Responding to Incidents

MRA Webinar Series – Cognitive De-biasing Strategies for Critical, Time Sensitive Decision-making in Austere Environmental Emergencies

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
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Webinar Description:
What I Learned Spending 14 hours Peeing In My Wetsuit

December 5th, 2015 saw two cavers trapped by rising flood waters on Vancouver Island, BC. Andrew Munoz was one of those cavers, tasked with extracting and reviving his nearly drowned companion. This situation is harrowing enough, but his GoPro just happened to be running and the entire ordeal was caught on film.

Having your worst moment preserved in High Def. allows for ample time for personal reflection and post-incident analysis.

Join Andrew as he breaks down the incident, play-by-play, taking you through the decision making process used by professional rescuers when seconds count. The unbelievable footage, combined with Andrew’s scathing introspection, will leave the viewers with lessons they won’t soon forget.

Andrew Munoz began his caving in 2003, working his way around the world leading tours and expeditions for the next 10 years. He left his guiding career to pursue a path as a first responder and works as a Paramedic and Industrial Fire Fighter on Vancouver Island, B.C with his wife Sarah and daughter Juniper. He has focused on the science of cognitive decision making, exploring strategies to equip rescuers with the mental tools they need to make the right decision when seconds count.

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MRA Webinar Series – When Angels Fall: Recent Accidents in Helicopter Rescues

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

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Webinar Description:
While rescue mountaineers must strive at every turn to focus on the safety of their victims, they understandably must put their own safety first. Rarely, rescuers will be hurt, or even killed.

This multi-media presentation will include a detailed discussion about the multitude of elements pertaining to the risks in helicopter rescue operations in mountainous terrain and will profile a number of helicopter rescue accidents use of helicopters, and will include analysis of those accidents.

Utilizing materials from several Mountain Rescue Association teams and the NTSB, this Power Point presentation will include still and video images of helicopter accident sites. Case studies of accidents and near-misses in mountain rescue operations will be featured in this program.

Charley Shimanski is a member of Colorado’s Alpine Rescue Team, and the Mountain Rescue Program Coordinator for Flight For Life Colorado, which provides critical care transport with five helicopters that assist search and rescue agencies throughout Colorado with rescue capability, aerial search support, and an Avalanche Deployment Program. Author of the MRA’s two Helicopter Training Manuals, and Past President of the MRA, Charley serves as a frequent speaker at national and international rescue conferences. He also served as Senior Vice President of Disaster Services for the American Red Cross in Washington DC.

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MRA Webinar Series – Spring and Summer Avalanches: Strategic Decisions for Mountain Rescuers

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

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Webinar Description:
While most people think of avalanches as a winter danger, late spring and summer avalanches kill about 1 in 10 of all avalanche victims, and these accidents do not all happen on the big glacier-covered peaks of Alaska and Washington. Having awareness of wet snow instabilities is important for mountain rescuers to stay safe and work efficiently. This is especially important as nearly all summertime avalanche SAR operations are performed by mountain rescuers. This presentation will address the issues of wet snow and wet-snow avalanches as they pertain to mountain rescuers. Sub-topics will include the avalanche rescue problem (who gets into trouble and where); what rescuers should look for when judging the danger, and what rescuers can do to mitigate their risk.

Dale Atkins is a longtime member of Alpine Rescue Team of Evergreen, Colorado. He worked as an avalanche forecaster and researcher for the state of Colorado, and was a long-time professional ski patroller too. Dale is also a past president of the American Avalanche Association and was the long-time MRA representative to ICAR. His daytime job is for RECCO AB, which is an avalanche rescue system used by many mountain rescue and ski patrols around the world.

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MRA Webinar Series – Enhancing Backcountry Radio Communications: Inexpensive Equipment and Simple Technique Changes

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

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Webinar Description:
Enhancing Backcountry Radio Communications – Going from @#%$* to 5×5. Many teams operate in mountainous, backcountry terrain where the “peak to valley” altitude differential can be 4000 feet, and ALL teams operate in communications challenging environments. Learn to do all you can to enhance member to member and team to IC communications.

This is a succinct look at inexpensive equipment and simple technique changes that will enhance your team’s radio communications. We’ll look at $20 frequency specific, tuned antennas that outperform “do all” factory antennas. Can a 4 oz. $25 Roll-Up, Packable antenna really DOUBLE output for establishing Command in the field? What is a Tiger Tail, and how you can add it to each team member’s hand held radio. How to establish a “field based” portable radio communication repeater station; Under 10 lbs, under $250.

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MRA Webinar Series: What is Cave Rescue and Who is the NCRC?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
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Webinar Description:
Join Tim as he begins this webinar with a brief overview of a recent technical cave rescue. This will set the stage to explain who is the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC) and their role in cave rescue.

Tim White is the Southeast Regional Coordinator for the NCRC. He is an active member of Chattanooga/Hamilton County (TN) Rescue Service – Cave, Cliff and Technical Team and a founding member and first President of the Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit, Inc. He is also the Senior Technical Manager for Over the Edge, Inc.

The recording and slides for this webinar are unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.


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 www.caves.org.

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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 http://msar.maps.arcgis.com/home/ 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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MRA Webinar Series – Mission Reporting and Search and Rescue Mapping for the MRA

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
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Paul Doherty
Email Presenter
Jon Pedder

Webinar Description:
The Mountain Rescue Association has access to a mapping system called ArcGIS Online http://msar.maps.arcgis.com/home/ and it has been configured for the MRA Mission Reporting initiative. We will cover how this is being used for mission reporting and how it could be used to support operations, especially missing person search operations.

The presenters, Paul Doherty and Jon Pedder, are both members of the Esri Disaster Response Program. Paul Doherty, PhD is the Technical Lead for the Program. He has 4-years with Yosemite Search and Rescue, and is also an active researcher who focuses on the use Geographic Information Systems for Search and Rescue. Jon Pedder is the newest member of the Esri Disaster Response Program and has 9-years volunteering with the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team.

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