July 22, 2021

Spaulding Mountain on the Appalachian Trail

On Wednesday July 14th at 1:10 pm FSAR was notified for an injured hiker just south of the Summit of Spaulding Mountain on the Appalachian Trail. The hiker and about 35 rescuers were back in the comfort of vehicles on the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain at about 11:30 last night. A special thanks to all that helped, especially the ATC crew and Sugarloaf Mountain personnel.

Spaulding Mountain Rescue


July 11, 2021

Farewell to Three FSAR Board Members

You don’t always know how much a person does until they step away from those responsibilities and hand the job over.  I am just beginning to discover how much founding member and past secretary, Steve “Mit” Mitman has done for FSAR as I tiptoe into his shoes.  As I accepted the duty of secretary, he began to gently coach me on how to share documents, where to find and update rosters, and a myriad of other things.  When we attended our ropes team training, he quietly became the anchor as we learned to use mechanical advantage for rigging. When we reviewed using a litter and adding the wheel, Mit became the patient, but even in this last team meeting for him, he still was taking pictures of the team and documenting the experience.  It is with sincere appreciation that we wish him well as he steps away from the team.  

Another quiet leader and founding member,  the team’s president, Steve Yates, has also stepped down.  Being welcoming of newcomers as well as reassuring to those with less experience has definitely been one of the qualities that many have appreciated over the course of his years of service. Those details of planning for training, organizing the team, and communicating with members and agencies are only a few of the many jobs Steve accomplished over the years as president.  Seen here, with incoming president, Barry London, handing off snippets of knowledge, we are thankful for your years of service with FSAR.

Finally, Paul Marcolini, medical advisor, is leaving the board, but will still remain on the team and will be helping with future WFA trainings.  Paul has shared his experiences of so many years of service as a climbing ranger in Denali, as well as teaching NREMT courses for Rainier, and Acadia National Parks.  He is a paramedic and has worked for ground, rotor and fixed-wing EMS programs.  His method of teaching encourages the unsure in a respectful way while challenging all team members to follow the science of first aid as he shares current information from everything from tourniquets to Covid safety.

It is with deep appreciation that we honor these three men and their service to FSAR.   Consider whether you have time or interest in joining our team and learn what you can do to help.

April 11, 2021

New Hampshire 4,000-Footer Quest!

 FSAR team-member Brittany is working on an ambitious hiking goal.  I recently interviewed her about her project.

What is your goal? 

My end goal is to complete the NH48 with my companion Bow to then start working towards an even bigger goal of completing the NE68, NE115, & the Highest 100th hiking list. I also intend to complete each 48, 4,000-footer in each season. I want to experience all of the trails that our eastern mountains have to offer.

How long have you been working on it? 

I hiked my first NH48 mountain in November of 2016 on Mount Pierce. 

How many peaks have you completed? 

So far I have completed 25/48 of the peaks. I have re-hiked some of the same peaks several different times for various reasons.

From a SAR perspective, what recommendations can you offer to others who may be considering a similar ambitious hiking goal? 

Coming from a SAR perspective I would recommend having a moderate physical capability at the very least, basic skills such as gps/map navigation, & proper gear to fit the mountain ecosystem to someone who is considering similar ambitious goals. Also, finding a hiking partner and knowing what their physical ability is as well as any medical information would be highly recommended as it is much safer to have someone out in the mountains with you.

What are your favorite pieces of gear you always take with you on these trips?

My ultimate favorite piece of gear is my 3 liter camelbak water bladder as it is so convenient to not have to stop, unzip your pack and dig out a water bottle while hiking. Microspikes would be a top gear item to have as you need them through early fall - late spring here in New England. 

Lastly, I wouldn’t want to go hiking if I didn’t have my leatherman that acts as a multi-tool. Winter conditions on the other hand require double the amount of gear needed.

Have you ever got caught on the trail in bad weather or had an backcountry injury that you had to use your SAR skills on? 

Absolutely. I’ve got caught on the trail several different times in bad weather. Some peaks are more common to have fierce wind gusts, multiple river crossings & socked in summit peaks that are hard to navigate with low visibility. One spring hike that included several water crossings I had gone through three different pairs of stockings and experienced what felt like acute hypothermia as I felt my body slowly wanting to shut down. Also, two winters ago I had my first experience with a backcountry injury that occured from my dog while snowboarding parallel to the Tuckerman's ravine trail where I had to use some basic bandaging skills.

Anything you want to add? 

Make sure to communicate your hiking plans with someone prior to getting to the trail in case of emergencies. Tell someone which trail/route you intend to take and approximately the total outing time. Usually people go by the 1 hr per every 2 miles to get a rough estimate of total time and length of trip. Also, mountain weather is very temperamental and has its own weather patterns.. Make sure to check the mountain weather forecast up to the same day you intend on hiking as it can change dramatically overnight.

November 25, 2020

NEW: Baxter State Park WInter Ranger Position!

 Baxter State Park WInter Ranger Position!

BSP has just announced a job opening for a live-in Winter Ranger based out of Togue Pond/Abol area. This could be an amazing opportunity if you like to snowmobile, ski, hike, and may even include ia little mountaineering. 

Visit the State of Maine website for more info and to apply:


July 6, 2020

FSAR Baxter Weekend Undate July 4 Weekend 2020

John and Mit spent the July-4 holiday weekend at BSP, the first weekend of 'above tree-line hiking' was open to the public.  SAR team camp has been relocated this year to a beautiful abandoned campground on a peninsula on Upper Togue Pond close to the Togue Gate. 

Upon arriving in the park an MFS short-haul helicopter rescue of a tib-fib break injured hiker was about to begin. Mit setup near the Togue Gate and watched the summit rescue unfold while John, upon his arrival in the park, drove to the LZ at Abol Bridge to assist in patient unloading. WRT and Chimney Pond ranger Jen, conducted patient stabilization and packaging on the summit.  It was great to watch this rescue progress. 

After setting up an awesome campsite, Mit and John met with the new BSP chief ranger Dan R. and got the (already quite active) SAR season report for the park.  There are a number of new park employees this year and it looks like a great crew.  The park has already had a number of incidents this year: significant flooding, a forest fire, unauthorized access and injuries in addition to COVID-19 changes. 

In addition to the important tasks of paddling, fishing, watching 'campfire t.v.', and eating some great meals, on Saturday afternoon we were activated for a rescue at chimney pond.   FSAR hiked up to Chimney Pond to assist an injured hiker down to the Roaring Brook campground along with Dan the new chief ranger. The patient had a knee injury and we assisted him by carrying his backpack and with encouraging/focusing verbal cues on the hike down.  Although there was no physical contact with the patient, the rescuers and the patient wore masks and practiced social distancing.

We field-tested the new hands-free hand washing station fabricated by Pat, it worked so great we made a YouTube video to share with others who may be interested.  Check it out  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV03YDEcWlk

We left the park in the late afternoon on Sunday just as thunderstorms were rolling in. 

Overall it was a great weekend and we would encourage ANY FSAR team member, who has been hiking regularly this season (has their trail-legs!) to participate in the next FSAR Baxter SAR duty weekend on Aug 1-2 or Sept. 5-7, Oct. 3-4.  Talk with Pat C. the team BSP Coordinator if you are interested. 

Video: Hand Washing Station for Off-Grid use, Hands Free, foot powered, home built for FSAR

Check out our short video on the NEW hand-washing station built by FSAR Pat for hand=free, on-scene hand-washing.  Field-tested at the Baxter State Park SAR duty weekend basecamp, this new tool worked beautifully. Great craftsmanship on this build Pat, THANK YOU!

April 18, 2020

FSAR Tips for Wilderness Safety During Covid-19

1. What are some basic things for people to know about exploring the outdoors?
  • Stay close to home
  • Stay off the 'big peaks' and 'epic hikes' for now.
  • Don't participate in any high-risk outdoor activity 
  • Let someone know where you are going - have a plan and share it
  • Stay in familiar territory
  • Do you have the skills to self-rescue? EMS and SAR personnel may not be readily available to assist you.
  • Do you have a survival kit and know how to use it?
  • Stay on marked trails
  • Be advised, there is still deep snow in the backcountry!
  • Don't go alone but practice social distancing

2.  What are the ten essential items to pack for a day hike?
  1. Map and compass and the knowledge of how to use it. 
  2. Extra clothing/layers and rain gear
  3. First aid kit
  4. Food (a little more then you need)
  5. Hydration (water in container and method to purify)
  6. Sun Protection (sunscreen, sunglasses, Hat)
  7. Headlight or flashlight
  8. Fire (Matches and lighter)
  9. Knife and repair tools
  10. Shelter (tarp, space blanket, tent, bivy)
Plus:  Proper footwear (broken in)

3. What recommendations does FSAR have for outdoor-loving people at this time, to keep themselves and to keep emergency service first-responder crews safe? 

  • FSAR members have the same concerns for their family, their employment situation, personal health, and community health, as most in our community.  For these reasons, across the Search and Rescue spectrum in the US, teams will have fewer rescuers responding. FSAR is no different. During this time of the pandemic, we will have a limited response by team members.
  • Our ability to help injured people in need is greatly reduced
  • Stay off of the 4000' footers, stay close to home and not far from a road. 

April 1, 2020

ATC: Asking hikers to stay off the trail!! 4-1-2020

UPDATE: A.T. hikers are asked to postpone all hikes until further notice

The ATC will not recognize thru-hikes that continue after March 31, 2020 or for those who traveled through any areas that were posted closed when the hiker entered.

Until further notice, we have paused our thru-hiker registration system at ATcamp.org, and the handout of 2020 hangtags at all locations. We will relaunch these programs as soon as the CDC issues the “all clear.”

Dear 2020 A.T. Thru-hiker,
We hope this email finds you safe and healthy.
Since COVID-19 emerged as a threat, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has had two goals. First, we wanted to keep everyone in our community – volunteers, visitors, partners, and the Trail’s adjacent villages and towns – safe and healthy. Second, we wanted to protect the Trail while volunteers and staff were unable to access and take care of it. The only option to achieve both objectives was to ask everyone to stay away from the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), something we’ve never done before nor imagined doing.
Many thru-hikers heeded this call. For this, we are enormously grateful.
We know many thru-hikers made big sacrifices to keep the Trail’s visitors, volunteers, and its adjacent communities safe. So, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is adopting a special policy for this year’s thru-hiking class. We will recognize all 2020 thru-hikers who began their hikes this year and left the Trail prior to March 31, 2020, postponing until after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance stating it is safe to return to resume normal activities. Once the CDC issues this guidance, thru-hikers can pick up where they left off — whether at mile 5 or 500 — and have twelve months from the date they choose to resume their hikes to complete the remainder of their journeys and still be recognized by the ATC as a thru-hiker and 2,000-miler.
No one should be punished for doing the right thing. We want to make sure this year’s thru-hikers who left the Trail have every opportunity to accomplish their dream. And, we profoundly thank those who postponed their hikes entirely.
For thru-hikers remaining on the A.T., we advise you to leave the Trail immediately and shelter in place at the closest off-Trail lodging available to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19 until the CDC and local authorities advise it is safe to travel. Please consider:
  • Trail closures continue to increase with access points to the A.T. (e.g. trailheads and connecting trails) closed on US Forest Service land south of Virginia; shelters and privies closed on National Park Service land (Trail-wide) and on state park land in New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania (as well as all overnight camping in Maryland); perimeter closures for the Smokies and Graham County, North Carolina; and dozens of Trail businesses temporarily suspending services. For the most updated list, please visit ATC’s Trail Closures page.
  • The ATC will not recognize thru-hikes that continue after March 31, 2020 or for those who traveled through any areas that were posted closed when the hiker entered.
  • Until further notice, we have paused our thru-hiker registration system at ATcamp.org, and the handout of 2020 hangtags at all locations. We will relaunch these programs as soon as the CDC issues the “all clear.”
We firmly believe, during these difficult times, that unless everyone is safe, then no one is. We appreciate your assistance in keeping the Trail community safe and healthy.
If you have any questions, please contact us via email at info@appalachiantrail.org or phone at 304.535.6331. For updates and guidance involving COVID-19 and the A.T., please visit appalachiantrail.org/covid-19.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Team

February 9, 2020

Cold Weather Medical Training: Marcolini

Franklin Search & Rescue monthly training and meeting
Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020,  6:30 p.m.
Kingfield Fire Station

Paul Marcolini will conduct a cold-weather medical training focusing on hyperthermia, frostbite and avalanche awareness training.  Paul is an outstanding instructor, so please join us for an informative evening. 

Gear to share: Bring your personal medical kit

  • Dues are due!  Members: If you have not paid your 2020 dues, John will collect them on Wednesday.
  • Rope rescue team (including anyone interested in joining the rope rescue team) will meet for a short training before the regular meeting beginning at 5:30 at KFD. 

All interested people are encouraged to attend, bring a friend!

September 11, 2019

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Class, October 26-27, Farmington, Maine $199

Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

Wilderness Medical Associates International - Wilderness First Aid
Hosted by: Franklin Search & Rescue

WFA: October 26 & 27, 2019 (2-day class) $199 

Location: Farmington Fire Department, Farmington Maine

Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

Cost: $199 

The best and most comprehensive course of its kind, WFA offers relevant and realistic first-aid training for seasonal outdoor activities or short-term wilderness endeavors and pursuits.  Wilderness First Aid is a two-day course covering general medical concepts and basic life support skills. It is targeted to the outdoor enthusiast on day trips or short adventures. The course is taught by a professional instructor with significant backcountry care experience.

Instructor by: Paul Marcolini, Wilderness Medical Associates International (WMA)  http://www.wildmed.com/ 

Sponsored by: Franklin Search & Rescue (FSAR)

Course topics:
Patient Assessment System; CPR; Circulatory System; Nervous System; Respiratory System; Musculoskeletal Injuries and Splinting; Hypothermia; Hyperthermia and Heat Illness; Submersion Injuries; Lightning Injuries; Wounds and Burns; Anaphylaxis; Lifting, Moving Extrication; Patient Carries; Backcountry Medicine 
The WFA course is scheduled for two days or 16 hours of instructional and practice time. Upon successful completion, students will receive certification in Wilderness First Aid and Adult CPR.  This certification is good for 3 years. 

Students will receive the following books on this course:
  • Wilderness First Aid Guide
  • SOAP Notebook;
  • The Outward Bound Wilderness First-Aid Handbook 
Successful completion with certification is based on 100% attendance, satisfactory performance on homework assignments, demonstrated proficiency with practical skills, and a successful grade on a final written exam.
Students must be at least 16 years old to participate in this course. Those under 18 years of age require the written consent of a parent or guardian.

To register:
Please follow this link to register for the WMA class this fall:

Please send a check made out to FSAR for $199 to the team treasurer:

John Rollhauser
Franklin SAR
P.O. Box 421
Kingfield, ME 04947

Before your name will be added to the roster and your slot reserved, tuition must be paid in full. 

Thank you!

John Rollhauser
FSAR Treasurer

Question?  Contact: John Rollhauser
fsarinformation@gmail.com  443-472-2138

March 29, 2019

Lost Person Behavior Training

The FSAR monthly training was on lost person behavior.  We used Rober Koester's book, as a reference tool to help determine where to put search resources.  After a short power point presentation, four fictitious search scenarios were presented to each group.

 Groups had 15 minutes to review the search profile and scenario map to develop a hasty-team search plan.

Using the strengths and personal experience base of all team members, a search plan was created.
 Ed is a 32 y.o. Hunter, visiting from CT, hunting with his cousin Bert in unfamiliar terrain.  Bert set him up in a tree stand at 6 a.m. then climbed into his stand ¼ mile away in a different tree stand.  When Bert returned at noon, Ed was missing. His gun, pack and all personal items were still in the tree stand.

 Newer members were mixed in with more experienced members, everyone brings something to the conversation.

To conclude, we reviewed each scenario together and discussed a logical plan of action.