Monday, February 28, 2011

Golden Gate Park Search

On Saturday AM, San Francisco PD requested mutual aid to continue the search efforts for a missing man who went missing from his home on Thursday Feb 24th in the evening. SFPD started searching Thursday evening and through Friday; they subsequently called for aid on Sat AM.

BAMRU was part of a combined team including 60+ searchers from six surrounding agencies.

When active searching closed for the day, 28 assignments had been written with 22 completed. The subject was not located.

More news: KTVU

Group Decision Making

We've had heavy snowfall recently, and BAMRU is looking forward to more winter trainings over the coming weeks. During these trainings, we sometimes discuss team decision making, and consider the inter-personal dynamics that help keep a group safe.

This video shows Montana skiers who were caught in an avalanche and rescued by nearby first responders. It highlights group decisions that led to a negative outcome.

Accident reports are a valuable learning tool. Thanks to the Montana skiers for sharing.

Related Material: Accidents in North American Mountaineering

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Section Chiefs

On February 20th, Ethan Frantz and Colin Little successfully completed the Section Chief Search Management course taught by Chris Young of Contra Costa SAR. This course has been developed by the Bay Area Search and Rescue Council to help standardize search management practices throughout the Bay Area.

This course is designed to teach hands on and theoretical skills in search management at the Section Chief level in Planning, Operations and Logistics functions. The cadre of instructors bring hundreds of hours of search and search management experience. The course follows the four phases of a search: hasty, 1st operational, multiple operations, and the find/suspension periods.

Also present at the course were Cal Hoagland and Bill Parker. Both had previously completed the class and volunteered their time to help proctor the tabletop exercises.

Congrats Ethan and Colin!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shasta Search

This weekend BAMRU was involved in a difficult search for a 23 year old man who went missing while snowboarding on Mt. Shasta. Our main search assignments were done on back-country skis, in steep terrain and deep snow. Saturday our team was on scene from midnight to 6pm, with a four hour break for sleep. We left completely exhausted.

The body of the missing man, Alex Gautreaux, was found Sunday morning.

During the search we witnessed friends and family who had hoped for Alex's safe return. This man will be profoundly missed. We send our deep condolences for his loss.

More news: Missing Snowboarder Found Dead | Rescue Effort on Mt. Shasta

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Warning: Counterfeit Gear

Every climber should be aware that Petzl has issued a warning regarding recently discovered Chinese counterfeit versions of their products. The imitation products do not meet the safety and quality requirements of Petzl. Counterfeit products could open or fail at loads much lower loads under normal use.

Petzl states: They have been reproduced in a way that makes them very difficult to identify. The following features have been reproduced nearly identically:

* Design
* Color
* Product markings
* Batch number
* Instructions for use (down to the most minor details)
* Packaging

For more information, please visit Petzl's website.