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Sierra Madre Search & Rescue: Deceased Hiker, Injuries

During the month of July, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue (SMSR) responded to 18 calls for assistance.

From Sierra Madre Search & Rescue:

During the month of July, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue (SMSR) responded to 18 calls for assistance. Details on a selection of the calls are described below.

Busy 4th of July:  After participating in the Sierra Madre 4th of July parade SMSR responded to several calls in the local area.  The first was a mountain biker who had fallen on Cardiac Hill at Chantry Flats.   The subject was located, treated for hip and shoulder injuries and transported to a waiting ambulance.  While involved with the first call a second report was received about an injured hiker on the 1st Water Trail at Chantry Flats.  The subject was located, treated for injuries and transported to the Chantry Flats parking lot.

Busier July 9th:  With 4 operations, July 9th was the busiest day of the month.  The first call was a request from Altadena SAR for assistance  in locating 3 overdue hiker.  SMSR search the Mt. Wilson Trail and Chantry Flats area.  The hikers were eventually found, unharmed, in the Eaton Canyon Area.  The second call again was a request from Altadena SAR for assistance in locating a woman and her dog in the Sam Merrill Trail area.  Both subject were found, rehydrated and escorted to the trailhead. The third call was a sprained ankle at Chantry Flats.  SMSR responded and assisted Sierra Madre FD with the subject.  The last call of the day was an individual having trouble breathing at Chantry Flats.  Again, SMSR responded and assisted Sierra Madre FD with the subject.

July 15th - 2 injured at Hermit Falls:  SMSR sent ground and litters crews to Hermit Falls.  The 1st subject had bi-lateral ankle fractures.  The subject was treated, packaged in a litter and airlifted to Huntington Memorial Hospital.  The 2nd subject had minor ankle injuries and was escorted to the Chantry Flats parking lot.

July 25th Deceased Hiker:  The team responded  to a request from Inyo County for assistance in searching for an overdue hiker in the Mt. Langley area near Mt. Whitney.  SMSR provided both ground crews and overhead staff to help manage the search.  Unfortunately, the subject was found deceased just below Old Army Pass.  SMSR ground crews were some of the first on scene helped with the recovery.

July 27th - 1 injured at Hermit Falls: SMSR dispatched ground and litter crews down to Hermit Falls.  The subject was located, treated, packaged in a litter and airlifted by LACoSD Air-5.

In March SMSR reported that a new class of probationary members had started training to become full members of Sierra Madre Search and Rescue.  Over the past six months several members have dropped out leaving a total of 7 members.  The class has received training in rappelling, ascending a rope, setting an anchor, tracking, radios, litter wheel, litter tie in, helicopter operations, land navigation and knots.  Starting in  February they were judged field qualified and available to respond to calls.  Their first opportunities were the 4th of July call outs described earlier in this article.

For over 60 years the all-volunteer Sierra Madre Search and Rescue team has been responding to calls for help in the local mountains and beyond. Funded entirely by private donations, SMSR provides a range of public programs on wilderness safety in addition to its search and rescue activities. The Team never charges for any of its services.

For more information, including how to arrange a wilderness safety demonstration for your school or group, visit www.smsr.org.

D Shelley August 20, 2012 at 01:33 PM
So happy that SMSR exists! Young men - get yourself to a public swimming pool and jump off of the high dive a few times to get it out of your system - save us all some money.
carolcanterbury August 20, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Remember the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue, they need our donations, this is an ALL VOLUNTEER group and need our donations!!!!!
Carroll Brown August 21, 2012 at 04:36 PM
What kind of remark is that? Totally uncalled for!
D Shelley August 22, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Carroll Brown, I think you are reading something into my comment that wasn't there. When I was a young person and I and my siblings, cousins, and friends wanted to experience the thrill of jumping off from a high place into water, we went to our local pool and jumped off of the high dive. A number of these young men who were recently killed, died either attempting to climb up unstable cliffs to get to a pool (and falling) or intentionally jumping off of a cliff into water that was too shallow, had boulders that they slammed into, or they landed wrong with no immediate assistance available. I stand by my suggestion. Want that thrill of flying though the air and slamming into the water? (I DID when I was younger!!!). Go to a public pool and spend the afternoon jumping off of the high dive into deep water!!! In fact, take your family and friends with you, make it into a fun family outing and EVERYONE can go home ALIVE!!!
D Shelley August 22, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Carol C. Absolutely! I recently donated some money in honor of several my "BeanTeam" friends' birthdays. I only wish that the SMSR could come up with a formal way of donating money as a gift to someone or as a memorial. But, as I said in my original comment, I am SOOO happy that they are there!
CitizenK August 23, 2012 at 06:02 PM
D Shelley - Contact the Team at support@smsr.org. Someone would be happy to work with you re: donations along the lines of your note. The Team is very appreciative of your support and that of the community overall. This support allows us to do the things necessary to fulfill our motto, "Anywhere in the wilderness where someone needs help..."
D Shelley August 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Thanks, for the suggestion, CitizenK. I actually did send a little online note within the "contact us" area asking for help when I last donated, but I don't remember hearing back on that. I did get a thank you for the donation. I just thought that maybe a little e-mail announcing to people that money had been donated in their name would be nice. I belong to a Walking/Hiking group of long-time friends who call ourselves the "Beanteam" ('cause we, for years have oftentimes ended up at Beantown at the end of our hikes.) On our Birthdays, we often ask our friends for donations to a specific cause in lieu of a present. This year, I donated money to SMSR in the name of several members who had June B-days, including one who had had a heart attack at First Water this past year and managed to walk herself out (not advised - she didn't know she was having a heart attack until she was out and in the ER!). I know that SMSR would have been there for her had she called. It would be great to have a formal way of donating as a memorial to honor someone who has passed like the trees, bricks, wall plaques and rocks in memorial park do. Maybe, for larger donations in honor of a loved one, a name on a plaque or brick or a list in a local paper? Anyway, I will continue with my modest donations and continue to express my gratitude to them any chance I get!
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