UNO 2014 – 29 new Type II Academy graduates and the CoCoSAR 100

- by John Banuelos

“Give your all to meIMG_1096
I'll give my all to you”

These words come a John Legend song.  How do these words connect to the 2014 Type II Academy? Well, read on.

In a tradition that reaches back to the beginning of CoCoSAR there has always been an Unexpected Night Out or UNO. Many generations of CoCoSAR Team members have gone through their UNO. Everyone remembers and has a special tale to tell about their night out.

On October 18 and 19, for 36 plus hours 29 student were run through stations of SAR skill sets, did endless miles of hiking, conducted multiple mocks searches all through the night into the wee hours of the next day, caught a few hours of sleep, if at all, and then capped off the UNO experience with a final rescue scenario in the post dawn hours. All 29 students persevered. They had dirty faces with smiles. All felt the relief of success as we all ate our breakfast under the old oak tree.

The Class of 2014 gave their all to us. And we of the CoCoSAR One Hundred gave our all to them.

These 29 will merge into the ranks of the CoCoSAR Two Hundred as ground pounders. I hope they join the ranks of the CoCoSAR One Hundred in support of the next generation of students that will attend the next Academies and will go through their own UNO in 2015.

As to the CoCoSAR One Hundred, they represent the ongoing spirit of giving their all. It is with great pride that I present the list of names for the 2014 CoCoSAR One Hundred. There were 111 contributors to the success of this year’s Academies and UNO.

     
Apfel, Judith Hirata, Alan Perez, Edward
Banuelos, John Hirata, Tami Piercy, Dana
Bates, Tom Hirata, Tori Plam, Pierce
Blue, Diane Hoffman, Nancy Poindexter, Roger
Borquez, Leslie Hubbard, Laura Retta, Chris
Boyce, Michael Hubinger, John Riggs, Casey
Buluran, Kristl Hunter, Autumn Riggs, Micheal
Carmody, Laura Huntington, Ron Rodrigues, Itales
Clark, Jim Israel, Joshua Rogers-Engle, Natane
Clark, Kevin Jones, Paul Rogers, Todd
Clymer, Laury Kalan, Jon Rutherford, Pamela
Coelho, Chris Kavanagh, Don Schimek, Brad
Comly, Andy Kovar, Rick Sembrat, Mark
Corum, Jamie Kwan, Vincent Shargel, Matt
Cossu, David Lamb, Steve Shih, Larry
Coyne, Dan Lane, Dennis Soo, Cameron
Csepely, Andreas Langley, Claudia Stein, Roger
Cummings, Michael Lynch, Darren Stinson, Ralf
Cunningham, Katelynn Mapel, Brian Sutter, John
Curran, Dawn Mathews, Alan Thomas, Lauren
Dees, Jeremiah McGraw, Lisa Tiernan, Jeff
Dodson, Patrick McMillan, Michael Tseung, Kerrie
Eichinger, Walter Medearis, Robert Venturino, John
Farasati, Reza Miller, Sheryl Volga, Michelle
Field, Cynthia Molascon, Ed Walker, Patrick
Filippoff, Steven Moschetti, Frank Walley, Bryan
Fok, Eric Moss, Paul Walton, Claire
Fong, Larry Murphy, Tim Webber, Steve
Franks, Randy Murray, Paul West, Paul
Garcia, Linda Murray, Scott White, Howard
Gaughen, Kathy Murray, Wilma Whiting, Mark
Gay, Jim Najarian, Rick Wilfer, Mark
Giberti, Kevin Neidhardt, Richard Witul, Janice
Gore, Natalie Nichols, Chris Wright, Jennifer
Harrison, Robert Novak, Phil Yee, Laishan
He, Henry Pangilinan, Luigi Young, Chris
Healy, Paul Peabody, Jack Zensius, Natalie

Class of 2014

By John BanuelosIMG_0195

31 new names will be added to the roster of CoCoSAR.
Every year, CoCoSAR garners the attention of volunteers who wish to contribute to their community. And every September, CoCoSAR conducts a Type 3 Academy to add to the ranks of the “200,” the number of volunteers maintained as a search force. On September 2, 31 individuals (24 adults with seven Cadets) started their introduction to search and rescue.

Each member gave up aspects of his/her life to attend 10 SAR Academy nights, plus gave up one full weekend to be trained in Urban Search and Rescue Type 4 tactics and hiked miles as part of a series of navigation exercises. None complained, all stayed on task, and throughout the entire process they tried to absorb every ounce of information that was offered. On October 6, they will attend one last night and will leave as full Type 3 members of CoCoSAR.

But wait! They are not done. On October 7, the Type 2 Academy will begin. Twenty-nine of the 31 new members will be there. We start with the Type 2 fitness hike and will end with the Unexpected Night Out (UNO) on October 19. Special note: Once again, the “CoCoSAR 100” has rallied.

The term “CoCoSAR 100” refers to those members that assist the Academy staff with the Type 3 and 2 Academy events.
Since the inception of the term, the “100” has never disappointed. To date, 88 individual members have instructed, proctored, coached, or have done any task needed to assist at an Academy night or weekend event. The call goes out and the “100” shows up in force.

A few remarkable members have shown up at every event. They did so because they wished to help. On average, each of these 88 members have assisted at least three times over the course of the Type 3 Academy. As we progress on through UNO, the final number will continue to grow. And as before, 100-plus members will have stood the watch over the next generation of CoCoSAR members.

Servio in comitatu heroes
I serve in the company of heroes.

The 2014 Type III Academy

It is that time of the year where the OES shines with bright and unblemished orange t-shirts proudly stating, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. 31 students make up the Class of 2014, 24 adults and 7 cadets. And like those that came before them the cycle of SAR education begins again: Navigation, knots, first aid, search tactics, etc. After two weeks these students reinforce their commitment to reach Type III status at each new Academy session. Type II status is certainly already on their minds.

On the Type III hike these 31 students gained their first feel of a 20 lb. pack, a hike covering street and rough terrain, and a mission to find clues. But they were not alone. Our CoCoSAR 100 (Team members that volunteer to be of service to the Academy) were there. 41 Team veterans attended the Type III hike. Every one of them was there to support these 31 students. 

To date 69 Team members have added their names to this year’s roll of the 2014 CoCoSAR 100. Thank you one and all

John P Banuelos
Academy SAR Sergeant
Servio in comitatu heroes
I serve in the company of heroes.

A Great Result

- Article from MercuryNews.com

Luba Lusherovich, 77, was found in the Norris Canyon area after 185 search and rescue personnel from nine counties converged on San Ramon to help find her.
Lusherovich walked away from her family's home near Bollinger Canyon Road and Marsh Drive, and efforts to find her grew more urgent as the days passed.

Kelsey Lusherovich, Luba Lusherovich's granddaughter-in-law, said the family was notified that the elderly relative had been found and that she was taken to a hospital to be evaluated but is expected to be OK. The younger woman said the older woman was conscious and talking, but dehydrated.

"I'm ecstatic; frankly, this is a miracle," she said. "She had no food, no money, no water … I don't know how much more miraculous it could get."

San Ramon police Sgt. Hollis Tong said she was found near a creek on Norris Canyon Road. Search and rescue dogs from the California Rescue Dogs Association first found a shoe, then a piece of clothing.

The handlers notified the command post at 2:15 p.m. that the dogs had picked up her scent and followed it to a house, where they found her, conscious and smiling, Tong said.

It was Ammo's first find, said handler Sonya Roth of her yellow Labrador retriever. "I was so excited I was shaking when we found her," Roth said. "That thrill … that's why we do this. Ammo may have saved her life."

Search-and-rescue crews from Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, Marin, Sonoma, Solano, San Mateo, Napa and Sacramento counties concentrated their search Saturday near the hilly area of Norris Canyon Road, near Castro Valley, and near the family home, Tong said.

There had been concerns that Lusherovich, a friendly European immigrant who once helped to teach kindergartners in Walnut Creek and Pleasanton, may have left the area, even though she left home without money. She also was without her medications, Tong said.

A police officer saw her on Norris Canyon Road as it heads toward Castro Valley around 2 p.m. Wednesday, but police had not yet been notified that Lusherovich was missing.

Police grew more worried as the days ticked by without finding her. More than 100 civilian volunteers came out Saturday to help search. "Everyone from all walks of life came out to find Luba," Tong said. "Time was of the essence."
 

MRG Quarterly Meeting

DSCF0243The Mountain Rescue Group (MRG) quarterly meetings generally go off without a hitch, but the most recently planned meeting was put off twice. The first delay was for a call out to El Dorado County; the second time it was postponed because of an Antioch search. Looks like the third time’s the charm as the meeting was finally held July 29.

The session began with mission recaps and discussion about the upcoming MRG Type 1 training Aug. 1 through 3.

The meeting also featured team tech specialist David Cossu, who described and demonstrated the mobile command field electronics. We tested the plotter, satellite phone, wireless networks for remote field operations and lots of other resources.

One new piece of equipment stole the show: the BGAN portable broadband Internet and phone. This game-changing piece of equipment allows for Internet access and phone calls in places where there is no cell service.

It was a hands-on couple of hours. After several months of planning and pulling equipment together, our mobile field electronics are finally ready to be field-tested.

The MRG meetings are open to all CoCoSAR team members, not just Type 1. Contact Chris Coelho for information about MRG.

Type 2 Qualifying Hike and SARfit

Over a dozen team members participated in the Type 2 qualifying hike on July 21, a five-mile hike on Shell Ridge in Walnut Creek. The path meanders up and down the ridge, through valleys and on and off fire roads.

Every year, Type 2 CoCoSAR members certify on this hike while carrying a 20-pound pack. In order to pass, it is necessary to complete the hike in under 150 minutes.

Team members who have already qualified for the year often come out for the exercise, the camaraderie, and to support their friends (and to ensure those less familiar with the route don’t get lost). It is a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Shell Ridge is Walnut Creek’s largest open space, with trails for biking, hiking and riding through oak woodlands and grassland savanna on the lower flanks of Mount Diablo. Shell Ridge gets its name from the marine fossils left behind when the ocean waters that once covered the area receded.

Danville Hot Summer Nights Medical

On July 17, 2014 Contra Costa County SAR was on scene and prepared to provide medical aid and assist with missing or lost children at the 20th annual Hot Summer Nights in Danville. The event was located on Hartz Ave in the heart of beautiful historic downtown Danville. The show stretched from Faz's restaurant on Hartz Avenue north to San Ramon Valley High School and extended down many of the side streets as well.

There were rare, one-of-a-kind collector cars, along side the most powerful hot rods and muscle cars from the 1960's. Also on display were custom designed cars from some of the world's most famous automobile designers, and beautifully maintained classic originals.

Check out the video of some of our team members:

 

SARFit!

SARFit!All of us know the benefits of enhancing our fitness level, but did you realize that if each CoCoSAR member could increase his/her walking speed by as little as 10 percent, it would be the equivalent of adding 23 fully trained and experienced searchers to the team?  That’s a big bonus for the team.

With that in mind, team member Reza Farasati has stepped up to encourage and organize fitness activities for team members with a new fitness program, (SARFit!) for CoCoSAR members.

The goal of the program is to help members at all levels reach a higher state of fitness.  SARFit! is designed to do two simple things: Provide members with a variety of fun fitness opportunities – from hikes, to bike rides, to backpacking, to snowshoeing; and to encourage members to enhance their personal fitness levels.

The program is completely voluntary and will require prospective participants to “opt in” by emailing Reza with their interest.  Opting in will then put that member on the list to receive regular emails with brief descriptions (what, where, when and fitness level/intensity) of activities that may be of interest. There will be no pressure: It’s totally up to the individual to decide in which activities to participate.

RezaReza will serve as the collector and distributor of fitness opportunities – team members may send him details of activities they think would be good for the program and he will pass on the info to all those who opted in. 

Interested team members should email Reza directly to let him know of their interest in the program. This is a great way to enjoy the benefits of incremental fitness improvement while becoming an even stronger CoCoSAR member – not to mention connecting with fellow team members in a fun and productive way.

This past Saturday, team members engaged in the first SARFit! activity–a hike with some chest thumping hills–after the full team training. Watch a video of the event below.

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.