VT Phone Home
San Bernardino County Sheriff's SAR
by Justin Wheaton
2M ago
Over the last few years, we have integrated the VT Prusik into our Rope Rescue Support (RRS) course, and have dabbled with it in the Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC). This year, it will be a requirement to have in all our rope-centric courses, extending it’s use to BMC as well as Rope Rescue Operator (RRO) and Rope Rescue Technician (RRT).     The term “VT Prusik” comes from the French Valdotain Tresse, or loosely translated, “French braid”, and refers more specifically to a type of hitch. The term is now used colloquially to refer to a style of sewn eye to eye prusik, that is ..read more
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Joint Training Observations
San Bernardino County Sheriff's SAR
by Sonny Lawrence
1y ago
I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a SAR training involving a number of different teams. The command post also was hosting new members to learn those skills. The event was fantastic. There are many positive experiences that came from it. However, this article discusses some of the challenges associated with waypoint format and phone apps. SARTopo has quickly become the go to app for in field phone navigation as well as command post event organization. It can be very useful whether the SAR field personnel has cell service or not. With good field cell service, the command post may be abl ..read more
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Fear the Gear: A Near Miss at RRS
San Bernardino County Sheriff's SAR
by Justin Wheaton
2y ago
Earlier this month during our RRS course, we had a near miss. A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in a serious injury, but had the potential to do so. A near miss is often due to a fortunate break in a sequence of events. Sometimes it’s timing, distance, or a warning from someone close by. In some instances, it’s hard to call it anything other than luck. Please read your email as soon as possible from Donna Newlin for inspection information ..read more
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RRS Course
San Bernardino County Sheriff's SAR
by Sonny Lawrence
2y ago
Rope Rescue Oversight Committee (R.R.O.C.) is sponsoring a Rope Rescue Support (RRS) course. It will be held June 3, 4, and 5, 2022. Only members of San Bernardino County Sheriff affiliated departments and search and rescue teams are allowed to attend. For each two students from a rope certified team, their team must provide one Rope Rescue Operator (RRO) or Rope Rescue Technician (RRT) to function as assistant instructor. Students from non-rope certified teams are not required to obtain assistant instructors. There will be pre-course assignments wherein the student learns to tie knots and ..read more
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Theoretical Mechanical Advantage
San Bernardino County Sheriff's SAR
by Justin Wheaton
2y ago
On the final day of our Rope Rescue Operator course, a great debrief discussion came up during the final test evolution. Both groups that tested that day became challenged to lift a 4 person load up a moderate slope using a 3:1 mechanical advantage (MA) with the DCTTRS system they had built. The decision was quickly made by both teams to reconfigure the pulleys to a 5:1 MA - Great Work! As the raise continued, the two groups were faced with another decision, this time, they diverged. One team decided to re-direct the haul downhill, while the other team did not. Given the slope of the hill and ..read more
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Auto Tracking Teams in SARTopo
San Bernardino County Sheriff's SAR
by Justin Wheaton
2y ago
The Cave and Technical Rescue Team spent this last weekend executing a land navigation training. Set up was the same as most any other team in the county; maps, makeshift command posts, plotting coordinates, and of course - incoherent radio traffic. The only difference was our experiment with SARTopo.com’s additional access features. Granting additional access to individuals in the field allowed us to track our teams in real time. The good news is that it worked well. The great news is that it wasn’t hard to do! In short, the command post can generate the additional access link and a QR code w ..read more
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BMC Coming Nov 21-22
San Bernardino County Sheriff's SAR
by Sonny Lawrence
2y ago
Save the dates November 20 and 21, 2021. The classroom session for BMC will be held that Saturday and Sunday weekend at Volunteer Forces, 199 N. Hangar Way, San Bernardino, CA 92415. Please sign up at: https://forms.gle/rx2AJMvBXRj9FFAh8. For members of San Bernardino county SAR teams, you must use your SBSAR email address. At the end of the classroom session, participants will receive a certificate for Winter Alpine Awareness (WAA). This will allow you to participate on some non-technical winter missions involving snow. Individuals who are certified as Rope Rescue Operators (RRO) may go on ..read more
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Zello: A Network Radio Solution
San Bernardino County Sheriff's SAR
by Jeff Lehman
2y ago
For a number of years, the Cave Team has been using network radios to augment existing radio communications. Recently, the tool that we have been using, Zello, has offered their commercial product for free to emergency services organizations. We jumped at this opportunity and transitioned from their free product to the commercial version. Network radios are devices or applications that operate like traditional radio services in a one-to-many fashion. Instead of using trunked radio systems, conventional repeaters, or direct radio connectivity, they connect to a data network. This data netw ..read more
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Cave Team works with Death Valley National Park Rangers
San Bernardino County Sheriff's SAR
by Sonny Lawrence
2y ago
The San Bernardino County Sheriff Cave and Technical Rescue Team was invited to do a joint training with rangers at Death Valley National Park. The goal was to develop a hasty team that can get to an injured subject and stabilize him/her in preparation for a helicopter extraction.  The park is steadily experiencing increased canyoneering. At the moment there are more than 300 identified technical canyons in the park. The canyoneering season is the cool/cold months. It is far too hot in the summer to do canyons. Some of the canyons are relatively easy access with a short hike or shuttle. S ..read more
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Farewell UTM: Is it Time to Switch to Something Else?
San Bernardino County Sheriff's SAR
by Jeff Lehman
2y ago
I started in search and rescue in 1996. In that time I have seen the rise of GPS from expensive, specialty item to a ubiquitous pocket commodity, the replacement of the pager with a reliable cell phone network (not always a good replacement), and ever increasing use of computers in planning and executing SAR missions. Heck, you can even purchase a satellite text communications device that will track you, and allow simple text communication for less than $300. Speaking of my handheld GPS. I haven’t carried a single-purpose GPS in the field in about a decade. I can carry a GPS, and all the maps ..read more
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