November 19, 2015

New FSAR Storage Building, Looking for a Garage Door!

UPDATE 11-22 A garage door has been donated THANK YOU!

A call for building materials!

FSAR is planning to construct a ‘garage sized’ storage building to store the SAR trailer.

The size of this building will be 12’ x 20’.

Tooker construction has offered to donate many of the required materials for the structure but we do need a few additional things:

We are currently looking for a 9’ x 8’ garage door. (Donated 11-22)

As we get further into the project additional needed materials will be listed here on the blog.

Any donations will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

November 15, 2015

4-Day Rigging for Rescue Rope Rescue Workshop on MDI

Photos and story by FSAR Pat

On October 19th through the 22nd Pat, John, Shannon, and Paul attended Rigging for Rescue (RFR) training on Mt. Desert Island.

The 22 students that participated in the training included members of various MASAR teams throughout the state as well as Acadia National Park rangers. 

Rigging for Rescue is a company out of Ouray Colorado which offers technical ropework seminars that focus on applying critical thinking and systems analysis skill required to competently incorporate ropework and rigging into effective rescue systems.  The 4 day course was conducted by Mike Gibbs, RFR founder, and Leo Lloyd, instructor. 

Each day began with classroom training held at the Seal Harbor Fire Department.  Practical training was held at various amazing sites overlooking the Atlantic Ocean!  

Some of the topics and techniques we covered included:
  • Safety factors and rescue safety systems
  • Anchor points and systems
  • Command and Communication
  • Systems analysis and scene size up
  • Simple, compound, and complex pulley systems
  • Parallel plaquettes
  • Radium release hitches
  • Rescue belays and hauls
  • Pick off’s lowering with a self-belay
  • Horizontal and vertical Stretcher techniques on raises and lowers

Many thanks to Steve Hudson of Mount Desert Island SAR for organizing the event, along with Davin and the fellow MDISAR team members for their help with equipment, home baked goodies, and driving directions around the Island!

We also wish to thank the 'Friends of Baxter' organization, the Savoy Foundation and FSAR, for their generous support which helped offset much of the cost of this very productive and informative workshop. 

November 1, 2015

Largay: Missing AT hiker died of exposure, lack of food and water (Daily Bulldog Article)

AUGUSTA – Skeletal remains found on Oct. 14, 2015, in Redington Township were confirmed through DNA analysis by the state's medical examiner as Geraldine Largay. Her death was ruled accidental, resulting from a lack of food, water and exposure.
An experienced hiker, Largay was last seen on the early morning of Monday, July 22, 2013, at Poplar Lean-to on the AT in Maine.
The Warden Service said that after examination of the remains and working in conjunction with information from investigators on the case, the chief medical examiner determined this was "an accidental death due to lack of food and water and environmental exposure," according to Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the Warden's Service.
The cell phone found in Geraldine’s possession has been examined by the Maine State Police Computer Crime Lab. Information found on the cell phone concluded that Largay reached Orbeton Stream and the discontinued railroad bed crossing in the late morning of July 22, 2013. Shortly after reaching that intersection, she continued north on the AT and at some point left the trail and became lost. The exact location where she departed the trail is unknown.
The remains were found on Wednesday, Oct. 14, by a contractor conducting a forestry survey as part of an environmental impact statement on property owned by the U.S. Navy in Redington Township. The contractor reported his findings to the Navy who subsequently alerted the Maine Warden Service. Personnel to include game wardens, State Police personnel, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigators, and a Medical Examiner’s Office representative hiked to the scene of the remains Thursday morning Oct. 15.
According to MacDonald, "the scene included skeletal remains and several pieces of clothing and belongings consistent with items known to be in Largay’s possession. The remains were located west of the Maine Public Reserve Land that contains a portion of the AT and about 3,500 feet east of the easterly shore of Redington Pond.
"These findings now bring closure to one of Maine’s most unique and challenging search and rescue incidents," he said.
Geraldine “Gerry” Anita Largay, 66, started her hike on the AT in April of 2013 at Harpers Ferry, W.V.; her trail name was “inchworm.” Her destination was Baxter State Park in Maine. Her husband George Largay kept track of her along the way and made frequent predetermined stops to resupply her.
Map showing Appalachian Trail highlighting Poplar Ridge Lean-to, Spaulding Lean-to and Geraldine’s final location discovered October 14, 2015.
Map showing Appalachian Trail highlighting Poplar Ridge Lean-to, Spaulding Lean-to and Geraldine Largay’s final location discovered Oct. 14, 2015. (Map courtesy of the Maine Warden Service)
On the morning of Sunday, July 21, 2013 she departed from her husband at the Route 4 AT crossing in Sandy River Plantation near the town of Rangeley. Later that day, she texted her husband and advised she was on top of Saddleback Mountain. Geraldine Largay was last seen on the early morning of Monday, July 22 at Poplar Lean-to on the Appalachian Trail in Maine. She was planning to hike that day to Spaulding Lean-to in Redington Township, approximately eight miles to the north. On Tuesday, July 23, she had planned to continue hiking north from Spaulding Lean-to located in Mount Abram Township to meet her husband who was waiting for her at the Route 27 crossing. She never arrived at that location.
The Maine Warden Service wishes to thank the many law enforcement and EMS organizations, search and rescue volunteers, and local business owners who generously gave their time and resources.
"We consistently see the community spirit in Maine and this is another fine example of a community coming together to assist in helping a person and family in need," MacDonald said.
The Largay family issued a statement: “We wish to thank all of those who gave their time and prayers while searching for our wife, sister, mother, and grandmother. We especially would like to thank the entire Maine Warden Service for their dedication to this case. It became apparent from day one that this was personal to them and they would not rest until Gerry was found. After all of the communication and information from everyone involved including the Medical Examiner’s Office, Navy, and the Maine Attorney General’s Office, these findings are conclusive in that no foul play was involved and that Gerry simply made a wrong turn shortly after crossing Orbeton Stream. Now that we know her death was an accident, we again ask all media for the respect of our privacy as we continue our grieving process with this new chapter of closure.”

Re-posted from Daily Bulldog: