March 18, 2012

Patient Packaging in the Backcountry 16 Steps for a Successful Evacuation

By Paul Marcolini

During a recent Franklin Search & Rescue training, Paul offered the following sequence.

1 Identify the type of injury= package the patient on her back or side (this is an EMS decision)
2.  Spine stable/injury?  If spinal, make litter and patient one unit
3.  Build from patient-outward
4.  Anticipate rig for medical needs- vomit, blood pressure, stethoscope, etc. 
5.  Get patient out of wet clothing down to long underwear layer
6.  Provide for bathroom needs, use a depends, or makeshift diaper
7.  Vapor barrier (VB) for warmth 2 lg. plastic garbage bags can make the patient damp from perspiration but warm. Paul uses a VB into 70 degrees F. range
8.  Add the bulk warmth layer, sleeping bags, Wiggies Bag, blanket, etc.
9.  Add a Vapor barrier over outside of package (burrito wrap) you can use a tarp, tent fly, garbage bag, etc.
10.  The 4 parts of the package are: dry clothing, inner VB, bulk insulation, outer VB
11.  In the litter, attach webbing to the litter above the shoulder make an X, tie around belt area to prevent patient from sliding forward.
12.  If injury permits, use webbing to make a stirrup for the feet to prevent sliding in the litter or use an improvised seat harness if a leg or foot injury.
13.  Webbing x over pelvic area.
14.  Address the 3 weight centers: head, chest, and pelvis
15.  Fill the voids along the body between the patient and the litter with foam swimming noodles or use spare (patient) clothing.
16.  Voids/spaces to address: under knees, small of back, shoulders

An unused blood pressure cuff can be a great adjustable ‘small of back’ support.

Gear to have in your litter kit before you leave the parking lot: garbage bags, foam sleeping pads, depends, foam noodles, webbing

 Paul Recommended that the team carry 8 pieces of  9’ foot webbing or spider strap.

Rescuers, should always use patient gear from their pack before using team gear (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothing for padding, etc.)


March 17, 2012

3-14-2012 Meeting Minutes

FSAR Monthly Meeting
March 14, 2012

 Members present:

Steve Y.
Steve M.
Jeff Z
Marc K.

May 5-6 is the annual MASAR Conference in Ellsworth. This conference is one of the best opportunities for members to train on many different SAR topics and network with other SAR people from across the state. The registration is only $55 (before April 20) and food and summer camp (bunkhouse) or tent camping accommodations are included. A straw-poll at the meeting showed 4-5 FSAR members are currently planning on attending. See link for more info:

Team president and MASAR rep. Steve Y. gave an update on monthly MASAR meeting.

MWS is changing over to Delorme (brand) GPS but will still be able download recent GPS of other brands at searches.

When MASAR requests “Certified Searchers Only” they only want individual BASAR certified members not all members of a certified team (FSAR is a certified team but only has a few BASAR certified members). This is due to evidence preservation reasons as at the Ayla search in Waterville.

MASAR now has a Facebook page, check it out here

The new online BASAR class is being Bata tested now. Pat and Coby have just taken the class (yesterday) and report that “it did not take too long” This is one of the most important steps that FSAR members can take to improve their SAR skills and to help increase FSARs reputation and credibility (which is already very good). All members are encouraged to take it!!!
We discussed creating an reward or incentive for members who complete BASAR certification, a gift certificate or something?

Steve Y. plans on piloting an educational training for 6-9 year old children on what to do if you get lost in the woods. He will use the video that was provided by MASAR called Lost But Found for 1 or 2 classes at Kingfield elementary school.

A request by the MASAR training officer was made a few months ago for rope rescue teams to mentor interested new un-trained MASAR teams. This has sparked a lively and healthy discussion among FSAR’s rope rescue members on the subject of rope rescue and what direction FSAR should head, in the future. We are re-evaluating our rope rescue focus, possibly headed more in the direction of getting most FSAR members trained in ‘slopes rescue’ and not focusing as much on high-angle rescue. With the site-specific exception of the Smalls Falls location, this may be more appropriate for our area of Maine. More to come on this subject…

FSAR Blog Update, we are averaging about 700 hits each month on our blog.... who are these people?! Please post a comment below if you are reading this and you are not an FSAR member, we’d love to hear from you!

Ben G. delivered the final version of the Emergency Services Rescue map for our region. It is a beautiful map outlining rescue access points, LZs, and other important rescue information for our region. Unfortunately his grant is out of money to print and laminated more copies. We will be getting the electronic file, and for any member who would like a copy it will likely cost about $20 to be printed $30 for a laminated copy.

We ran out of time and did not do ‘gear to share’ tonight. Next month...

Josh R. emailed to say that he has done some serious damage to his knee (at Saddleback) and will be out of commission for some time. The team wished him a speedy recovery.

We discussed the TIFF grant and radio purchase. Pat has been able to negotiate a lower bid than was first quoted. Thanks to Tim Hardy at FCEMA for his assistance with this process. As soon as we get the check, Pat will place the order.

Paul did an excellent job of presenting on the subject of ‘Patient Packaging’ See separate post. 

Paul highly Recommends: 2 field guides 1. WMA Field guide Pocket reference  2. Lipke guide. Members agreed that purchasing some copies to place in the team gear is a good idea.

March 15, 2012

Missing Dresden Boy Found

Missing Boy Found alive and well.

FSAR put on Standby for search in Dresden

FSAR was put on standby this morning around 6 a.m

A search in Dresden, Maine is underway for a missing 12 year old boy.

He has been missing overnight. 

The Maine Warden Service has been working through the night and thinks they have him localized. 

 Lt. Adam is requesting Waldo Co and Lincoln Co. SAR, and southern MESARD teams.  All others on stand by

Staging is at the Dresden Fire at 7 am, junction of 197 and 128.

Available FSAR members should prepare for deployment.
Notification will be by text message.

Steve Yates is in charge.

Media links:

March 12, 2012

FSAR Monthly Meeting 3-14-2012

Patient Packaging is the monthly training focus.

Franklin Search & Rescue

Monthly Meeting and Training

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

6:30 Kingfield Fire Station

We will discuss upcoming trainings, MASAR business, TIF grant award, and review the Newberg Search along with other business.

The evening training session will be centered on patient packaging
, securing, specific injury considerations, liter lifting, passing, attaching the wheel, etc. Paul, Barry, Steve and others will share their thoughts and experience on the subject.

Gear to share: First Aid, What do you carry in your ready pack?
Come prepared to share what you keep in your pack along with any first aid tips that others may find helpful. 

As always, any interested people are encouraged to come check us out!

March 7, 2012

Franklin Search & Rescue Awarded Grant for Communications

FSAR was awarded a $ 4,380 grant to purchase handheld radios to improve SAR communications at the March 6, Franklin County Commissioner's meeting. The TIF grant is the result of the TransCanada, Kibby Wind Project in the un-organized territory above Stratton. 

A group of FSAR members began working on the proposal last November completing and submitting the final application on Christmas Eve. “This is very exciting, news” said Steve Mitman secretary for FSAR. “We are currently relying on the personal 2-way handheld radios of just two team members and a set of team 'talk about' UHF radios (like those used by families when skiing) for scene communication!”  This grant will allow FSAR to purchase six VHF narrow band 16-channel portable radios. “These radios will make a significant impact on on-scene communication during search and rescue operations” Mitman said, “We will now be able to communicate with all participating agencies at the rescue scene which can include, fire departments, NorthStar ambulance, wardens and law enforcement and each other.”

Mitman said that the equipment purchase will happen “as soon as we get the check!” FSAR is an all volunteer SAR group based in Kingfield, Maine. They meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Kingfield fire station at 6:30 p.m. They welcome all interested people to come check them out.

For more information about the grant, check out the Daily Bulldog Article here:

March 4, 2012

FSAR Participates in the Search for Missing Firefighter from Florida

 (Photo/The Bangor Daily News, Kevin Bennett)

Feb, 29, 2012   Franklin Search and Rescue responded to a remote area of mid coast Maine to search for a missing firefighter from Florida.  The search was centered on the Daheia Farm Rd. area in Newburgh.  The missing subject was located with the help of a canine unit of the Maine Warden service shortly after the search began.

March 1, 2012

Got Maps? 15 minute USGS topo maps free download

I asked Jim to create some directions for accessing and printing topo maps online. This is a free service that FSAR members and others might fine useful. Thanks Jim!

15 minute topos cover the area of four 7 ½ minute ones. The USGS stopped making new 15 minute topos as long ago as the 1960s and within the last 15 years they not only stopped making them but attempted to recall them from sales points in order to destroy them. Still, they often have useful or even valuable information: many roads and buildings (for example fire towers and wardens’ camps, and routes to them) no longer appearing on the newer 7 ½ minute maps show up on these. Also, I personally “see” many things better on them, especially big mountains or ranges. 

They can easily be downloaded in quarter-panels from the UNH Historic Maps of New England site: Once reaching this point look at Maine maps and find the listing of all their collection (it is not complete: I have some editions they do not own). You will notice many have different generations of maps and some have only Provisional Maps as the series was ended before these areas were deemed worthy of significant effort.

One ready example of how things have changed is the Katahdin Map. If you look at the SE corner portion of the Katahdin map for 1930 and then 1949 you will see significant differences (beyond the map color) as the effects of logging and then Baxter State Park were felt. (The St. Johns Trail of the 1930 quad was a victim of logging more than park development.)  There is also an unusual shaded relief version of this map which makes interesting comparison. There is much to be learned from these older maps.

Regarding 7 ½ minute maps, there is a State of Maine site but, especially since it was “improved” last year, I have a lot of trouble with it. I recommend going to the site, then the Store, then Map Locator & Downloader. Here it is:
From here you can drive yourself crazy shrinking the map OR find the Search box and type in the quadrangle you want. For instance I went to The Traveler, Maine, and got here:
From here, click on the balloon and you will have choices of maps and sizes, and the option to download or buy (if you really want to buy them you should know that some sizes are not available, such as the 15 minute sheet). I clicked the 7 ½ from 2011 (!) and then the download button above it. It is downloading as we speak. Printing from the USGS site is your department;  I own most of the maps I use, so I have not need maps printed from this; this is good as I don’t know how to divide the image into quarters to print it. (Incidentally, regarding printing, the 15 minute sheets are actually smaller than the 7 ½ sheets and they print easily.)