AmGen Medical Detail Recap

It's not every day that CoCoSAR gets front-row seats to a major sporting event. The near-final, seventh stage of the Amgen Tour of California afforded our team the ability to see the “Greatest Cycling Race in America” while practicing patching up some road rash.

With 5,000-plus cyclists (including the crowd), thousands more onlookers, and some steep drop-offs that would make your Camelback pucker, team members provided on-scene medical support by staffing three aid stations and several roving patrols. 

The day was beautiful and the teamwork was even better as the team adapted, improvised and overcame a variety of obstacles from last-minute operational changes to difficult communications. Of course, CoCoSAR pulled it off without a hitch with both style and flare (note the pictures).

Thanks to all those that participated, especially Robert Harrison, our new medical sergeant, for whom the SAR-gods chose this as his first event.
 

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.

 

 

Looking Back, Looking Ahead–The Resource Year in Review

Bicycle Resource
The Bike Resource was involved in number of medical events throughout 2012 and participated in many aspects of team training, including UNO, as part of the Type 2 Academy. Most recently, the Bike Resource participated in team medical events for the Mount Diablo Challenge Bike race and the Lafayette Reservoir Run.

Primary goals for 2013
- Hold a Bike Resource Orientation Academy for new members
- Organize monthly training rides
- Organize optional weekly fitness rides for all members
- Participate in team medical events

 

Canine Resource
The Canine Resource had some significant accomplishments in 2012. They included certifying two trailing-dog teams and recertification of an area and an HRD (human remains detection) dog team. Also, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) policies were revised and the resource added three trailing-dog teams and a new puppy (trailing and firearms) for a currently certified handler.

Primary goals for 2013
- Certify four trailing-dog teams
- Recertify an area-dog team
- Plan for water training, a trailing seminar, and to revise the SOP training manual

 

 

Equestrian Resource
The Equestrians are probably the smallest resource, with four current members. Meeting the rider / horse requirement has been the focus of 2012.  The resource is similar to the canine resource in that each member must practice more with his / her “partner” individually than during monthly trainings.

Primary goals for 2013
- Increase numbers.
- Research and develop ways to have those who do not ride or own horses participate

 

Explorers
The Explorers had a busy 2012 and added 12 new Explorer members to the team; getting them through the Type 3 Academy with six carrying on to Type 2. That took a lot of work with many experienced Explorers acting as coaches and proctors.

The Explorer rafting trip in August was a lot of fun, but also an excellent team-building training. Explorer Capt. Kevin Clark led one of the SAR-o-Rama trainings on patient assessment and this event provided an excellent leadership opportunity for him.

A “treasure chest” geocache hike was a big hit in November. The Explorers had to follow clues via a topographical map, a GPS waypoint, and a compass, among other clues, to lead to a chest full of treasures (movie items and chocolate) hidden at OES.

There were several fun trainings, as well, at the local climbing gym; PR events; and several Explorers went through the EMR class.

Primary goal for 2013
- Take a leadership role in some of the team’s trainings such as SAR-o-Rama

 

Metal Detector Resource
The Metal Detector Resource continues to be a valuable part of the team by assisting local law enforcement units recover evidence at crime scenes. The resource has a strong group of core members and several new Type 3 academy graduates. Many of our searches took place during regular business hours to meet the needs of the requesting agency. Fortunately, enough members were able to take the time mid-week to meet all metal detector callout requests.

During 2012, the resource was asked to locate (or eliminate the possibility of their location through due diligence) weapons and ammunition on several occasions, including an extensive search of a block-long juniper bush in Richmond’s Iron Triangle.

Primary goals for 2013
- Build the capabilities of its current members
- Increase the number of members who are well-trained enough to handle any callouts

 

Mountain Rescue Group (MRG)
The MRG held a successful academy with two new Type 1 members added to the callout roster in 2012. During the year there were also numerous Type 1 searches in a variety of terrain, from the coastal range to the high Sierra. The snow and ice re-accreditation team trained hard for its March 2013 test date.

 

 

Primary goals for 2013
- Pass another recertification effort in snow and ice
- Maintain continued readiness for challenging callouts in difficult Type 1 terrain
- Increase the Type 1 callout roster to 35 by the fall of 2013

 

Tracking Resource
The focus for 2012 was on building new skills so that at a moment’s notice, members could follow a subject’s trail without falter. However, just as importantly it has been about educating the full team on how to protect precious tracks, preserve clues that can aid in the discovery of a lost subject, and to teach a searcher how to raise his/her acuity as a ground-pounder.

Primary goals for 2013
- Continue to be an educational resource focused on teaching track awareness, clue protection, night-vision and thermal-vision tactics, etc.
- Continue to define and refine the resource’s collective tracking techniques so they can be taught to all team searchers
- Spread among the membership – during academies, full-team trainings and the 2013 Tracking Academy – the concepts and importance of tracking. Sign (or spoor) is everywhere – 25 percent of the team understands this; the tracking sergeant wants the other 75 percent

 

USAR Resource
During 2012, the USAR Resource successfully implemented a two-tier training program (one advanced and one basic); had a strong turnout and enthusiasm at all of its training events; added to the state USAR mutual-aid list; and grew its full-team USAR Type 4 readiness through team trainings and the SAR Type 3 Academy.

 

Primary goals for 2013
- Develop the USAR Ops Guide
- Expand USAR’s Type 3 numbers
- Develop strong Type 3 team leaders

 

Bicycle Academy Grads

CoCo SAR’s annual Bicycle Resource Academy was held on December 18th. Resource Sergeant Michael Boyce and Corporal Michael Correia successfully ushered nine students through the process of reviewing bicycle safety, discussing the pros and cons of various gear, testing basic skills, and the finer points of using bicycles in SAR. By the end of the day, the following students had successfully completed the academy:

  • Andy Birbaum
  • Brendan Correia
  • Christina Ditzl
  • Erik Fok
  • Bob Harrison
  • Alvin Lubrino
  • Rick Najarian
  • Pierce Plam
  • Brad Schimek

Congratulations to the new members of the Bicycle Resource!