Team Commendations, June 2013

Joe Keyser
Joe under took a large task of organizing, scheduling, and planning the recent Type 1 Academy. His overall supervision was definitely “hands on” and his direction challenged a new group of Type 1 students. In end this will greatly benefit the SAR Team.

Tim Murphy
​Tim was the driver for a recent series of USAR Rope Rescue Trainings that many team members from all levels of experience took advantage of. In addition to the scheduled trainings Tim even agreed to meet students for some extra sessions for some additional trainings. The result will also greatly benefit the SAR Team in our future searches. Good work to Joe and Tim and thank you for you dedication & membership to the SAR Team!

Searcher Spotlight: Nancy Hart

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Searchers swarmed the area in Danville around Nancy Hart's 1950s rancher home one evening this May in an effort to find her autistic son. Of course, this wasn't a real scenario and her son wasn't really missing. But it could have been real, because Nancy has a son with autism (now high-functioning) and who had, in the past, gone missing. 

This time, however, it was a mock search Hasty Squad training and Nancy was in the thick of it.

Autism has been front and center in Nancy's life and it is one of the reasons she joined CoCoSAR in 2005, since she knew autistic children frequently go missing. Also, Hurricane Katrina had just happened and she wanted to be part of a team that could help in a disaster. Those reasons, along with her enjoyment of camping and rock climbing, contributed to her decision to join the team.

Right away she jumped into a high level of involvement, going from EMR to becoming an EMT, writing up the SAR Academy manual and then becoming the academy sergeant for two years. A few years ago, Nancy had to leave the team for medical reasons, but now she's back and raring to go. “I'm really happy to be back,” she says.

Nancy was born in San Jose but moved about a bit before settling in Danville. In her day job she works as an IT project manager for John Muir, but she has also, over the years, put in some serious work toward enlightening others about autism through Cure Autism Now. 

Her children – son Connor is 19, daughter Sarah is 21 – are both in college but to keep her company while they're away she has a dog, a rescue cat and a built-up Land Rover Defender 90 (that she says draws some serious envy). For fun she goes to Disneyland, studies languages (including modern Greek), researches nutritional strategies, reads history, and works in her garden.

Oh. And then there's SAR … again. This time she's going to start by venturing more into USAR training.

The SAR team wisdom that Nancy offers is that “It takes a team to find a person.” 

As an example, she cites a search in which she and her teammates spent several hours simply standing on a road. 

“The strategy was to flush out an autistic boy by moving him forward with the noise of searchers and helicopters,” she says. “It worked! He was found that day after spending a night in the woods.”

In essence, “even though a team member might not get a very glamorous assignment, everyone plays an important part,” she says. “All I did was stand on a road. If I hadn't done my part along with everyone else doing their parts as perimeters, the strategy would not have worked.”

So now she's back and ready to do her part.

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.
 

Searcher Spotlight: Brian Mapel

DSC09144“Basically I’m still a kid playing with erector sets and Tonka toys; it’s just that the sandbox is a little bigger now.”

That’s how Brian Mapel sums up his career as an engineer. A graduate of Santa Clara University who earned his business master’s at Cal, Brian now owns his own firm that provides temporary structure designs for large infrastructure projects.

 “We get to dream up all kinds of unorthodox solutions and then go build them … stuff you’d never get away with in the world of permanent design,” he says.

But even with all this expertise, he still learned something from his three years of CoCoSAR experience that he has translated into his paid work.

“On one of our projects last year we hauled a 100,000-pound excavator up a dam face using a haul system I modeled off of something (Tim) Murphy showed me in USAR,” Brian says.

Brian, though, gives as good as he gets, offering his skills to proctor for USAR and his experience in leadership (gleaned, in part, from his time as a tank commander in the Army) for all team activities.

His younger years were spent in the southern part of the state and country (Los Angeles and Houston) with a tight-knit family. After a few more moves he landed in Martinez, despite the fact that his parents and one of his siblings, with whom he is very close, still live in L.A. But he and his sister have often met up for trips overseas to such places as Thailand, New Zealand and Japan.

Besides travel, he also enjoys backpacking and kayaking, live music, theater and art. And in addition to these activities and a stressful job that sounds like it should take up ALL of his time, he still spends about four months a year leading a group of professionals in mentoring high school kids with an eye toward interesting them in architecture, construction or engineering.

And then there’s SAR.

 “My teammates make SAR worth the work and the effort. I could take any handful of people on this team and show you a handful of exceptional people,” he says. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for people who are passionate about what they do, and this team just exemplifies that. It’s a real pleasure every month to spend time with this group.”

Push

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.

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

photo (12)

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.

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.