Monday, September 20, 2010

BAMRU Service Award

The city of Hillsborough paid a special recognition to BAMRU and the other SAR teams involved in the search for a missing woman on August 27. The award was given at the Hillsborough City Council meeting last week. Representing BAMRU were Tom Grossman, Ethan Frantz, Chris Seffens, James Cutsinger, Kurt Gross, Emily Ghio, Jenna Wiley, and MacRae Linton.

After giving a brief summary of the events of August 27, Hillsborough Police directly congratulated the SAR unit leaders, including Gary Vielbaum (Sheriff's Communications), Pete Nuding (Sheriff's Air Squadron), Gary Bloom (SMCO SAR), Tom Grossman (BAMRU), Lt. Ed Barberini (San Mateo County Sheriff's Office), and Sgt. Joe Sheridan (San Mateo County Sheriff's Office).

The community was very thankful for SAR's involvement in the search and relieved that the missing woman was found with no serious injuries.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


During our operations, it is unusual for BAMRU members to be exposed to victims with severe trauma, or to terrible accident scenes. But from time to time it does happen, and we know from experience that the emotions and intense energy of a difficult event can linger.

In the past, BAMRU has brought in mental health facilitators for proactive stress management training. On a few occasions, we have conducted 'Critical Incident Stress Debriefings' (CISD) after a difficult operation.

Beyond that, we strive to keep an open dialog within our team, to acknowledge that critical incident stress does happen, for our new trainees as well as experienced responders. We encourage our members to share experiences and recovery strategies.

BAMRU is grateful to the San Mateo Sheriff's Office for their CISD support and mental health services for first responders. And we give profound thanks to BAMRU's volunteer members for the sometimes difficult community service they provide.

More about CIS:

Monday, September 13, 2010


SAREX is the annual conference for the Search and Rescue community in Northern California. (learn more at Last weekend's SAREX conference in San Francisco had over 600 attendees. BAMRU was able to supply eight instructors and taught five sessions at the conference, with topics including technical rescue, medical care, rescue gear, mapping and web infrastructure.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

BAMRU at the San Bruno Fire

This past weekend, a large number of BAMRU members were active at the location of the San Bruno fire. Our main task was to search the neighborhood and surrounding wildlands. BAMRU put in long hours, and the scene was terrible. We send our deep condolences to the victims of this tragedy.

More at: NY Times, Mercury News, BBC, NBC News

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Victim's Perspective

Here is an interesting video posted by a climber in the Tetons who took a fall and was rescued by local climbing rangers.

Rescue on Valhalla Traverse from getungrounded on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Search Comes to an End

Seven years ago, BAMRU participated in an intensive search for Fred Claussen in northern Yosemite. Unfortunately, Fred was never found, and his whereabouts have remained unknown.

In July, the mystery came to an end. His remains were discovered near Whorl Mountain.

Rest in Peace, Fred.

More at: SuperTopo, Fox News