Planning for Rescue

MRA Webinar Series – Submersion Injuries: Drowning and Near Drowning

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
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Webinar Description:
Drowning remains a leading cause of death among children worldwide. This particular time of year, submersion injuries are common whether due to swift water incidents or accidents on the open water. Understanding who is most at risk for submersion injuries, the pathophysiologic effects of a submersion incident, and the typical course of treatment can help providers be better prepared to care for victims of submersion incidents.

Lindsey Myers is a certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. She currently works on the trauma service at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah, and has 10 years of previous experience working as a critical care nurse. She has been a member of Utah County Sheriff Search and Rescue for the past 10 years and currently serves as the medical sergeant. She has been a certified swift water rescue technician and also worked as a lifeguard at Virginia Beach for approximately 3 years providing ocean rescue services.

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MRA Webinar Series – Above Ground Rescue VS Cave Rescue

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015
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Webinar Description:
Would your rescue team be effective during a cave rescue? What are your resources? Do you even need outside resources? This webinar will discuss the drastic differences between above ground rescues and underground rescues and the different resources available to you. Many rescue teams are literally caught between a rock and a hard spot when attempting to conduct a cave rescue. The techniques that we rely on above ground do not always work underground. Did you know that for every 10 minutes a person travels into a cave, it will take trained cave rescuers an hour or more to remove the person if they are not able to walk themselves? Most cave rescues take multiple hours to, many times, days to complete.

You and your team also have to deal with the stress of: total darkness, small, cramped, wet working areas, and the stress of being underground for hours at a time. Confined space training is not adequate for cave rescues. Some of the differences between above and underground rescues include: haul systems, logistics, pre-planning, communications (or lack thereof), ICS, resources, moving patient, medical considerations, and other rescuer considerations.

Debbie Spoons has been a member of Utah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue since 2010. Debbie attends hundreds of hours of classes each year in cave rescue techniques, not only as a student but also as an instructor. She is a Level 2 NCRC – (National Cave Rescue Commission) and will complete Level 3 this summer. Debbie is the NSS (National Speleological Society) Webinar Chair and is in the process of building a “Cave Safety/Cave Rescue Library”, through hosting educational webinars. You can view these webinars at

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MRA Webinar Series – Using Social Media: Sharing Your Team As A Brand

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
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Webinar Description:
Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress and Twitter have been around for more than a decade, yet it is still considered “new media.” This presentation will focus on how to integrate aspects of social networking into the marketing plan for your SAR unit. Social networks can be a cost effective way to promote your organization in your community, target advertising for recruiting new members, and fundraising. Some SAR units have also used social networking to communicate with SAR units from across the globe to discuss topics like technical rescue techniques and tools, management issues, and generate training ideas. Discussion related to specific social networks will be limited to Facebook and Twitter.

Bryan Enberg is the Vice President and lead SAR instructor for Northeast Mountain Guiding’s Professional Services Division. He has been a member of New Jersey Search and Rescue for sixteen years and currently holds the rank of Chief.

He serves as the Vice President of the Mountain Rescue Association and leads its social media marketing efforts. He holds certifications as an instructor for NASAR’s Managing the Lost Person Incident (MLPI), Introduction to Search and Rescue (ISAR), and Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR). Bryan recently developed the newly released NASAR program, Initial Actions in Search and Rescue. Bryan also instructs Rope Rescue and Patient Packaging and Transport, and offers consulting services regarding team management, social media and professional standards credentialing.

Bryan is the chairman of the Education Committee for the Search and Rescue Council of New Jersey and serves as the Council’s State Agency Liaison, leading its efforts within the state to establish a Search and Rescue Resource Credentialing system, in partnership with the New Jersey State Police OEM.

He has been backpacking and climbing since his Scouting years and has returned to Scouting with his son, Joshua. He resides in Sparta, New Jersey with his wife Jennifer, a Lieutenant and Search Manager with NJSAR, and NMG PSD Instructor.

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MRA Webinar Series – Revisiting Mission Reporting and Search and Rescue Mapping for the MRA

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
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Webinar Description:
More and more MRA teams are entering their missions into the ArcGIS mapping system at for both reporting and search plan assistance. This system is paid for all MRA teams as part of the organization’s initiative to generate useable statistics.

Although data entry is very quick and self explanatory, Jon receives many questions about how to take full advantage of the system’s many features. He will answer many of these questions during this webinar.

Jon Pedder is a member of the Esri Disaster Response Program and is an active member of the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team.

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ICAR 2014

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

ICAR 2014 Lake Tahoe (Part 1) and ICAR 2014 Lake Tahoe (Part 2) from Topograph Media on Vimeo.

The International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR) met in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, between October 6th and 10th, 2014. This was the first time in its 66 year history that ICAR met in the USA. There were 325 rescuers from 54 countries and a great exchange of information and best practices. Topograph Media has produced the Annual Highlights Video since 2007, and previous editions can be found at This project is made possible with the generous support of our commercial sponsors, Arc’teryx, CMC Rescue, PMI and Petzl.

MRA Webinar Series – Using the Lost Person Questionnaire

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
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Webinar Description:
The Lost Person Questionnaire is an important tool which has been in use for many years by SAR Managers and other investigators to glean information from a variety of sources to help focus search efforts on clues which may be of use to search planners, evaluators, and teams in the field. The LPQ form has evolved over the years and each segment may prove valuable. Modern technology allows it to be deployed in ways not possible even a decade ago.

Alan Wakefield has been involved in search and rescue since 1972 and has served continuously as an Incident Commander in Utah County since 1990. He has received training and certifications in nearly every SAR-related discipline imaginable, and served on four separate Governor appointed Task Force committees in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympics, including the Search and Rescue committee. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1974, has been married for 44 years, is the father of four children and has nine grandchildren.

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MRA Webinar Series – SAR Communication Skills: Strengthening the Weakest Link

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
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Webinar Description:
When a child gets injured on the mountain, MRA teams know exactly what to do. We organize search teams, build technical systems, and provide medical care. We perform these advanced skillsets efficiently because we train for them and every incident provides an opportunity to test our abilities.

One crucial skill, however, gets mostly forgotten. We never train for it and don’t know how to measure our proficiency. The first goal of this webinar is to convince you that you’re not as good of a communicator as you thought you were, then suggest a dozen ways to improve.

The webinar aims to make you more aware of helpful communication skills and how your team culture created through communication can either cause fatalities or increase morale and dedication among your volunteers.

Presenter and communications expert Shaun Roundy has been a SAR member for fifteen years, a member of the MRA Intermountain Region leadership for seven, and chairs the MRA Webinar Training Committee. He speaks several languages; taught university strategic writing for fifteen years; and has written several books, including “75 Search and Rescue Stories: an insider’s view of survival, death, and volunteer heroes who tip the balance when things fall apart.”

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MRA Webinar Series – Unmanned Arial Drone Rescue: An Overview of UAV Utility, Tech Specs, and Legal Threats

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
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The recording and presentation slides are not available for this webinar. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Webinar Description:
Join us for this informative webinar by 16-year SAR veteran and 9-year UAV-Enabled Wilderness SAR Adviser Ron Zeeman. This half-hour presentation will convey Ron’s extensive experience and experimentation which will guide you in adding this emerging technology to your field operations. You will also gain an increased appreciation for drones’ utility, including their ability to speed up searches and support victims while awaiting rescue. You will also learn about the evolving legal environment surrounding drone use and empower you to provide useful input into the conversations which will shape the future of UAV use in SAR operations.

MRA Webinar Series – Death Notification: Doing Your Best When the News is the Worst

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
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Webinar Description:
Join us for this free webinar on this challenging topic. Death and survivor notification are inevitable parts of emergency response, but training for this important work is limited. Learn proven approaches and review the research that will allow you to share the worst of news with kindness, while reducing responder stress & anxiety.

Presenter Tim Durkin’s career in SAR and EMS began in 1992 with Explorer SAR post 616 in Maryland. While completing his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, he was a volunteer EMT and CPR instructor. He continued to volunteer as an EMT in his community fire/rescue department after college, and completed paramedic training in 2000. After work as both a volunteer and career paramedic, he returned to school and completed his medical education at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2005. He completed residency in emergency medicine at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Since 2009, he has been practicing emergency medicine in Albuquerque and is an active member of Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council, where he has served as communication chair, Vice President and most recently Medical Director.

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VPPAC.ORG Conference – Emergency Planning and Post-Fall Rescue

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
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Presentation Description:
This presentation was given at the VPPAC.ORG converence in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 4, 2010.