Three Reasons You Should Do The Upcoming Type 2 Qualifying Hikes–Even If You’re Not Qualifying

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1. Build Your SAR Conditioning
Searching requires hiking, and the best way to condition yourself for hiking is to hike – with a fully loaded 24-hour pack. Getting out and climbing some hills with your pack on builds and maintains the exact muscle groups you're going to need when that callout comes. Doing a timed hike is also an opportunity to benchmark where you currently are with your conditioning. 

2. Build Your SAR Knowledge
Chances are, you'll be hiking with fellow team members who have different skills and experience than you do and chatting as you go is a great way to learn from each other (and keep your mind off those hills). At the last qualifying hike, new team members were able to get detailed information about communications and radios from a more seasoned team member who's an expert in those areas. 

3. Build Your SAR Friendships
Nothing creates camaraderie like supporting your fellow team members! It's also a fun way to get social and learn more about people with whom you might not be familiar. That connection will pay dividends at the next training or callout.

Larry Fong will be organizing Type 2 qualifying hikes every month, between now and October. The June and July Type 2 qualifying hike dates are now available for sign-up on the website. All team members must sign up if they plan on attending, so Larry knows to expect you and can safely manage the hike. (If no one signs up, he won't be there, or have proctors and hiking company in place.) If it's unavoidably last minute/same day, please text Larry on his cell to let him know you'll be there (or if you won't, but had signed up).

Team Commendations, May 2013

Nancy Hoffman
Nancy was a key leader in the recent Full team Medical Training at the CSU Campus in May. First, she secured and worked out all the logistics for the training with the campus staff. In addition, Nancy provided and guided many of the medical scenarios before and during the training. We received great feedback that the training provided the teaching points and refreshers that each team member needs.

Ed Molascon
Ed has taken many different assignments through the SAR Team both in front and behind the scenes and we all agree he does them all in an excellent manner. Ed’s work within the team has been described as leader, mentor, encouraging, patient, and tireless to name as few.

Natalie Zensius
Natalie has been recognized for her outstanding work with the recent reorganization of the The Call Out Newsletter. She has changed the direction of the newsletter to an on going source of online information for the team and providing a valuable tool for all team members.

EMR In Action, ctd.

Team member Kristl Bulurun witnessed a cycling accident in Walnut Creek after picking up her son from school:

"A 40-something y.o. female was cycling and went over her handle bars. I and two other witnesses in separate cars pulled over to assist. As soon as I got out of my car, I announced myself as someone with medical training and asked if I could help (got consent!). Also, I had my medical kit in hand as I've always got my gear in my car. 

The subject was initially disoriented and at first said no, but she was pretty banged up and bleeding from her hand and face, so I convinced her that I could help. She said she was a nurse so she kept saying she was fine, but we all know how that goes. Anyway, one witness helped direct traffic and I asked the other witness to assist and hold c-spine while also holding the gauze to her face where she was bleeding (I gave the witness a pair of gloves to put on). The witness' daughter called 911.

I then determined A&O (she was x4) and CMSTP. I also did a modified head to toe, but didn't want to take her helmet off in case she ended up having a neck injury. She only complained of shoulder pain, but I checked for broken bones anyway.

Paramedics & ambulance showed up in about 5 minutes; after giving them an update on the subject, they took over and I stood back.

As the paramedics were working on her, another gentleman who had stopped to help started talking to me and asked what happened. I gave him the rundown and then he asked, "So, are you a nurse?" I replied, "No, I'm with Search and Rescue and trained as a first responder." So then he says, "Oh… search and rescue where?", to which I said, "Contra Costa County", to which he replied, "Oh really? I'm with Contra Costa County, too… I'm the Under Sheriff"


So yes, I was observed by the Under Sheriff. He asked me how long I'd been on the team and I told him not long, but that we just completed our EMR training, so I was glad that it all kicked in. Funny thing he asked was "so… you carry your medical kit in your car???" I said, "Yeah, all my gear is there… you never know when a we'll get a callout."

And he said, "Yeah, you guys are a great team."

OMG. I am soooo glad I did not know who he was until I was done. OH THE PRESSURE!! He was so super nice though. Chatted for a little bit more until the police officer on scene needed a statement.

Anyway, he left after a little bit (he had lights on, so that's when I really knew it was the Under Sheriff). Once they got her on the stretcher, I gave a statement to the officer, said goodbye to the subject, thanked the EMTs & the witnesses, and then left.

I have been hoping for a situation to use my EMR skills (I know… it's a sickness), so this was quite exciting. Plus having the Under Sheriff there really beats all.

The thing is… it's clear to me that it's all because of the training. The importance of those 4 months of EMR and the medical training last Saturday really became clear today. Everything kicked in like clockwork (although I'm sure I forgot something really important). 

So thank you for all our training. Thank you to the entire team for all our training. This situation was so crazy to have been a part of, but I'm so grateful for the skills and the confidence to have done it. "


Fundraising Opportunity – Vote for CoCoSAR!

AAA of Northern California, Nevada and Utah's primary philanthropic focus is to increase the capacity of first responder organizations and multiply the number of citizens that are Rescue Ready™ in the communities they serve. This baseball season, they're bringing new meaning to the term save. Every time a Giants and A's pitcher records a save, AAA will make a $1,000 dollar donation to support disaster preparedness and first responder organizations and programs. 

CoCoSAR is partnering with AAA to help raise funds to further our mission.  We've been added to the "AAA Saves Program" and the more votes we get, the more funds AAA will donate to the team. If we're selected, we’ll receive a very meaningful grant from AAA at the end of this baseball season.

Please take a minute to show your support and vote for us.

Training Paying Off

WP Kovar

This team constantly trains to improve and be the best.  The marathon Emergency Medical Responder class, monthly team trainings, Hasty trainings, or specific resource trainings that happen month in and month out demonstrate we are constantly striving to improve.  This training, combined with your focus on the mission, is the reason the SAR team is one of the best programs in the state.

This past weekend was the perfect example of this team’s professionalism and capability.  We had outstanding coverage on all shifts throughout the County Fair.  This year’s fair was one of the smoothest fairs in memory.  Arrests and medical calls were lower than average.  With that said, there were several notable situations requiring ALS transport to the hospital.  From what I could see, everyone was extremely professional and focused on providing excellent care.  I want to thank everyone for taking their jobs seriously and providing exceptional public service this past weekend.

In the middle of the fair Friday night we were pre-empted to respond to Richmond to assist with a search for a missing 4-year-old girl.  This type of callout has the potential of becoming a major campaign search due to the victim’s risk.  Logistically our response was challenged as most of our equipment was committed to the fair. We were ready.  Prior to the fair we set up a vehicle with a basic CP cache just in case there was a search during the fair. 

And true to expectations we received this callout on Friday evening.  The search was a textbook example of why we train and insist on following specific procedures. When we arrived on scene, Richmond PD had been actively searching for the missing girl for about three hours. We were briefed on the situation and on what had been searched.  We were ensured the house had been searched and cleared.  Nevertheless, our first assignment was to re-search the residence.  In less than 10 minutes, the girl was found safe, asleep under a bed at the house.  This search had all the earmarks of going huge quickly.  Richmond Police had a lot of resources committed. And we were planning on going full team and had requested additional state resources to respond.

The response to Richmond had some technical issues, but the human factor worked perfectly.  As team members arrived, they quickly took on reflex tasks important to the beginning of the search.  Re-searching the house was not a major achievement or any reason to high five each other. Researching the house is based on past experience and standard practices we employ when we come on scene.  We train in hasty training and search management courses to do this.  It is not a reflection on the host agency.  It is just a fact: Sometimes things are missed.  Our thoroughness is not perfect, but we strive for it. In this case the situation resolved quickly.  Having everyone following a standard SOP ensured this case resolved quickly and positively.  The team’s actions that Friday evening were a reflection of our training.

We train hard as a team to be able to do the best job we can when called.  The County Fair and the Richmond search were two examples of our training and commitment paying off.   You all should be proud to be part of a program that makes a difference.