March 29, 2019

Lost Person Behavior Training

The FSAR monthly training was on lost person behavior.  We used Rober Koester's book, as a reference tool to help determine where to put search resources.  After a short power point presentation, four fictitious search scenarios were presented to each group.

 Groups had 15 minutes to review the search profile and scenario map to develop a hasty-team search plan.

Using the strengths and personal experience base of all team members, a search plan was created.
 Ed is a 32 y.o. Hunter, visiting from CT, hunting with his cousin Bert in unfamiliar terrain.  Bert set him up in a tree stand at 6 a.m. then climbed into his stand ¼ mile away in a different tree stand.  When Bert returned at noon, Ed was missing. His gun, pack and all personal items were still in the tree stand.

 Newer members were mixed in with more experienced members, everyone brings something to the conversation.

To conclude, we reviewed each scenario together and discussed a logical plan of action.

March 14, 2019

Baxter State Park Winter Mountineering Workshop March 2019

FSAR’s John Rollhauser and Melissa Shea participated in the annual SAR Winter Training at Baxter March 2-4, 2019. 

 Team members from 5 other state teams worked with Baxter State Park rangers to learn mountaineering skills, avalanche awareness and transceiver rescue, and fixed line travel with snow anchors.

 Melissa taught the avalanche awareness and transceiver training and presented the group a slideshow of her recent trip to Nepal.

February 13, 2019

Tonight's FSAR Meeting Has Been Postponed Until Feb. 20

Due to the storm, the FSAR training/meeting has been postponed one week until Wed. Feb 20 at 6:30.

September 26, 2018

Little Pico Rope Rescue Training 9-23-2018

The FSAR Rope Rescue Team recently had a ½ day training at ‘Little Pico’ cliffs in Industry Maine.  The team setup and used a dual tension mainline and belay system using the VT prusik. The VT prusik is a change for the team, introduced last fall at the ‘Rigging For Rescue’ workshop on MDI.  During the training we set up each station together so that we could discuss the pros and cons of different variations of setup. Team leader Melissa did a great job of facilitating this training.

 It was a beautiful fall day to be at this site.

September 12, 2018

Wilderness First Aid Class, Oct. 27-28, in Farmington, Me.

Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

Wilderness Medical Associates International - Wilderness First Aid
Hosted by: Franklin Search & Rescue

WFA: October 27 & 28, 2018 (2-day class) $175

Location: Farmington Fire Department, Farmington Maine

Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

Cost: $175  
The best and most comprehensive course of its kind, WFA offers relevant and realistic first-aid training for seasonal outdoor activities or short-term wilderness endeavors and pursuits.  Wilderness First Aid is a two-day course covering general medical concepts and basic life support skills. It is targeted to the outdoor enthusiast on day trips or short adventures. The course is taught by a professional instructor with significant backcountry care experience.

Instructor by: Paul Marcolini, Wilderness Medical Associates International (WMA)

Sponsored by: Franklin Search & Rescue (FSAR)

Course topics:
Patient Assessment System; CPR; Circulatory System; Nervous System; Respiratory System; Musculoskeletal Injuries and Splinting; Hypothermia; Hyperthermia and Heat Illness; Submersion Injuries; Lightning Injuries; Wounds and Burns; Anaphylaxis; Lifting, Moving Extrication; Patient Carries; Backcountry Medicine
The WFA course is scheduled for two days or 16 hours of instructional and practice time. Upon successful completion, students will receive certification in Wilderness First Aid and Adult CPR.

Students will receive the following books on this course:
  • Wilderness First Aid Guide
  • SOAP Notebook;
  • The Outward Bound Wilderness First-Aid Handbook

Successful completion with certification is based on 100% attendance, satisfactory performance on homework assignments, demonstrated proficiency with practical skills, and a successful grade on a final written exam.
Students must be at least 16 years old to participate in this course. Those under 18 years of age require the written consent of a parent or guardian.

To register:
Please follow this link to register for the WMA class this fall:

Franklin Search and Rescue (FSAR) with the help of the Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Education Fund, will offer several partial scholarships for our WFA course in October. Applicants for the $75 scholarship should send an email describing, “How I envision using my WFA skills after completing the class” to:

Please send a check made out to FSAR for $175 to the team secretary:

Steve Mitman
FSAR Secretary
27 Ivy Rd.
Strong, Maine

Before your name will be added to the roster and your slot reserved, tuition must be paid in full.

If you are an FSAR team member, please pay me at the September 13 FSAR meeting.

Thank you!

Steve Mitman
FSAR Secretary

Question?  Contact: Steve Mitman  (207) 491-2713

July 19, 2018

Bigelow Range, West Peak, Spot Rescue 7-12-2018

July 12, 2018
Bigelow Range, West Peak A.T. Rescue

In the late afternoon on Thursday July 12th a Spot receiver was activated from the Appalachian Trail, on a section that traverses the Bigelow Mountain range in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.

The Spot was activated by an AT southbound through- hiker, “Double Blaze” of London, England. She had fallen on a rocky section of the trail, just south of West Peak.  The fall resulted in a severely injured left ankle. Maine Warden Service initiated the search, along with Northstar EMS, Eustis Fire, and FSAR. FSAR members were paged through our “I Am Responding” communication system which notifies members of SAR incidents.

Al S. and Pat C. responded initially and were at the AT route 27 trail head command post by 6 pm.  Jeff Z. responded later that evening.

Command and control was handled by the Maine Warden Service.  Wardens Scott Thrasher and Scott Stevens gathered information and quickly put together a hasty team of four who were tasked with locating the source of the Spot and assessing patient injury and evacuation.

Warden Stevens, Pat C of  Franklin SAR, Garrett M. – Eustis Fire and Rescue, and Greg D. – North Star EMS, geared up and headed up the trail shortly after 7 pm.  The plan was to hike up to Horns Pond, gather any information from day or through hikers and locate Ms. Custer.

Darkness arrived just before we got to Horns Pond.

Only three hikers were staying at Horn’s Pond when we arrived and no one had heard or seen Double Blaze. We purified drinking water out of the pond and headed up….and up….and reached the South Horn at 10:45pm.  After determining the exact location of the Spot signal we figured we were within 1 mile of the subject. Through “sound search” techniques a loud whistle was blown about every 5 minutes. After the whistle was blown we would listen for a response.  Around 11 pm and found our subject. She had set up her small tent in the trail and was very happy to see the four of us. Patient assessment revealed Double Blaze’s ankle was quite swollen, bruised, and possibly fractured.

We looked at the options and decided we would splint and get our patient mobile and start working our way north on the AT, back toward the fire warden's trail where we would head down. The patient proved to be well prepared both physically and mentally. Assisting her with each and every step was slow as we anticipated and she was incredibly positive and physically tough.

The weather was clear, mild, and ideal however we still moved at a slow pace. By 3 am we were still ¼ mile below tree line at 3,800 ft., and everyone was understandably exhausted.  We decided to get a couple hours of sleep and recharge before we push ahead.

On the move again by 5 am we tried piggybacking her up the trail. Where it was flat it worked fine, however the trail had few flat spots and we were once again working at a snail's pace. We contacted the command post and had them call out the resources for assistance with a carry out team.  Getting above tree line it was clear it would take many hours to reach West Peak and given the favorable weather conditions for a helicopter evacuation Warden Thrasher called in for an air evacuation from the summit of Bigelow Mt... Maine Forest Service was contacted and we heard back within 30 minutes with a confirmation that they would attempt a short haul, having never landed on the West Peak of Bigelow Mountain.  They planned for a rendezvous with us on the summit at approximately 8:00 am.

The helo staged at the CV airport and made a quick stop before flying up to assess the site conditions. To our surprise and good fortune the aircraft was able to set down on top of West peak with rotors still spinning.  It was quite a sight to see the helicopter sitting on one of Maine’s highest peaks. The patient was safely put inside and brought down to the airport where Northstar had a transport waiting to go to Franklin Memorial Hospital.

The remaining four of us geared up and scooted down the Fire Warden's trail where we were greeted at Stratton Brook by Warden Scott Thrasher with hot breakfast sandwiches, donuts, and water!

Many thanks to the Maine Forest Service and local support teams staged and ready to assist in what would have been a long and treacherous carry out.

Account written by: Pat Cyr FSAR

April 19, 2018

FSAR at Everest Base Camp!

Three FSAR members (on 2 seperate trips) trekked to Everest Base Camp this month!  Melissa, Jim met up with Cecily on the trail!

April 11, 2018

FSAR Monthly Meeting & Training Wednesday, April 11, 2018 6:30 p.m.

FSAR Monthly Meeting & Training
Wednesday, April 11, 2018  6:30 p.m.
Kingfield Fire Station

I am responding help & tutorial. John will be at KFD beginning at 5:30 to assist any member who needs assistance installing the ‘I am Responding’ software on your phone. The regular meeting begins at 6:30.

Training: Search Basics, ‘What you need to know to be successful on a MASAR search’  By Pat & Barry with input from all experienced FSAR Team members.

Gear to share: “What steps do you take to avoid overexposure to the sun in the backcountry?”  Bring samples of your favorite: clothing, headgear, glasses and lotions.

New FSAR membership structure & what it means for you.

As we were snowed out in March, all members are encouraged to attend this meeting.

See you soon!

March 13, 2018

March 14, FSAR Monthly Meeting has been Postponed

The FSAR Board has decided to postpone the Wed. March 14 training due to weather.

Our next meeting/training will be on April 11 when the snow is gone and flowers will be blooming!?

Enjoy the snow!

January 25, 2018

FSAR/MDISAR at Baxter in Winter!

This past weekend a winter mountaineering training was held at  Baxter State Park (BSP). Hosted by BSP and organized by Cecily S., 3  FSAR members spent 3 days training and trekking in Baxter State Park at Chimney Pond . Pete G from MDISAR also joined us.

 On Saturday morning Cecily, Shannon, Pete, and Pat met Baxter State Park rangers, Mike and Greg at the BSP Abol parking area.  Two park snow machines transported us on the SAR transport sled as well as, our gear all the way to Roaring Brook campground.  At that point the rangers went ahead with our gear and the four of us snowshoed the 3.4 miles to Chimney Pond. On our arrival we were welcomed at the crew cabin with a nice warm fire and gear stowed inside. We settled in and spent the afternoon exploring around Chimney Pond, reviewed avalanche conditions, performed beacon and probe training, and familiarized ourselves with the  BSP SAR gear and the equipment cache in the ranger cabin.

A highlight of the afternoon was navigating 40+ mph winds on Chimney Pond while getting drinking water.
Sunday was summit day. In the morning we assessed the wind and snow conditions and decided the best route for a summit attempt would be to go up the Saddle slide. We were met with rock, ice and wind on the tablelands but managed to reach Baxter Peak in good time. Enjoying the summit of Mt. Katahdin in the winter is something many people never experience. Spectacular visibility and crowds in January.

Monday we explored the ice off the Dudley trail.  We headed out before lunch. Mike and Greg had arranged for all our gear to be hauled back in the park sled.  The 4 of us strapped on our skis and had a great run back to Roaring Brook where we hopped on the transport sled and were hauled back to our vehicles at Abol.

Many thanks to Baxter State Park and to Cecily for arranging the winter training.  Baxter State Park really extends first class treatment to Maine wilderness SAR teams . Hopefully we can reciprocate and will be called on for assistance when help is needed.

(Thanks to Pat for this write-up and photo.)

November 22, 2017

West Bath Search Suspended by MWS

MDIFW NEWS: West Bath Search Suspended

The land search for 70-year-old Edward Berrett from West Bath has been suspended. The Maine Warden Service placed considerable search resources in all probable areas over the last three days. The search included an area stretching two miles from the point Berrett was last seen and encompassed a total area of five square miles. Additional water areas will likely be searched in the future depending upon weather conditions.

The accompanying map highlights those areas covered on foot by searchers and K9 teams. Maine Warden Service aircraft, Marine Patrol watercraft and drones operated by York County EMA covered additional areas of shoreline totaling more than three miles. Moving forward, game wardens, Marine Patrol Officers and local law enforcement will continue to surveille the area during routine patrol. If additional clues or investigative information becomes available, focused search efforts may resume.

Fifty searchers began again today at daybreak in their search for Edward Barrett. Search resources included a Maine Warden Service aircraft, game wardens and K9 teams, Marine Patrol Officers with watercraft, Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Search and Rescue Dog (MESARD) teams, members of the Maine Association of Search and Rescue (MASAR), a drone aircraft from York County EMA and members of West Bath Fire Department.

Maine game wardens and Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office continue to seek information from the public for information that might help locate Berrett. He was last seen on Beaver Brook Road in West Bath on Friday November 17, at 7:00 PM. Special attention is being asked of anyone who travelled in the vicinity of Hill Road in West Bath between Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18 who may have witnessed anything that could help this search.

Edward Barrett is 6’1” tall, weighs 220 pounds, has blue eyes and blonde/white hair. He was last known to be wearing khaki colored pants. It is possible that Berrett was not wearing a shirt or jacket according to one report. If anyone has information that may help locate Berrett, please call the Gray Regional Communication Center at (207) 657-3030 or Sagadahoc County Police dispatch at (207) 443-9711.


FSAR had 4 members participate in the 2 day search:

Thank you to all who participated and those who were working to rearrange their schedules in case the search went into a 3rd day.


October 6, 2017

Wilderness First Aid + WFR Recert. Class with Paul from WMA

FSAR hosted a great workshop with Paul learning wilderness medical techniques.

Topics covered: Patient Assessment System; CPR; Circulatory System; Nervous System; Respiratory System; Fractures, Stable Injuries; Splints 1-Extremities; Hypothermia; Hyperthermia and Heat Illness; Near Drowning; Lightning Injuries; Wounds and Burns; Anaphylaxis; Lifting, Moving Extrication; Patient Carries; Backcountry Medicine

September 27, 2017

FSAR Welcomes New Members!

Newest FSAR members!  Bernie (left) and Evy from Stratton, welcome to the team ladies!

September 12, 2017

FSAR Evening Rope Rescue Training in the New Vineyard Mountains.

We had a good hands-on RR Team training yesterday evening in New Vineyard.  6 members participated in a steep angle lower/raise evolution using vehicles as anchors.  The evolution included a knot pass scenario and many good rigging discussions.  This was our final training before the 4-day Rigging for Rescue class on MDI next month.  Special thanks to team leader Melissa for her great organizational efforts and leadership over the past 12 months.  What a wonderful group of volunteers!