Tag: Mountain Rescue Association

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

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
Watch the Recording of this Webinar Download Slides for PC and Mac Email Presenter

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.

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


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

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Watch the Recording of this Webinar Email Presenter

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.

Continue reading “MRA Webinar Series – When Angels Fall: Recent Accidents in Helicopter Rescues” »


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

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Watch the Recording of this Webinar Download Slides for PC and Mac Email Presenter

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.

Continue reading “MRA Webinar Series – Spring and Summer Avalanches: Strategic Decisions for Mountain Rescuers” »


MRA Webinar Series – The Mountain Rescue Association Mapping Platform

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016
Watch the Recording of this Webinar Download Slides for PC and Mac Email Presenter

Webinar Description:
In this virtual training, participants will learn hands-on skills and discover geospatial resources that support their mission. This session is designed to help MRA Members and their partners:

  • Review the 2015 Mission Data Collection Results
  • Learn how to use the 2015 Mission Data Collection Portal
  • Explore the use of GIS and US National Grid in Search & Rescue (SAR) operation workflows such as assignment tasking, incident spatial analysis, and map production
  • Learn about the suite of existing USNG and GIS decision support tools already available to support SAR operations

The audience for this training is primarily SAR professionals. It is also beneficial for GIS professionals and staff who support SAR operations.

The presenters are Monty Bell, Mountain Rescue Association and Paul Doherty, National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation.

Continue reading “MRA Webinar Series – The Mountain Rescue Association Mapping Platform” »


MRA Webinar Series – Sharing Search and Rescue Stories

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
Watch the Recording of this Webinar Download Slides for PC and Mac View Slides Online Email Presenter

Webinar Description:
Author and university writing instructor Shaun Roundy discusses WHY to tell SAR stories (PSAR, inside training, public service, recruitment, fundraising, etc.), why NOT to, and teaches a dozen crucial writing tips to help your stories come alive and turn out top notch. Shaun Roundy has been a member of Utah County SAR for 16 years, taught university writing for 15, and has published 8 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 (available at bit.ly/rescuestories) and The Art & Craft of Writing: the ultimate step-by-step guidebook to the writing process and effective composition (bit.ly/writingguide). He currently chairs the MRA Intermountain Region and Webinar Training Committee.

Continue reading “MRA Webinar Series – Sharing Search and Rescue Stories” »


MRA Webinar Series: Terrain Based Probability in SAR

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
Watch the Recording of this Webinar Download Slides for PC and Mac View Slides Online Email Presenter

Webinar Description:
Even though terrain can be important in determining subject behavior, its impact is often misunderstood or subject to personal intuition. Recent research has helped to quantify its effects and provide an evidence-based standard for assigning POA to streams, ridges and other terrain features. Learn about these new findings, as well as the implications for some commonly accepted search management practices.

Matt Jacobs is a W-EMT with the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit and Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue. A software engineer by day, he is the creator of caltopo.com and sartopo.com.

Continue reading “MRA Webinar Series: Terrain Based Probability in SAR” »


MRA Webinar Series – Anchors Aweigh: Load Sharing Anchor Options

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
Watch the Recording of this Webinar Download Slides for PC and Mac View Slides Online Email Presenter

Webinar Description:
Anchors are a fundamental component of nearly every rope rescue system. But what options are available to the rescuer who is confronted with sub-optimal anchors or a fall line that just doesn’t jibe with a single anchor point? Load sharing anchors to the rescue! This presentation covers important anchor building considerations like knot selection, load distributing versus load sharing anchors, man-made versus natural anchors and multi-point anchor angle forces.

Tom Wood is a 17 year veteran of the Alpine Rescue Team in Evergreen, Colorado and has a passion for surrounding himself with acronyms. He has served as the ART Field Director since 2013. The MRA’s alternate delegate to ICAR, Tom is a Level One NCRC (National Commission for Cave Rescue) trained cave rescuer. His day job is that of TM (Training Manager) for PMI’s (Pigeon Mountain Industries) VRS (Vertical Rescue Solutions). He is a SPRAT (Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians) EC (Evaluations Committee) member and Level 3 Supervisor, sits on the NATE (National Association of Tower Erectors) Safety and Education Committee and participates in the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) F-32 SAR Committee. Tom is a Kent State graduate with a degree in photojournalism, has served in the USMCR as a Combat Photographer and in his meager spare time, he works as a freelance photographer, writer and author. A husband and father of three, Tom is an active ice climber and caver.

Continue reading “MRA Webinar Series – Anchors Aweigh: Load Sharing Anchor Options” »


MRA Webinar Series – Submersion Injuries: Drowning and Near Drowning

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
Watch the Recording of this Webinar Download Slides for PC and Mac View Slides Online Email Presenter

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.

Continue reading “MRA Webinar Series – Submersion Injuries: Drowning and Near Drowning” »


MRA Webinar Series – Above Ground Rescue VS Cave Rescue

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015
Watch the Recording of this Webinar Download Slides for PC and Mac View Slides Online Email Presenter

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.

Continue reading “MRA Webinar Series – Above Ground Rescue VS Cave Rescue” »


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

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
Watch the Recording of this Webinar Download Slides for PC and Mac View Slides Online Email Presenter

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.

Continue reading “MRA Webinar Series – Using Social Media: Sharing Your Team As A Brand” »