Stable or Dead…But Don't Bet On It
There's a saying that most backcountry patients are either "stable or dead". While this may be the case we all need to be prepared for those searches where this will not be the case. Gone are the days when all teams had to work with was a point last scene. GPS and cellular phone technology do a good job of defining a position for many of our missing persons and these technologies keep getting better over time. This means we're often quicker to intercept our MP than in the past. I would surmise that this also means we might have more opportunities to provide medical treatment and evacuation to people, who in the past, might have passed away before a team arrived.
We had two excellent patient packaging/rescue sled trainings this month. Unless you're a patroller, firefighter, paramedic, nurse or doctor, I'm guessing you don't get to practice your patient packaging/rescue sled skills too often. Skills like beacon searching or navigation lend themselves to practicing on your own or in a small group if you choose to, but packaging/sled skills require multiple people and specialized equipment. When these kind of trainings come up, I strongly encourage you to take the opportunity to hone your skills in these areas.
Former Team Member Mike Kennett Passed Away
Former A team skier, board member and friend to many, Mike Kennett, passed away at the end of the month after a courageous battle with cancer. There will be a memorial service for "Mikey" in the spring. Details are forthcoming.
Paige Meadows Search
Pretty slow around here lately. Our only search in January was for a woman and her dog in Paige Meadows. Her position was related via her iphone and it was a pretty chop chop search. Four skiers deployed and located the woman and her very tired dog in no time. The team brought both out safely and everyone lived happily ever after.
Tahoe Nordic Festival
The Tahoe Nordic Festival is scheduled for February 8-10. The inaugural festival will be at Tahoe Cross Country Center and all events will be free and open to the public. A full schedule of events is available at www.tahoenordicfestival.com. The team will have a table at this event on February 9th. Contact Paul Honeywell if you can help out with what promises to be a great event.
The Great Ski Race
We're getting close folks! One month until The Big Show. If you don't have a role in the Largest Nordic Race This Side Of The Mississippi it's not too late to get involved in what is not only our big fundraiser but is also a great party. To get involved you can either come to the team meeting this Monday or contact El Presidente/Volunteer Coordinator, Mr. Chris McConnell.
Lost Person Behavior
As a search and rescue team we're often told to "get in the shoes" of the missing person. That said, there isn't a whole lot of research on the psychology of being lost. A book titled Lost Person Behavior was published in 1998 by the National SAR Secretariat in Canada in an effort to describe through research and studies how a person becomes lost or disoriented, and what they do next to become "found".
I'll post the introductory chapter of this book on the forum so you can read it in it's entirety if you would like. Here are some interesting factoids to pique your interest:
- The Balinese consider "not knowing which way is north" as a symptom of insanity.
- While most lost people are found in a stationary position, it's usually because they are too fatigued, asleep or unconscious to move. In a study of 800 lost person reports in Nova Scotia, only two people intentionally stayed in place so searchers could find them more easily. One was an 11 year old boy who received Hug-A-Tree training. The other was an 80 year old apple picker who got turned around just 100 meters from where she had entered the woods.
- In one study children listed forested areas as their second scariest place. Haunted houses came in first. (Curiously enough, these same children also indicated an interest in visiting these same woods although they rarely went there.)
- It is common for children to hide from searchers.
- People lost with companions are much less scared and more rational than people who are lost by themselves.
If you have any pictures from trainings, searches or any other team function or if you have an event you'd like highlighted in the newsletter, get in touch and I'll be sure it makes it in the newsletter.