Mount Diablo Challenge Medical Detail Recap

Mount Diablo Challenge

On October 6th, 2013, CoCoSAR provided medical support for the Mount Diablo Challenge. This was the annual bike ride up Mt. Diablo, an 11.2 mile timed bike ride, starting at Athenian School in Danville and climbing up Southgate Road 3,249 feet to the summit of Mount Diablo. Approximately 1,000 cycling enthusiasts competed. 

More than 25 CoCoSAR team members staffed 6 medical stations located on Mt Diablo.


By Jeremiah Deespush

Pushing requires nearly the same skeletal mechanics as pulling; however force is applied in the opposite direction. This requires a different pattern of muscular activation. As with the pulling, get the movement pattern right before pushing against resistance.

I often ask people to demonstrate how they would push me over and they look a lot like I do in these pictures. Then I have them do pushups or bench press and the first thing they do is raise their elbows and lift their shoulders (a strategy that will quickly damage the shoulder under load).

When performing pushups, mimic the positioning represented in the pictures above.

  • Start in the plank position.
  • Take a deep breath into your belly to establish a positive bridge.
  • Hold your shoulder blades down against the back of the rib cage as you do the pushup.
  • Break the arms toward your sides and lower your chest toward the ground.
  • Keeping the body in a rigid bridge, press your hands into the floor. Create tension in your abdomen, around your ribs, in your chest and the backs of your arms. Notice how the body aids the arms and chest while pushing away.
  • Be sure to extend your arms all the way, while leaving your shoulders back against the ribs.
  • For pushups from the knees, keep hips in line between knees and shoulders.

Bend from the hips

By Jeremiah Deesbend from the hips

Every time we exercise we start with hip bending. Our focus is to get our mobility established and this motor pattern dialed before adding load, speed and volume. Start with a very slow hip bend, described below. Move only within the range of motion your body will volunteer. As repetitions increase, you will notice two things happen:

  1. Additional range of motion becomes available all by itself.
  2. The motion is executed with more speed.

This is because your body is adapting to how you’ve decided to generate the movement. More importantly, your mechanics are now congruent with the human design. Your nerves are realizing there is no need for muscular guarding and as these mechanisms relax, your movement becomes more fluid.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Place your hands on your hips so that you are holding the crests of your pelvis.
  • Take a deep breath into your belly, and then gather your abdomen as you exhale. Maintain this spine-stacked-on-pelvis relationship throughout the movement.
  • Shift your weight backwards, bending only from the hip. Your hip joints will move backwards in space and you should feel your pelvis tilting forward. You should also feel weighted through your heels, with little to no weight on the forward parts of your feet.
  • Keep bending until the backs of your thighs feel tight. There should be no tension in your back. If there is, then you’ve also bent your back.
  • Hang out here for a moment; literally, hang on your hamstrings. You are bending over without bending your knees and directing the majority of the load to the big muscles of your thighs and butt. This is how healthy bending becomes back injury prevention!
  • We are going to take our time getting back upright. Squeeze the muscles in the backs of your thighs and butt. Notice that as they shorten, your hips are levered back forward. Keep squeezing until your hips are underneath your shoulders.

Previous article in this series

Training Recap: CoCoSAR Rope Rescue

photo (10)CoCoSAR team members gathered at Shell Ridge May 18 for the first of the four-part summer rope-rescue training program jointly hosted by the USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) and MRG (Mountain Rescue Group) resources.

Rope-rescue skills are an important component of Mountain Rescue and USAR training but are also extremely useful for the whole team's knowledge base. The rope rescue trainings have been designed for multiple levels and are open to all team members – from those new to rope rescue to seasoned veterans.

The May training split the group into three parts, each designed to challenge and expand team members' skills: advanced for those with technical rope know-how; intermediate for those who have had some rope rescue experience and want to take their skills to the next level; and basic for novices.

Announcement: Upcoming Bike Resource Academy

The CoCoSAR Bike Resource team provides a special and unique role in searches, trainings and medical support for community events.  Being a member of this group is a great way for team members to deepen their CoCoSar relationship and skillset. Once a year, there is a Bike Resource Academy for prospective members. Bike Resource Sergeant Reza Farasati explains:

How does the bike resource work?

The Bike Resource serves two primary roles: First, it’s a specialty team sometimes used in searches where bike speed and/or the ability to cover certain terrain is needed. But most recently the primary use of the Bike Resource has been to be present at community events – most typically races of all types – so that participants can be quickly reached in the event of medical emergencies.


Who should join?

All members Type 2 and above who have a road or mountain bike are encouraged to join.


In what type of terrain do you search?

Both urban and rural. For rural searches, a mountain bike is required.


How often does the resource train?

Bike Resource members practice riding to stay fit as often as possible, with the group striving for biweekly or monthly rides. All members participate in a minimum number of trainings per year.


Is there a minimum fitness requirement?

Not specifically, but members need to be able to ride for the duration of any given search or medical assignment.


Why is having a Bike Resource important?

Like all CoCoSar resources, the Bike Resource adds an additional layer of competency to the team. Bikes are used during searches to reach distant areas faster than can be reached on foot, particularly in areas where vehicles cannot go, such as the Iron Horse Trail. They're used in hasty searches and as a support unit to the Command Post (CP) and others. The Bike Resource also provides medical support at many community events such as the Mount Diablo Challenge and other bike and road races.

  • Date:   Saturday, June 29, 2013

  • Time:   9:00 am – 1:00 pm

  • Place:  Sports Basement, Walnut Creek

  • What will be covered:

    • Safety check of bikes and equipment

    • Short ride (few miles) toward Shell Ridge

    • Basic riding skill set check

    • Practice hasty search with bike/look for clues

    • Return to Sport Basement for refreshments

    • Basic bike repairs by Sport Basement experts

  • Upon completion of the Academy – you will be qualified to become a member of the Bike Resource

  • Advanced Training – An advanced training will be held shortly after the Academy (details to be advised)

  • To register for the Academy –  use the CoCoSAR website

  • Interested, but can't attend the Academy? – Let me know and we'll try to make other arrangements for you

  • Interested, but don't have a bike right now?  We can arrange a temporary loaner for you!

Questions? Contact Reza Farasati.



Paying It Forward

Hasty Tng Danville April 2013 021By Rick Najarian

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to participate in back-to-back planning sessions at OES for two different upcoming trainings. It struck me how much planning, effort, leadership and participation goes into each of the different trainings that CoCoSAR puts on.

It’s amazing to think about all the levels of all the different types of training that go on in the organization. In any given week there could be trailering, a mock hasty search, ATVs, medical training, canines, technical rescue of one kind or another, field team leadership, navigation, metal detectors, search management, tracking or specialized equipment orientation from Logistics. I’m sure that I’m leaving out plenty of others, not the least of which are our core academies and monthly team trainings, which are major projects in themselves.

Since I’ve joined CoCoSAR, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a fair number of other California SAR teams. I try to learn what I can about how the other teams are structured and how they acquire and maintain their skills. I have to say that I have yet to see another SAR team that is so invested in the initial and ongoing training of their members as is CoCoSAR.

This doesn’t just happen. Every curriculum, every lecture, every exercise has from one to dozens of dedicated team members behind it planning and delivering. Everywhere I look, I see people discovering their passion, gaining knowledge and experience in that area and passing that knowledge and experience on to others. I think that this practice has become one of the main blocks in the foundation of our team. It has resulted in the enormous breadth and depth of skillsets that CoCoSAR brings to the party.

Every one of us has been the recipient of a huge amount of quality training as a result of participation on this team. Likewise, every one of us has a handful of experience and knowledge that we can pass on to other team members. I’d like to encourage each of us, whether we’re formally part of a CoCoSAR training organization or not, to actively seek out opportunities to Pay It Forward. It’s not just about training others; it’s the very best way for each of us to gain a deeper understanding of our own skill sets. It’s also one way to positively reinforce this team’s culture and, as a result, deepen our own sense of our place on the team.

Think about it.

(Photo: Rick Najarian supports April's Hasty Squad Training mock search by posing as roving reporter Dick Danger, from "Mega News." Search Manager Andy Comly subsequently handled the press very well and put them to use in finding the subject.)

USAR Breaking and Breaching Training

On Saturday, March 16th, 2013, the USAR resource conducted another challenging USAR training to help expand disaster response skills.  At this training the team learned effective techniques for breaching through walls constructed of different home building materials and rescued a trapped/injured person on the other side.

Take a look at this video recap of the training:

2012 SAR Coordinator Awards

Last month we honored the SAR Members (Murphy/ Murray), Rookie (Griffith) and Explorers (Riggs twins) of the Year. Their contributions over the past year made them extremely well deserving team members. Their individual accomplishments made a major impact on the team.

As I mentioned during the Volunteer Banquet, trying to narrow recognition down to a few people is difficult given the size of the team.

The SAR team annually contributes over 40,000 hours to the mission. This means a lot of people are doing exceptional work on this team.

To try and ensure that we give proper recognition commensurate with the size of this program we have the SAR Coordinator Award. The members who receive this are chosen by the SAR Command Staff for their contributions to the success of the team over the past year.

2012 SAR Coordinator Awards:

Josh Israel, Chris Retta and Judy Apfel
These three people played a critical role as part of the SAR logistics resource this year. Along with the other dedicated members of the group, they ensured equipment was ready and deployed as needed. The best way to demonstrate the effectiveness of the logistics resource is when they are not part of the pre-event preparation, there is a distinct drop-off on our ability to be ready to respond. These three played huge roles in ensuring the academy was ready, team trainings were ready and countless other events had what they needed to be successful. Managing logistics is neverending; it’s not high profile and it’s probably not recognized enough. This group has been a huge contributor this year.

Caroline Thomas Jacobs
Caroline has been a dynamo this year taking on the role of member-at-large and redefining this position into the team ombudsman. The team ombudsman is a vital link between the membership and the Command Staff. It provides a person that the membership can rely on to answer critical questions regarding the direction of the team.
Caroline in her spare time took on the role of team training sergeant as well. She took the single biggest training of the year, the full-team medical training, and made it bigger and better than in previous years. Caroline’s hand has been involved in most of the monthly team trainings since then. Her dedication to making the team better is exemplary.

Joe Keyser
Joe has been heavily involved in the Mountain Rescue Group for the past several years. This year he took on the management and execution of the Type 1 required Wilderness Medical Responder class. This was no easy task. The curriculum had to be built from the ground up and instructors trained on the required topics. Joe took additional training to build his skills. He filled a training void on the team and ensured the Type 1 resource maintained a high level of medical training.

Steve Filippoff
Steve has been one of the leads of the USAR resource over the past few years. He is quiet and unassuming, but has been instrumental in building the USAR resource into an extremely competent and cohesive unit. His professionalism and drive to increase everyone’s competence and his drive to get better makes him stand out. And if his total dedication was not enough, he has embarked on training a K9 in SAR. His dedication to the mission is extraordinary.

Jeremiah Dees
Jeremiah has been on the team for some time. He has made his mark on the technical operations of the team. He is the lead of the USAR resource and a key technical operator in the Mountain Rescue Group. His competence and leadership have raised the technical bar in both groups. He has been able to help marry the two disciplines of USAR and mountain rescue to build both programs by making them come together. His focus on safety and his technical expertise is unmatched. His ability to communicate the direction, ensure safe operations and at the same time build competence is paying huge dividends in how our team manages technical rescue operations.

Pierce Plam
Pierce while helping others publish the monthly newsletter has now inherited the title of publisher. While many help put together the monthly newsletter, his expertise in the software to build the online newsletter is what keeps it going month after month. People don’t join the team to publish newsletters. But the newsletter is important to the team. Pierce tirelessly and with good humor continues to make this publication happen.

David Cossu and Andy Csepely
Dr.’s Cossu and Csepely are the brains behind the CP. We are fortunate to have a huge variety of technical capabilities when we run a CP. Wired networks, printers, plotters, gps downloads etc. Without their work behind the scenes to ensure it all runs smoothly, we’d still be doing everything old school. The majority of the team does not see what it takes to keep this aspect of the team running and evolving. These two individuals bring us some world-class technical expertise that sets this team apart.

Antoine Snijders, Paul Moss and Jim Gay
There is a lot of work that goes into keeping our medical equipment up to standard as well as ensuring our medical details are well staffed. These three played a variety of roles to ensure we were ready for both trainings and scheduled events. Whether it was restocking equipment, scheduling events or ensuring we have the proper staffing, this was the responsibility of these three. Their work was almost all behind the scenes but instrumental in ensuring we were ready to provide our medical services to the public.

Diane Blue
Diane for many years has been involved in the recruiting and hiring of countless SAR volunteers. She puts in a lot of hours day in and day out contacting prospective applicants, processing their paperwork and shepherding these candidates through to the academy. Her positive personality and follow-through have ensured we continue to bring in quality applicants. She’s the perfect SAR ambassador.

I’ve mentioned many times that there are many team members doing remarkable things to ensure the team’s growth and success. The above names make up only part of why this team is so amazing. But if you look at the work done by these individuals it becomes very easy to see that with-out them, this team would be much different. This team would be much smaller, much less technically competent and much less capable of helping those in need. It is no small feat. Please take a moment and thank them for their service to the mission.

Fitness For Hiking

By Jeremiah Dees

Intro – Approach/Effective Practices
Learn to move well before trying to go hard, otherwise you should expect to get good at moving poorly.  There are a lot of parts to this.  Successful people take it one thing at a time, so that's what we're going to do.  
So the annual fitness hike is right around the corner, and despite your best intentions, it seems that fitness has been sneaking away from you. Unfortunately, fitness is not free. Deep down you know that you are better than what’s taken place.  It’s just been really hard keeping up lately, hasn’t it?
The good news is that it’s not difficult to turn things around. It only requires taking one or two small steps each day and you might be surprised to know that your body is begging you to cross this threshold. Successful people thrive on the continuous feed of personal growth and discovery that follows daily acts of commitment to themselves.
Ready to get started?  Great!
But first, a little housekeeping:
In each of the next four issues of the Callout, I’ll provide you with a routine and a little bit of education that addresses a part of recapturing your health and developing your fitness. These are general recommended abilities that nearly everyone should develop at some point in their life. (If you have recently been injured or are under the care of a medical professional, including taking medication, then I would advise consulting with your care provider before becoming much more physically active.)
Next, let’s set a mindset for success:
Making an effort every day is much more important than getting it perfect,  and when you miss a day, there is no need to feel vexed.  We become what we put our energy into.  From now on you have my permission to wipe the slate clean.  Yesterday does not matter.  Ask yourself, “What am I going to do today to get closer to my goals?”
It is easy to get distracted as there is a lot of misinformation out there surrounding health and fitness.  You are an organism (not a machine) and a person (not a game show contestant).  Change takes a little bit of time to feel.  So stay focused on what you are doing now.  Give your efforts a chance to grow.  I can assure you that every effort you make triggers positive (anabolic) changes inside.  
What anyone else can do shouldn’t have any relation to where you feel your performance should be. Dump the fixed mindset and embrace a growth mindset. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself “What am I going to do today to get closer to my goals?”
When trying new things it is important to distinguish between pain and discomfort.  If you experience pain and feel that an activity is hurting you, then either alter the activity or don’t do it.  Discomfort, on the other hand, should be expected. Attempting activities never done before should feel foreign for awhile, maybe even a little uncomfortable.
Today’s Lesson:
Learn to move well before trying to go hard or far; otherwise you should expect to get good at moving poorly. You don’t want to earn yourself the long-term consequences of having dysfunctional movement patterns (aka your physical habits).
There are a lot of components to moving well.  For now we are going to address the most common insult to a human’s capacity: mobility limitation.  And for that, we are going to introduce foam rolling.  
Foam rolling is an effective way to start any exercise session.  It takes only 5 to 10 minutes to hit all areas of the body.  Your aim is to roll over each area slowly just until the muscles release.  If a muscle feels very intense at one spot, then sit on it until the intensity begins to dull.  
Follow this with a slow roll back and forth, repeated 6 to 12 times before moving on.  Adjust your positioning to control pressure. On your tender bits, shoot for 6 to 7 on a scale of 10 discomfort without triggering guarding mechanisms.  You might have to lean against a wall (rather than lay on it) to accomplish this.  The following pictures demonstrate the routine.
I recommend rolling sensitive areas once in the morning and again before bed every night.  You can expect noticeable improvements in mobility immediately, and every week limitations should diminish.