October 17, 2009

Annual FSAR Aerobic Fitness Test and Meeting

On Wednesday, the annual FSAR aerobic fitness test was held at 6:30 in the high school library. At 6:25 I was the only person in the room and I was a bit worried. Fortunately by 6:35 we had a respectable 10 members weighing their packs in the nurses’ station. Our task was to trek a 25 lb. load 2 miles (without running) in less than 30 minutes. Everyone brought their own weights which included 25 lbs of golf balls, 25 lbs of tile grout, 25 lbs of water in 2 liter bottles, 25 lbs of free weights, and even 25 lbs of water in misc. containers including a ½ gallon Gordon’s Gin bottle! We took off together in group and 28 minutes later we finished within 30 seconds of each other!

In other business, we critiqued the WEMT rescue scenario event that was held 2 weeks ago in Highland Plantation. Participants shared many ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ with the team. All who were involved said it was a great training experience and were thankful to be involved.

We discussed the upcoming training schedule, Barry and Paul agreed to lead training sessions at the Nov. and Dec. meetings. Steve is going to contact Jim B. the MASAR training director to see if we can get a one-day BASAR class/test sometime in the winter.


Rope Rescue Training at Smalls Falls:

On Sunday November 8th Northstar will be holding a low - to - steep angle rope systems review and site recon along Rt 4 above Small's Falls, between Rangeley and Madrid. This is a newly completed diversion of the DOT Rt 4 road reconstruction project with a long downhill section that leads into to a sharp curve that drops steeply over the bank and down to the river.

Plan to meet at the 9 AM at the parking lot where the Appalachian Trail crosses Rt 4 and we will carpool down to the site. The plan is to look at anchor locations and rope rescue system selections appropriate to different times of the year, ie snow cover vs no snow cover, and practice a litter carry from the foot trail along the Sandy Stream to the nearest vehicle access point.

Wear sturdy boots, weather appropriate clothing and gloves. You should bring a bag lunch and / or snacks and fluids to drink. We plan to wrap - up by 2 PM or so. I will put in for Operations CEH credit hours.

FSAR's next meeting will be November 11, 2009 at the KFD, Barry will lead a map training.

October 4, 2009

WEMT Rescue Scenario Trainig

On Saturday around 8 p.m., in a steady rain with temps in the 40’s, a call was received by Franklin Dispatch from a hunter who heard ‘people screaming’ in the woods off the Long Falls Dam Road in Lexington. Over the next 3 hours, through an evolving series of events, rescuers would encounter 2 different ATV accidents, a distressed lost person, 2 fatalities, 2 burn victims, and a number of other medical, personnel and organizational challenges. The apex of the evening was when a low flying Civil Air Patrol airplane that was assisting in the search developed engine problems and crashed in a field near the rescuers! Plumes of smoke, burned patients and the chaos that follows an already taxed rescue operation only added to the intensity of the scene. Fortunately, the evening was only a training activity put on by Wilderness Medical Associate ‘WMA.’ The realistic scenario activity was part of a 6-day wilderness EMT class that approximately 20 EMTs from all over the state attended.

Pre-event briefing from instructor DK

After a very loud 'bang' and a 45 minute search, rescuers came upon this smoking airplane wreckage.