April 14, 2017

Daggett Rock Rope Rescue Training 4-13-2017

Melissa, Jim and Paul conducted an informative rope rescue training in Phillips at Daggett Rock yesterday.  Team members rotated through 2 stations: ascending a rope and a simulated crevasse rescue of an injured climber.  Kudos to Melissa and Jim who conducted the pre-planning, setup and instruction at this local geological gem.

Thanks to Jimmy for sending this batch of photos, standby for more to come!

March 12, 2017

Baxter Winter Mountaineering Training March, 2017

(Each winter, the rangers at Baxter State Park host a winter rescue training for MASAR team members. This year FSAR sent 3 members to participate. )

Baxter State Park Winter Mountaineering Training March 3-5, 2017

By Sarah Nutt

Friday afternoon Shannon practiced his spring driving skills by expertly avoiding all the potholes and (precariously overstacked) logging trucks on the Golden Road. Once at Abol Bridge, we loaded our gear into the Ranger's waiting snowmobiles and then walked the mile+ into Abol Field Camp. That first night the rangers presented a slideshow on avalanches. We then broke into the 3 groups we would be working with for the duration of the weekend.

At 0630 Saturday morning, we rallied outside to load onto the SAR transporter and the back of snowmos. Due to the high winds and cooler temps, the rangers decided to base our training around Katahdin Falls where there was a little more protection from the wind. After buliding a just-in-case fire in the stove at the ranger station, we broke into our groups and rotated through stations. We dug T-trenches and "buried" pickets in the snow--this was mostly a theoretical conversation as the snow was thick ice sheets sandwiching sugar snow and only about 6-8 inches deep in most places. We also build a picket line for ascending and practiced using a variety of different ascending mechanisms. At the crampon and ice axe station we practiced walking with crampons on, keeping the ice axe ready in case of a fall. We discussed the pros and cons of different styles of crampons and axes as well. At the ave beacon station we trained with beacons and search techniques. It was especially interesting to work with the beacons when they were picking up multiple signals and how the signals were picked up when they were significantly higher or lower than the receiving beacon. That evening, after a quick debrief, we cozied around the heater and listened to some wonderful stories from Mike, Rob, and Bob and tried to stay up later than Mike's kids' bedtime which is 7pm.

Sunday morning we were woken up by the wind. We still went up to Abol Slide though, as the temps did rise some. After ascending to just about tree line, we worked on self arrest techniques with our ice axes (that would have helped me a lot during my childhood sledding "events"). We also built another ascending line with pickets and practiced going up with prusicks. We then rapped down on munter hitches as the stiff, cold 11mm rope wouldn't fit in anyone's ATCs. Additionally, we built bollards in the snow and prusicked a bunch of folks onto the belay line off the bollard. We finally broke the smaller one which was approximately 2ftx3ft. It took 7 people surging on it. After a quick hike down, we had our final debrief and then climbed back on snowmos to head out. 

It was a really great weekend to focus on basic skills, have good conversation, and build community between the SAR teams from across the state.

Rob and Shannon practice the Munter Hitch

Shannon descending Abol Slide

Shannon ascending Abol Slide

Hiking up to Abol Slide and enjoying the warmth of the sun

Hiking up to Abol Slide

Jeff and Katahdin! End of Saturday.

Katahdin Stream

Group Exercises on Saturday

Shannon staying warm!

Jeff ready for action

February 15, 2017

Winter Rope Rescue Training at Cascade Falls, Feb 12, 2017

FSAR had a great ½ day ‘on rope’ training at Cascade Falls in Farmington on Sunday.  8 team members met before 8 a.m. at Pat’s house about ¼ mile from the falls. After admiring the the amazing progress on Pat’s new garage/shop project we headed off to the trail-head.  

The fresh and deep snowpack made snowshoes a requirement to get to the falls. Team members made quick work of packing down the training area and setting up the required anchors and systems: mainline, belay, edge attendant, safety, and rigging an egress line and packing down the exit route from the bottom of the falls.

A good humored crew!

The egress from the bottom of the falls was this climb back to the top. 

Jeff prepares to rap over while Shannon acts as edge attendant. 

 Melissa, the rope rescue team leader designed the training with well written directions but due to a serious knee injury sustained a week earlier, she was at home recovering from surgery.  Instructor Paul did a great job outlining objectives, and giving an overview but then had the team get ‘hands-on’ quickly.

Our first evolution was to have every member rappel down the rock face using the friction device of their choice which included a backup prusik.  Good discussions were had all morning about technique and the many different rigging options that exist at each station. Each evolution we would often be rigged a slightly different way by team members. Members swapped stations after each person rapped so that all could practice a different job.  Critiques were held often and we discussed learnings and asked questions. Paul served as safety officer all morning and each evolution included a belay rope.

As usual, John won the 'most cool gear on his harness' award....

The second evolution consisted of a simulated injured hiker who required a ‘pick-off’ rescue.  Jimmy did a great job hanging out while the team rigged Mit to conduct the ‘pick’.  Mit got to use his new Aztek kit during the rescue to transfer the load/patient to the mainline.  The team rigged a 3:1 to raise the 2-person load up the face to safety.  Suspending the patient about 3 feet below the rescuer worked best in this location for the raise.

 Throughout the day, members had a good time, working together, thinking, discussing ideas, learning new and reinforcing old skills. Team-building and working side by side in a rope rescue situation was a highlight for many. Many thanks to Paul for carrying out Melissa’s well planned training.  Thanks also to John who transported and then dried out the team gear at KFD post training.

The training concluded just after noon.

Paul's small-group coaching style was very effective and appreciated.

John brought his cool 'pulk sled'  to transport team gear.

The temps never got out of the teens, but folks were dressed for it.

Time to wash that jacket Mit!

All photos were taken by Jimmy and Mit

December 12, 2016

FSAR Monthly Meeting, Wednesday Dec. 14, 18:30 KFD

Franklin Search & Rescue Monthly Training & Meeting

Wednesday, Dec 14, 6:30 Kingfield FD

Tabletop Scenario Training (Barry)

FSAR team gear review, are we ready for winter? Al, Paul, et al.

Gear to share: Winter head and face protection, what is your favorite combo?

Invite a friend and please share this email with others!

Rigging For Rescue Returns to Maine, 19-22 October 2017 on MDI

Every-other-year in Maine, Mount Desert Island Search & Rescue Team hosts a 4-day statewide training.  The internationally recognized training organization Rigging for Rescue form Ouray Colorado will conduct this year's training on 19-22 October 2017 on MDI.   


Interested FSAR members will need to commit soon as the 20 slots in this class are expected to fill quickly. 

The first three days will be a refresher and also an introduction to new and/or updated techniques.  The fourth day will be devoted to advanced skills and problem-solving. 

Interested in this kind of work?  Check out an FSAR monthly meeting/training on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6:30 at the Kingfield Fire Station. 

Photos from the 2013 Rigging Class on MDI