|Top of the Hill||Boots and Blisters||Who's Who and New|
|Gearing Up||Coming Attractions||On the Right Track|
|Public Relations||NMESC Notes||Web News|
|Top of the Hill||by Larry Mervine|
It was reported last business meeting that the PR committee has elected to promote recruitment as their main focus. We lost a number of active member to other states. And some members left because their job commitment would not allow them the needed time to be active as Cibola members. We also have team members who are active in SAR activities outside of Cibola Search and Rescue. We have a member who was appointed to the SAR review board. One member is the chair-person for NMESC (New Mexico Emergency Services Council). We have two members who are PACE evaluators. The state certifications we all have taken. We also have one FC (field coordinator) and a few sections chiefs. These last two activities are part of ICS (incident command system); all searches in New Mexico are run by ICS.
To maintain our active SAR role in New Mexico search and Rescue and to increase mission attendence we need to recruit new members. If you see someone you do not know, introduce yourself and welcome them to our team.
See you out there.
|Boots and Blisters||by Mike Dugger|
The land navigation evaluation was attended by Mary B., Jason M., and Don E. Gibson. Steve M. attended as an observer (always welcome), and Larry M. and Mike D. set up and conducted the evaluation. Unlike our last training on this topic where almost everyone had trouble identifying terrain features, the participants in this month's evaluation had no trouble with resectioning to locate their position on a map. This time, maps were provided that had the immeidate vicinity of the target location blocked out, so that it was difficult to use roads, trails, etc. to help locate position. Despite this, all the participants located their position to within 100 meters of the location determined by the evaluators. This "actual" position was determined by resectioning with many points, as well as verification by GPS with a long averaging cycle to help minimize selective availability errors. Participants also had no trouble following bearings between six points in the field. The one area that people had difficulty with this time was estimating distance between the points. This was included in the standard as an important skill, however, we rarely need to accurately estimate such short distances on a real mission. A couple of the participants had to repeat this part of the excercise to determine the distances to within 25% of the actual distance (measured with a rolling tape), per our standard. Their being such good sports about repeating this part of the excercise is greatly appreciated! They all passed, and their evaluation documentation has been entered in the team archive. The fact that the standard has caused us to think more carefully about distances when we are in the field is a good thing. The present requirement is a bit artificial, though, compared to needs on a mission. We should probably have another look at this part of the standard, to see if we can come up with a better way of doing it that looks more like the real thing. This is all part of the fine tuning we knew would be required when we decided to implement the standard. If you have any suggestions, please speak up!
Since I have heard a few questions about it, I thought I would remind everyone that all the documentation pertaining to standards is available on the team web page (and, by the way, they have been since the first time we conducted each evaluation). This includes instructions for evaluators to use in conducting the evaluation, and the checklists used during the evaluation to document the demonstration of skills. Many training handouts and additional resources are available too, to help members master our minimum skill set. And yes, it is obvious that not everyone has access to the web. Everyone DOES get a newsletter, though, and will be assured by reading this article that one of the editors or evaluators would be delighted to provide them with a hard copy of any documents they wish to have from the team web site.
The litter training began right after the evaluation. Several more members came out for this training, and everyone got a chance to practise all parts of the packaging and hauling techniques. Practise makes perfect, and our general level of proficiency on ALL the skills in the standard has increased dramatically from just one year ago.
|by Larry Mervine|
|Oct 9th||Rick Goodman (standards, insurance, Liability and questions)|
|Dec. 10||Clue Awareness|
|Who's Who and New||by Mickey Jojola|
|Gearing Up||by Mike Dugger|
I already keep in supply things like trail tape and AA batteries. If you have any other suggestions for SAR-specific "consummable" gear that the team should provide to its members, please let me know.
|Coming Attractions||by Tom Russo|
|Public Relations||by Susan Corban|
While recruitment is our priority, we've been contacted to give educational presentations at several schools and community organizations. Mary Berry was the guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club breakfast meeting on September 3rd. We will actively pursue more educational programs once our recruitment task has succeeded in building the team roster. Thanks to David Dixon, Don Gibson, Larry Mervine, Tom Russo and Melissa Smith, for pitching in with PR committee work.
|On the Right Track||by Mary Berry|
One of the primary problems is that the search area is 160 acres, with a time limit of 4 hours. The canine unit has found that, in our typical terrain, it is not possible to cover the area in that amount of time without having significant "holes". Also, if the dog indicates scent in an area, but then loses it, there is not enough time to thoroughly re-cover that area.
Another problem has been that it is IMPOSSIBLE to find a 160-acre area that is uncontaminated with other human scent, ie. Innocent bystanders such as hikers, mountain bikers, etc. For an air-scent dog, the search area really needs to be free of all human scent except for the subject.
So, as a result, rather than increasing the testing time, we decided to try decreasing the search area. On Sunday, August 30, we tried a "mock" test for Mickey and "Jake", using a 40 acre testing area. We drove down David Canyon all the way to the Isleta Indian Reservation boundary line to hopefully be far enough away from any other people. Mickey and "Jake" did fantastic, finding the subject in only 15 minutes. In some ways, this was a bad thing, as it didn't give "Jake" the long training problem we had planned. "Jake" was partly able to do such a fast job because of the search plan that Mickey used (good search plan!) After the find was made, we decided to continue searching the area as if the dog were still working. The search area was very dense in some areas with Scrub Oak, and a moderately steep hill was in the center of the area. We found that we covered the area pretty well, with a few small "holes" in 2 hours.
To further evaluate, we plan to do the same exercise in a few other areas before changing the standard. For now, it looks like we will not only be reducing the search area, but also the search time from 4 hours to 3 (?)
After the search problem exercise, we went out to breakfast at the Ponderosa restaurant. Special thanks to new prospective members Steve Meserole, for hiding for Mickey and "Jake", and Terri Prichtel for joining us. Anyone is always welcome to come with us on trainings!!!
Mickey and I are still tentatively planning to have our annual fall retreat. A date has not yet been set. We would like to do it, but won't if it's just the two of us. Anyone interested???
|Web News||by Tom Russo|
Instructors: if you wish to develop a training handout for trainings you wish to lead, I can help you turn it into a web resource. This has the advantages of making the handout available before you go out and Xerox it, possibly decreasing the number of copies you have to make, makes it part of the team's training archive, and it looks neat, too.
Remember to check out our "Other Interesting Web Sites" page now and then. There are some great links to other teams, especially those with training resources. David Dixon has been looking around for some more sites, so look for this page to grow soon.
|NMESC Notes||by Nancy O'Neill|
The Mock Search at Philmont on September 19th and 20th is still on. There will also be a PACE Evaluation happening on Saturday; for more information on this, call the PACE hotline at 505-388-5493. Kay Sinclair is still taking reservations for the Mock Search, so if you'd like to see Northern NM at its best, call her between the hours of 9am-9pm; contact me or Mickey if you need her phone number.