|Top of the Hill||Boots and Blisters||Business as Usual|
|Who's Who and New||Gearing Up||Public Relations|
|Feature Article||Web News||Disclaimer/Copyright|
| Recent Missions
|| Callout Information
|Top of the Hill||by Larry Mervine|
Another old Cibola team tradition is that you should keep your pack with you at all times, no matter how short the assignment.
See you out there!
|Boots and Blisters||by Tom Russo|
From all accounts I've gotten so far, this was a successful mock search. All teams got to participate in the type of assignments they might be called upon to work on a real mission, we got to work on many of the techniques we've trained on so often in the past few years, and we got to work with a lot of our collegues in the New Mexico SAR community. And most importantly, we all got out there and helped find and retrieve our lost subject quickly while still keeping ourselves safe. (The simulated injuries and illnesses of team members that I threw in to give the WFRs something to practice on don't count as not staying safe!)
I will talk at length at this month's meeting about how it all came together and about some of the minor glitches that either point to things we can do better or to typical "snafus" we might realistically encounter on real missions. I hope we can have some fruitful discussions about the things we learned about this mock mission, and that we can use it to concentrate some of our future efforts on honing our abilities to perform well under imperfect conditions.
If you want to read more details about the mock search, see our "training debrief" web page at http://www.cibolasar.org/training_debriefs/000715.shtml. If you have feedback you'd like included there, please pass it to me and I'll put it on that web page.
August's training will be a summer bivy at Williams Lake on Saturday and Sunday, August 12th and 13th. Paul Donovan will have details for us at the team meeting. Paul will also lead a discussion of survival techniques such as water procurement and treatment and lightning awareness. Paul would like to leave town by 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. Information on a muster location will be on the voicemail by Friday.
While I did announce in June a training schedule that I claimed avoided all
major holidays, I did apparently miss one. The litter evaluation for October
was originally scheduled for the weekend of Columbus Day. I have updated the
training schedule and moved that litter evaluation to the weekend after our
October training; October's eval will be on 21 October instead. I apologize
for not catching that before publishing the table back in June.
|Business as Usual||from minutes by Nancy O'Neill|
There is one new member present, Shannon Lumpkin, who heard about Cibola from the WFR class at UNM and from posters at Mountains and Rivers.
Nancy O'Neill has been named CE coordinator.
Last week's litter eval was cancelled due not enough people needed to do this eval. He needed 6 people and only 5 were signed up on the previous Friday night.
October is the last chance for a litter eval. There will be a litter handling training the month before.
12-13 August is the Williams Lake bivvy, headed up by Paul Donovan. Basic survival skills such as water procurement will be practiced.
Pager 1 duties: Mickey Jojola for July
Pager 2 duties: Tom Russo for July
Larry showed new SOAP Notes designed by David Dixon that will be in a non-carbon triplicate copy form.
We have money left from the REI grant, we will hold off to discuss how to spend at a later date.
|Who's Who and New||by Susan Corban|
If you haven't yet taken the PACE Exam, (state certification for field responders), try to get to the September 16 exam in Tijeras (especially those of you who need to take the exam within the next six months to become active). This exam is only given a couple of times a year and may be given in a distant part of the state. There will be an exam in November, somewhere in New Mexico, but the next exam after that probably won't be until May of 2001.
If you have been to three events, it's time to get your orientation packet from me. If you've got the packet, as soon as you've looked through it and got your gear, call me to arrange your orientation.
Not much at all has happened in the membership department this month. I'd love to have more member profiles from some of you who have not told us your life story. If there are any volunteers, please email me (to firstname.lastname@example.org) whatever you care to share with the rest of us about your interest in SAR, family, other interests, etc.
|Gearing Up||by James Newberry|
|Public Relations||by David Dixon|
Ok, missions are down, we've all packed and repacked our stuff and gone to most of the trainings. What else can we do? This organization is running very smoothly right now, but setting up trainings, keeping track of gear and new people, managing our finances, promoting ourselves, keeping the website going, and of course I could go on and on, takes lots of time and effort. And all this to ultimately be there for those lost and in need. So while waiting to get out in the field, volunteer for something else: set up a hike of the month, write an informative article for the newsletter, help an officer with their duties and then better yet run for an office, or do my heart good and help with a P.R. event.
As we all know Cibola is one of the finest, highly respected search and rescue teams in the state. Let's all do what it takes to keep it that way.
|Web News||by Tom Russo|
|Apocalyptic Pagers Now||by Mike Dugger|
After a growth spurt in fall of 1994, we decided to add pagers to the team account so that each top of branch would have a pager. At about the same time, we were able to get a voicemail account donated by the kind folks at Sandia National Laboratories, with the help of JD Martin and Jim Baremore - both SAR kindred spirits and Sandia managers. We got a great deal from Contact Paging in part because Lisa Eberle, Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council (AMRC) member and wife of AMRC's president Sinjin, was an account manager for Contact. Lisa took care of us and service was great for a while. We got used to the system and our callout procedure came to look essentially the way it does today. There were some minor billing problems from time to time, but no real technical problems until August 1997 when we seriously considered changing companies after missing many pages. We devised an experiment to determine how many pages were being missed and where people were when they missed them. With this, we were able to convince Contact to take a closer look and they found a programming error on their end. Once this was fixed, we were back to good service.
In 1998, Lisa called to say that she and Sinjin were moving to Colorado and Danae would be taking care of our account. I went to meet Danae and found her to be very helpful. Things again ran great for a while, and I had only to call Danae and she would pull up our account in their pager software and fix little problems while I was on the phone with her. Alas, this relationship was not to last. Danae became very irritated with members coming in for service and asked people to make appointments ahead of time. Early this year we had another rash of missed pages, and a charge for $10 on the account with very little explanation. When I called Danae to work this out I discovered she had moved on without so much as a goodbye. It took a few days and a personal visit to their office but I finally got in touch with Sid, our new representative.
Once I made contact with Sid he was very helpful. We determined that our missed pages were not reproducible, and dropped that issue. We could not determine for certain what the $10 charge was for, but one of our members did get $10 in repairs to a pager at about the same time and paid for it in cash. Contact said we would have to prove that the member paid for those repairs in cash. I asked Sid instead to prove that one of our pagers was actually worked on. They had no record of person, pager number, or anything so Sid agreed to drop it. A bit sloppy, but so far so good. What that $10 charge did do, however, is get us in touch with a new account representative as well as clue me in to some changes coming. The bill now said Unity Communications. Turns out that Contact Paging had been acquired by Unity Communications, and Sid told me that account rates would be going up for our members who had their own accounts. He assured me, however, that our organizational rates would not go up right away, and I would have several months notice if they were to raise our rates for airtime.
Imagine my surprise last month when I got our bill for the second half of 2000 and discovered that our cost for airtime had gone up 60 percent! Furthermore, that $10 charge Sid and I had talked about months ago was still there! I immediately called Sid for an explanation. He apologized and said it was a surprise to him too. I told him that it would be tough for us to adjust to this kind of increase, and we would be looking around at other service providers. I asked Sid to talk to his management and figure out the best deal they could offer us. He once again agreed to take care of that $10 charge. In the meantime, I followed up on leads from our own members as well as New Mexico SAR Support about good deals from different pager service providers.
[Ed. Note: Prices deleted for nonmember version]
Although I would characterize our service from Unity as less than satisfactory during the past year or so, changing service providers will be a hassle. This is particularly true since we have come to rely exclusively on this system for activating our team for missions, and would need to maintain capability during the change. At the same time, some of the other providers have attractive rates and additional capabilities that we cannot obtain with our present system. It is difficult to anticipate if service for a small account like ours would be any better from the other service providers. Maintaining service in a dynamic organization such as ours has required constant vigilance in the past, and this is likely to continue. Even with the problems we have experienced, this system remains the most efficient and reliable way to activate us for missions, as evidenced by the fact that most emergency response organizations use a system like it.
|Disclaimer and Copyright notice||the Editors|