August 13, 2013

Annual FSAR Family Potluck Picnic

Annual FSAR family potluck picnic  Wednesday, August 14 (this Wednesday) at 6 p.m. at the Ziehler home 232 west kingfield road.  Turn at Jordan Lumber go ~1.1 -1.25 miles.  Name's on the mailbox-blue house on left just past the fields full of cows.

Jeff is frying a turkey and will have a grill for anyone to throw their grillables on.

What to bring? Your family (or a friend), whatever you want to drink and a dish to share. Please drop Mit a note if you are planning on attending.

We will begin our regular FSAR monthly meetings/trainings next month on September 11, at the KFD. There has been some interest generated in FSAR by the recent search, if you know folks who have asked about FSAR please direct them to this meeting.

August 3, 2013

What Does it Take to be a Good SAR Team Member?

Due to the media coverage of the recent search, there has been a surge of interest in MASAR (Maine Association of Search & Rescue) teams. If you are interested in becoming a Search & Rescue (SAR) team member, here are are a few things to think about.

What does it take to be a good SAR team member?
By Steve Mitman

  • Love of the outdoors and a desire to spend time in Maine’s backcountry.

  • Love of hiking. Searches usually involve lots of walking, scrambling and bushwhacking with a pack on your back. If you don’t love hiking, SAR may not be a good fit for you.

  • Maintain a reasonably high level of physical fitness. Yes, most of us ride the fitness roller coaster throughout the year, some months are better than others. However, when the team is activated for a rescue on a rugged Maine 4000 footer in January, you need to be an asset and not a liability. Rescues often involve carrying an injured person in a litter, sometimes for miles down a mountain. Maintaining a good level of fitness is vital to protecting both you and the patient.

  • Work well with others. SAR is a team effort and membership requires that you interact and work closely with others. Some qualities of a good team player are: reliable, good listener, active participant, clear communicator, cooperative, flexible, committed, good problem solver and a willingness to be dedicated to the team. Few people excel at all of these qualities but this is one of the goals of an effective SAR team.

  • Maintain a ready-pack, footwear, clothing and outerwear for the current season. You need to be prepared to spend the next 24-48 hours self-sufficient in the wilderness. This requires a financial and organizational commitment by each volunteer/member.

  • Train, train, train. SAR is mostly about training and preparation, teams can go months without a call. If your focus is on training, search and rescue calls are bonus. We do stress that family and your job comes first, and realize you will not be able to attend all trainings or respond to all calls, however, active team members should make every effort to stay connected and involved.

  • Desire to help others. SAR is a volunteer service organization whose bottom line is helping people in need.

If you are interested in learning more about SAR, I would encourage you to check out the MASAR web site to see who your local SAR team is.

Attend a meeting and talk to members. Keep looking for a team that is a good fit for you. Most SAR teams have members who live a long way from the team base because the they have found a good fit.

Search and Rescue is a wonderful way to give back to the people of Maine. If you are unable to join a SAR team, consider making a financial donation to your local team. Budgets are generally very small and income is generated by annual member dues (yes we pay to volunteer!), grants and donations.