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#288747 - 04/19/18 01:17 AM Re: Developing Survival Skills in SAR [Re: hikermor]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2930
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: hikermor
There is just something about the atmosphere is a mixed group which leads to productivity and good results - lower testosterone levels???


Quite possibly. I also think that women and men think differently, and thatís a very positive thing when trying to find the best way to get something done.

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#288755 - 04/19/18 06:58 PM Re: Developing Survival Skills in SAR [Re: hikermor]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2015
Loc: NE Illinois
Can you list the specific skills that SAR training provides?

I'm guessing a partial list would include:
Navigation - map, compass, GPS, coordinates maybe?
First aid - kit, what to do, what not to do
Clothing - boots, clothing, jackets, ...
Communication - radio, cell phone, whistle, ...
The benefit of LED headlamps (noticed this on TV show)
Rope skills???
Working with other people (not to be underestimated)
Comfort going places you've never gone before (Capt'n Kirk)

Oh, yeah, SAVING LIVES!!!!

I'm assuming that these skills not learned with SAR and best learned when camping or day trips:
Fire starting & maintenance
Knife/ax/saw skills
Shelter building (NOT on government or private land w/o permission, please!!)
Cooking outdoors (not really survival)

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#288756 - 04/19/18 07:28 PM Re: Developing Survival Skills in SAR [Re: hikermor]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
This is the textbook we used in the SAR course. There was more to the course than just the book, but you can get a sense of the covered topics. It was interesting to me that the text had to cover some relatively simple stuff such as clothing:

https://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Sear...6065&sr=1-1

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#288757 - 04/19/18 11:16 PM Re: Developing Survival Skills in SAR [Re: Bingley]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6543
Loc: southern Cal
Textbooks?? We got textbooks now?? Back in the day, there was no such thing. It wouldn't have worked anyway, since available knowledge would have been chiseled into blocks of stone - not very portable not easy to edit or revise.

Actually, clothing is quite important, since operations will be conducted frequently in extreme conditions. I always carried a bit more, because fairly frequently I would provide better clothing for our victim, and still have enough for me. You do need really good stuff.

I note the price - they are not exactly giving this precious knowledge for free.
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Geezer in Chief

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#288758 - 04/19/18 11:37 PM Re: Developing Survival Skills in SAR [Re: KenK]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1106
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: KenK
Can you list the specific skills that SAR training provides?

I'm guessing a partial list would include:
Navigation - map, compass, GPS, coordinates maybe?
First aid - kit, what to do, what not to do
Clothing - boots, clothing, jackets, ...
Communication - radio, cell phone, whistle, ...
The benefit of LED headlamps (noticed this on TV show)
Rope skills???
Working with other people (not to be underestimated)
Comfort going places you've never gone before (Capt'n Kirk)

Oh, yeah, SAVING LIVES!!!!

I'm assuming that these skills not learned with SAR and best learned when camping or day trips:
Fire starting & maintenance
Knife/ax/saw skills
Shelter building (NOT on government or private land w/o permission, please!!)
Cooking outdoors (not really survival)

Most of the things on your list are likely to be covered in SAR team training. In addition, teams will almost always do some sort of training in ICS (Incident Command System). Clue awareness and clue handling are also likely topics. Fire building and shelter construction might also be covered.

The exact details of what is covered and how it is taught vary from team to team. In part this is geographical. A team in Florida probably has no reason to cover avalanche safety, for example. Heat stroke isn't a big topic in Alaska, but probably is in Arizona.

Also teams vary in their skill sets and emphasis. Mountain rescue teams will put a lot of effort into training in high angle rope skills. Other teams might be primarily ground pounders for lost person search, and for them a few basic rope skills might be adequate.

As an example, I live in Alaska, with lots of snow and mountains. My team requires candidates complete a Level 1 Avalanche course, which includes several evenings of classroom work, and several days on snow in the field. We also require candidates to build an improvised snow shelter using only what you might have in your day pack. You then camp overnight in it (though you can use a sleeping bag).
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#288759 - 04/19/18 11:46 PM Re: Developing Survival Skills in SAR [Re: hikermor]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Textbooks?? We got textbooks now?? Back in the day, there was no such thing. It wouldn't have worked anyway, since available knowledge would have been chiseled into blocks of stone - not very portable not easy to edit or revise.


Stone inscriptions? I didn't realize you were that young. I beg your pardon -- I thought you pre-dated the invention of writing, and just memorized things with Homeric mnemonic devices. So how did you like old Hammurabi? I take it you've still got both your eyes?

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#288760 - 04/20/18 12:10 AM Re: Developing Survival Skills in SAR [Re: KenK]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6543
Loc: southern Cal
Good question and a reasonable request,

On first aid, someone applying for SAR had first to possess an Advanced First Aid certification or better. We had RNs and MDs in the group as well.

Communication was important. Learn the 10 code and the specific SAR variations and their importance. There is a big difference between 310-OK, 310-I, and 310-F. On my very first SAR, with no training whatsoever, I was approached by a stranger as we approached the base camp, who inquired about the victims' (three Boy Scouts) chances. I responded honestly (and unfortunately accurately) saying that they were probably dead. Duh-oh!

We discussed personal equipment and clothing. One should show up ready to operate productively for at least 48 hours. In southern Arizona, this means anything from deep snow and ice in the winter at high elevations to sizzling heat in the desert summers. We also did cave rescues which offered huge challenges. Through time, we also developed expertise in swift water rescue. During the time I was active, drowning was the #2 cause of death, just behind falling.

We did discuss navigation, especially methods to convey your position accurately over the radio. this was long before general use of the UTM grid, so that was a lot of fun. We finally generated our own topo map of our principal operation area, the Santa Catalina Mountains, with our own grid superimposed on the basic USGS map.

Night operations were covered, since it was a rare operation that did not involve some night work. A carbide lamp was our preferred and recommended light source

People came into SAR with a wide variety of background and experience - some already experienced cavers, some were interested in rock climbing, some were just starting out and beginning to acquire basic outdoor skills. We did cover some of the basic technical skills - knot tying and an introduction to rigging. Successful trainees developed from there, if that was their inclination.

After completing the initial course, members were in trainee status for at least a year and were assigned with experienced members on operations.

I am talking about SAR as it developed in the late 1950s and 60s. There was basically no such thing as a SAR manual generally available. Our group was initially formed by Civil Defense volunteers who saw that there was a need for SAR in our area. Unfortunately, none of them has appreciable outdoor skills. I and my two companions were members of the first training class, which was an interesting experience.

The point I would make is that the organization, as well as the individual members, grew and learned over the years. We learned, for instance, on a cave operation, it is incredibly useful to have a slender, technically adept female caver who can fit where the big guys can't. How about an RN, studying for her MD, who is a pretty decent technical climber. Or the professional engineer who sets up the z-system, teaching others some of the nuances.

Today, the outfit is light years away from the early days, vastly more proficient and competent, to the great benefit of those who encounter trouble in southern Arizona. This is what progress looks like....
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Geezer in Chief

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#288761 - 04/20/18 12:19 AM Re: Developing Survival Skills in SAR [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6543
Loc: southern Cal
" Heat stroke isn't a big topic in Alaska, but probably is in Arizona."

Oddly enough, we really didn't see a lot of hyperthermia in victims. We were usually dealing with fall victims, including those rendered non-ambulatory due to a crunched ankle. People in southern Arizona generally stay in cool spots during hot times.

Actually, aren't there areas in Alaska where it gets surprisingly warm during your long summer days?
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Geezer in Chief

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#288763 - 04/20/18 04:24 AM Re: Developing Survival Skills in SAR [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1106
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Actually, aren't there areas in Alaska where it gets surprisingly warm during your long summer days?
Fairbanks and the interior sometimes gets into the 90's. I think the record is 95 F. In Southcentral Alaska, where Anchorage is located, the mid 80's is about as warm as it gets. After living here for many years, a 70 degree day feels warm, and 80 F feels like a scorcher.

Regarding heatstroke, it does happen up here, though not commonly. I believe there have been cases amoung wild land fire crews on the fire line, and situations like that.

Regarding your general neck of the woods, Arizona people must be smarter than Californians. In the last couple of years I've visited Death Valley NP, and Joshua Tree NP. My visits were in the winter and the weather was quite nice for hiking. However, from all the warnings about, I got the impression that those parks have real issues with tourists getting cooked in the summer.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#288766 - 04/20/18 12:46 PM Re: Developing Survival Skills in SAR [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6543
Loc: southern Cal
A significant number of folks have the attitude of "it's a National Park, what can go wrong? The kindly, gentle rangers will take care of every thing..."

Apparently a fair number of foreign tourists visit DV expressedly at the height of summer in order to experience 110+ temps. My recollections of DV include a really chilly climb of Telescope Peak in early spring. I thought i was in Alaska....
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Geezer in Chief

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