Thursday, March 31, 2011

Portola 10-22

10-22 is radio code that means 'disregard last instruction'. For BAMRU, a 10-22 typically means that a missing person has been found while a team is en-route to a search assignment.

And that is what happened this evening. BAMRU was called to search for a missing person in Portola State Park, and the person was found alive while our team was en-route. A 10-22.

10-22's normally are not especially notable. But this callout occurs on the last day of March. And it is notable that in March our team has been activated for eight operations, in addition to completing a successful MRA recertification, while also launching a very strong annual recruiting campaign.

Thanks to all for their contributions in this busy month!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sonoma Mutual Aid

BAMRU was activated for a Mutual Aid search in Sonoma County this morning at 5am.

The missing person was a teen who was reported overdue last evening. The subject spent the night out in the bush, off trail in Annadel State Park.

He was found by Sonoma County searchers after sunrise, cold but safe, just after our team arrived at the search scene.

More news on this operation: Press Democrat | ABC News

Monday, March 28, 2011

Snowboarder Located

On Saturday March 26th, BAMRU received a mutual aid request for a missing 22 year old male snowboarder at Sierra-at-Tahoe, Lake Tahoe.

The search followed a multi-day storm that dropped many feet of new snow in the Sierra.

More than 70 searchers were involved from Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Patrol, Marin, El Dorado County SAR, and BAMRU.

The victim was found Sunday at the ski resort, deceased in a tree well.

More news: YubaNet | Fox News | Lakeside News | CBS News

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Three Hikers Found

Friday March 25 BAMRU was called to a mutual aid search in Lake County, near Pillsbury Lake. The search subjects were 3 males aged 16-20, who went on a multi-day trek in mountains that received 2-3 feet of new snow.

BAMRU responders arrived at CP throughout Friday night and early Saturday. Responding teams came with 40+ responders from Lake Co SO/SAR, National Forest, Marin, CoCo, BAMRU, Monterey, Tahoe Nordic.

BAMRU involvement started at 6:30 am Saturday and included 1) drafting search assignments, 2) transportation of team in the field, 3) medical, 4) comms relay, and 5) hasty and side-search teams.

Trail conditions varied from dirt/mud to thigh/waist deep of snow. Rain, sleet, snow through out the day with with light to moderate winds. Fully overcast. Air support not possible. Transportation of teams to search assignments proved to be very challenging. Casualties and challenges included broken snowcat, broken truck axle, stuck vehicles. Communications was challenging to non-existent, no cell phone coverage, radio was spotty and required repeaters or human relay. Sat phones were very helpful.

Initial tracks in snow reported about 10:30am. Subsequent clues and redirect of resources led to locating the 3 subjects together in good condition about 12:30pm.

More News: Press Democrat

Mock Search Training

On Saturday, March 26th, BAMRU conducted a Mock Search Training with 18 guests that have expressed interest in joining BAMRU. The scene was cold and rainy, and provided a great venue for an introduction to our people and search techniques.

During the mock search, we organised our group into 5 teams, and handed out search assignments. Our victim was placed somewhere near the swollen Pescadero Creek, where he had fallen and suffered a sprained ankle, with a possible spinal injury and symptoms of diabetes.

The finding team quickly started the patient assessment process, while maintaining c-spine precautions. Another guest crafted an improvised rigid splint using trekking poles, duct tape and emergency blankets. They administered food and water to elevate the patient's level of consciousness, and kept him insulated.

The team did a terrific job with our patient.

To wrap up the day we discussed guest's next steps before the April Meeting (completing the ICS-100 course), previewed the SAR Basic Training in April, and reviewed BAMRU's application and interview process.

This training was completed while BAMRU was simultaneously responding to a Mutual Aid search. Many thanks to all our guests, and to BAMRU members who led this training.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Storm Watch

'Storm Watch' is an emergency response procedure that the San Mateo Sheriff's Office uses for the Santa Cruz mountains and San Mateo coast.

During a severe storm on March 24, BAMRU received a Storm Watch callout. A BAMRU team was dispatched to the coast, and immediately started responding to calls.

Over a twelve hour period BAMRU was deployed to check water levels in creeks, to assist on scenes with downed trees and power lines, and to clear rockfall from roads.

During this exercise, the BAMRU team covered a wide area, including Woodside, Skyline Boulevard, Pescadero, Tunitas Creek and Half Moon Bay.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tsunami Response

Following the powerful earthquake in Japan, BAMRU was alerted at 0224 Saturday to help with Tsunami response on the San Mateo County coast.

A BAMRU team deployed with other San Mateo Units. Once coast side, BAMRU members patrolled from Pacifica south to Santa Cruz County. Duties included warning people on beaches, knocking on doors to warn residents, and providing EMT resources at an evacuation center.

Large parts of the coast have no cell coverage. While on patrol, BAMRU was able to use the Satellite Phone donated by Iridium to check in with command.

BAMRU provided resources for two operational periods. The San Mateo coast was spared major damage. About 1600 the all clear was sounded and all resources were home by 1700.

Today we watch the recovery efforts in Japan with respect, mindful of the huge scale of this event. And we are reminded that we too live in an earthquake zone.

More information:
Video Simulation of Tsunami Propagation
Photo of Tsunami approaching Emeryville inside San Francisco Bay
Video of Tsunami approaching Emeryville

BAMRU is Recruiting!

BAMRU is recruiting! We seek new members who bring mountaineering, snow and ice skills to our ranks. We are part of the San Mateo County Sheriff's office and participate in SAR missions in county and around the state. We are Mountain Rescue Association certified team which means we can travel and operate in all terrain and weather.

Next Monday, March 21 we will have an open house at 7pm for people interested in finding out more about our team. Attendance at this meeting is required to participate in follow-on training and recruiting events.

The meeting location is: 500 Allerton, Redwood City, CA
The meeting room is on the third floor ("200-level")

BAMRU recruits and trains one 'class' per year, and this is the beginning of our recruiting season. On March 26th we will have an Intro SAR training which is designed for our new trainees.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

MRA Recertification

Last weekend, BAMRU completed the annual Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) recertification, this year held near Lone Pine, CA.

The Lone Pine Recert focused on technical rock rescue. Teams were engaged in scenarios involving an injured climber who was immobile in a high-angle environment. Once the subject was located, teams were expected to administer appropriate medical treatment, then extricate and transport the subject back to a command post.

On all accounts, the event was a huge success. BAMRU attended the event on the heels of a number of recent mutual aid responses across the state.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Missing Sonoma Man

Sunday we received a callout to search for a missing man in Mendocino county. BAMRU was requested to cover the off-trail hills and gullies.

The subject had been missing since Saturday afternoon. The subject's vehicle
was found on top of the ridge. Rain fell overnight but had lightened some by morning.

The man was located by a Sonoma SAR van walking up HWY 1. He was cold, wet and fatigued, but otherwise in good condition.

This operation happened as BAMRU was engaged in our annual recertification east of the Sierras.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oakland Health Fair

John Mandish, Chris Seffens and Ethan Frantz represented BAMRU during a recent Health Fair at Oakland Technical High School. The event gave students a chance to talk with a wide variety of health and wellness service providers.

BAMRU answered questions from about 200 students over the course of the 5 hours we were there.

BAMRU displayed the contents of a trauma pack, AED, Satellite Phone, Puxing Handheld Radio, Personal First Aid Kit, Candy and other SAR related items. We also demonstrated our litter, technical rescue equipment, avalanche probe and shovel.

Thanks to Melissa Brown, the Director of La ClĂ­nica de La Raza who sponsored the event. We met a lot of great kids, and hope to attend again next year.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Search in Golden Gate Park

Last weekend BAMRU was involved in a search for a 73 year old man in San Francisco's Golden Gate park. Ground searchers worked with SF Police and eight rescue dogs. The man was not located.

More information on the search is available at KTVU.

This operation happened as BAMRU was training for our annual recertification. This is the second week in a row that training resources were redeployed to live operations.