The Mountain Rescue Association Mapping Platform

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Multiple Presenters | Webinar |
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.

Sharing Search and Rescue Stories

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Presenter: Shaun Roundy | MRA Webinar Series |
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.

Above Ground Rescue VS Cave Rescue

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Presenter: Debbie Spoons | MRA Webinar Series |
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.

Using Social Media: Sharing Your Team as a Brand

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Presenter: Bryan Enberg | MRA Webinar Series | 
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.

SAR Communication Skills: Strengthening the Weakest Link

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Presenter: Shaun Roundy | MRA Webinar Series | 
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.”

Suicide Missions: Coping Strategies for Dealing with Suicide Recoveries in the Backcountry

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Presenter: Tom Wood | MRA Webinar Series |
As mountain rescuers, we pride ourselves on our ability to save the lives of the folks who are having a bad day in the mountains. But as the recent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams drove home, not every story has a happy ending, and an increasing number of rescuers find themselves performing the recovery of suicides in the backcountry. This webinar will provide some coping strategies and tips for SAR managers and rescuers who find themselves dealing with the aftermath of what is now the 10th leading cause of death in America – suicide.

The presenter, Tom Wood, is an author, freelance writer and 16 year veteran of the Alpine Rescue Team in Evergreen, Colorado. He is their current Field Director, and an MRA Terrestrial Rescue Delegate. A former journalist and combat photographer with the USMC, Tom’s day job is that of Training Manager for Vertical Rescue Solutions (Pigeon Mountain Industries’ training division). He lives in Conifer, Colorado with his wife and three children.

Social Media for SAR: How to Turn Your Mission Reports Into a Fundraising Machine

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Presenter: Richard Solosky | MRA Webinar Series | 
Join us for this free webinar discussing how social media can work to enhance the fundraising and branding of nonprofits. Also, learn the new rules regarding how social media should be managed in today’s information age.

Presenter Richard Solosky has over 25 years of business development and marketing expertise. He is the founder of two software development companies and has over 15 years of nonprofit experience serving at various levels bridging both staff and board functions. He is a principal and senior consultant with Questus Strategies serving nonprofits in the areas of marketing, fundraising and organizational development; his nonprofit blog, rsolosky | hip tips provides progressive nonprofit viewpoints, attitudes and strategies. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Nonprofit Management from Regis University.

A world traveler, with a natural love of the outdoors and outdoor activities, Richard is an experienced backcountry skier, mountaineer, rock climber, road and mountain biker, and mountain guide; a twelve-year field-active team leader with Alpine Rescue Team, he served as president, training director, and as chairman of the Rocky Mountain Region of the Mountain Rescue Association. He has resided in Evergreen, Colorado since 1990. Richard is an environmentally concerned citizen, who believes that stewardship of both our wild places and communities is critical to our sustainability.

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE: Rope Access Rescue VS Backcountry High Angle Rescue Techniques

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Presenter: Tom Wood | Webinar | 
Though many rural or wilderness first responders may not realize it, industrial rope access is likely going on in their back yard. The popularity of rope access as a means to access hard-to-reach and remote at-height work sites like dams, bridges, highway rock scaling projects and ridge-top cell towers has exploded in recent years. There are now thousands of Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) certified rope techs working in the U.S., and often their job sites are miles outside the jurisdictions of the urban municipal departments who train for industrial high angle rescue.

Though these rope access techs are trained to rescue themselves in the event of an accident or emergency, what happens if they are unable to do so? Could your rural or wilderness SAR agency safely and efficiently perform what used to be thought of as an industrial rescue? Just what is rope access anyway, and how do rope access technicians perform high angle rescues? This presentation will answer these questions and many others by comparing and contrasting the techniques and gear employed by rope access technicians versus those of the backcountry rescuer when doing a one-on-one pickoff-type rescue of a suspended rope access worker.

The Search for Bob Norton – Venezuela YV2480

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Presenter: Bob Edwards | Webinar | 
This PMI webinar will provide an overview of the efforts of The Norton Search Team as they search for Bryant Alabama’s missing missionary pilot Bob Norton. Bob, his wife Neiba and 5 others went missing in the jungles of Venezuela on Feb 16, 2009 while on an emergency medical flight in a Cessna 182. A team of volunteer pilots, engineers and search technicians have pulled together here in the U.S. to assist with the search effort. Working closely with Venezuela’s Civil Protection and the Indigenous Indians, The Norton Search Team have provided satellite image analysis, containment analysis, flight simulations and is now working with Tennessee Technological University to design and develop a 8′ wingspan RC plane with autonomous flight controls, cameras and sensors. Their plan is to use this plane in an attempt to find the crash site. Additional information can be viewed on their website: www.findingbobnorton.org .