might never use but will be glad that you have it should the need arise. I am not advocating that everyone carry a larger straight knife on missions. This class of SAR knives is of limited use on normal missions and should only be carried by someone who is willing to carry a little extra weight "just in case". If you do choose to carry a large knife to cover the chopping, gouging, and chipping chores, it should have a four to six inch blade, be strongly made, and have a stout sheath (preferably of metal or synthetic) for safety. If you carry a straight knife in your pack, make sure that a fall won't drive the point through the sheath and into something important like your rain parka or your back.
No discussion of SAR knives is complete without talking about how to care for your knives. The most important maintenance activity is keeping it sharp. There are many ways to keep a knife sharp such as sharpening stones, sharpening steels, and ceramic rods. There are specialized powered sharpening devices as well. Most SAR knives are best maintained with a sharpening stone or one of the specialized sharpening rods. I use a diamond impregnated ceramic rod with a triangular cross section. This rod has one edge that is very rounded, another that had a slightly curved corner, and a sharp corner. The rounded corners are shaped to sharpen standard serrated edges and work great. The flat surfaces of the rod are used to sharpen the conventional edge of the knife. The most important requirement in sharpening your knife is to keep the angle of the abrasive sharpening surface with respect to the edge constant. This ensures that the edge is restored and not modified or rounded. A sharpening angle of 25 degrees is about right for a general use blade. A blade used for finer cutting may use a 20-degree angle and a chopping blade may use a 30-degree angle. The edge can be course ground to restore it after heavy cutting and a ceramic sharpener can be used to give it a final polish. Your knife should also be kept clean and lubricated.
Next time we will talk about the multi-tool and its SAR applications.
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