The Sierra Madre Search and Rescue (SMSR) Team responded on eleven search and rescue calls in August.
Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration, Chantry Flat: The 17th would prove to be a busy day with SMSR receiving a report at 1:39 p.m. of two hikers suffering from probable heat exhaustion and dehydration in the canyon near Sturtevant Falls. SMSR personnel along with paramedics from SMFD and LA County Fire responded to the location and found two individuals needing assistance. Both subjects were given IV fluids and medications to stabilize their condition. Rescuers determined that one subject could be taken out via wheeled litter and that the second subject would be extracted via helicopter hoist by LA County Sheriff’s Air Rescue-5. Both subjects were transported to local hospitals for further treatment. SMSR would like to thank the cabin owner who provided initial assistance to the subjects prior to the arrival of rescuers. The rescue was paged secure along with the rescue noted below at 4:20 p.m.
Injured Hikers, Hermit Falls, Chantry Flat: While the rescue above was underway, SMSR was notified at 2:20 p.m. about an injured hiker at Hermit Falls. Field crews were able to obtain additional information about the nature the incident and determined that there were 2 injured hikers and that they were located near one of the cabins in the canyon. Although they were injured in separate accidents, their close proximity simplified the response. Rescuers worked to stabilize both hikers and provide initial treatment prior to transporting them via wheeled litters to the trailhead where they were transported to the hospital. Getting timely and accurate information is often a challenge in any emergency and is complicated in mountain rescues due to distances, accessibility, weather and other factors. The ability to respond to a dynamic situation is a key skill for all rescuers.
Helitac Training, Chantry Flat: Training is a key part of being prepared to respond to any rescue situation and SMSR members spend considerable time training every month. One of the August trainings was focused on operating safely in and around the helicopters that are commonly used in our local mountains. As part of our work with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, we train with the Air Rescue-5 crew annually to maintain the highest levels of safety and effectiveness possible. Topics include general safety procedures and protocols, loading and unloading, hoist insertion and extraction, patient packaging, and aircraft familiarity. The training this year was particularly important since the Sheriff’s Department has replace the older Sikorsky H3 helicopter with Eurocopter AS322 Super Pumas.
Interested in joining the Team?
Sierra Madre Search and Rescue is currently looking for new members to join the Team. If you live within 20 minutes of Sierra Madre, are 25 years of age or older, and are an experienced outdoorsperson you may be a good candidate. Becoming a member of the Team requires a deep commitment, both in terms of time and money, but every Team member agrees that the rewards are well worth the price.
The training program lasts approximately 15 months and entails weekly meetings covering a wide range of search and rescue disciplines. The training program culminates with a final exam including both written and hands-on practical demonstrations of key skills. Trainees go on to complete their Emergency Medical Technician certification shortly after the exam.
If you think you have the outdoor experience and are willing to make the commitment, give us a call at (626) 355-3411 (answer machine) or fill out a preliminary application and mail it to P.O. Box 24 Sierra Madre, CA 91025 You can also email the filled out pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.