Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March tRAINings, Operations and Promotions

March finally brought us some of the rain that we had been waiting for all winter long.  With multiple operation periods for one search as well as our SAR Basic training weekend in Huddart Park, as a team we logged almost 500 hours out in the spring weather hiking through mud and rappelling over cliffs.  Working with, and being supported by such wonderful teammates is what kept everyone's spirits up even when enduring physically and emotionally challenging conditions. 

We had 18 guests join us this past weekend for SAR Basic; a 20 hour training intended to orient prospective members to the basic skills required to contribute effectively to a search and rescue operation.  For those that decide to apply and are accepted onto the team, they will be able to participate on searches right away under the guidance of more experienced team members.

Emily & Penny
On day one we covered basic knots, patient assessment, radio communications and navigation before moving on to patient packaging, litter handling and a high angle rescue demonstration.  On day two we were honored to have California Rescue Dog Association and BAMRU member Wayne Behrens and his dog, Penny (a.k.a. "no Penny no"), to review searching with dogs, followed by Ed Daley with an introduction to tracking.  
To wrap up the training, guests were divided into teams, given a briefing and sent out on a mock scenario search.  It was great to see everyone stay focused and working so well together in the rain.  Cold and wet weather makes for a challenging learning environment, so kudos to the guests and instructors for such dedication.


This month Chris Kantarjiev received his third and final endorsement; Navigation & Wilderness Search.  Endorsements indicate that the member has a depth of experience and set of skills in that discipline that allows them to confidently and safely use them in the field.  This means that soon, Chris will be joining the ranks as a Technical Member, BAMRU's highest level of membership.

Jim Lohr was sworn in as a BAMRU trainee after having completed his extensive Sheriff's Office background check.  Jim brings to the team his previous experience with SAR in Southern California and has been an excellent addition.

Abi Fitzgerald was promoted to Field Member after completing all of the required skill sets to do so.  Abi joined the team in Spring of 2010 and is grateful for the guidance and teaching moments that her teammates continue to provide through this process.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mori Point Search

On Saturday, March 24th BAMRU was requested for a delayed callout Sunday at Mori Point.

The goal of the operational period was to search some sections of beach that had been inaccessible during previous efforts. A very low tide was predicted for 0705 and we had a very narrow window to accomplish our goals. Volunteer Marines had pointed to a sea cave that they felt should be investigated.

We decided to build a personal rope system to provide access.  Members rappelled into the cove and searched the bottom, but found nothing of interest.

After a short debrief, most members drove to Huddart Park to support the mock search that was the conclusion of BAMRU SAR Basic training weekend.