West Valley SAR and The Cave Team Successfully Complete Recert
Monday, March 7, 2011 at 23:17
Jeff Lehman in Cave & Technical Rescue Team, MRA, News, West Valley SAR

On Saturday, March 6, all MRA-accredited rope rescue teams in California converged on the Alabama Hills, near Lone Pine to demonstrate their rope rescue skills. The Cave Team and West Valley SAR participated in the event as part of their annual MRA recertification. Fully-accredited MRA teams must pass an annual recertification in one of the three disciplines: technical rope rescue, search and tracking, and winter/alpine rescue. This year's event was hosted by Ventura County SAR.


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Each team provides two evaluators and a victim, who are used in the evaluation of other teams. For example, one of our evaluators proctored the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit's test, while the other evaluated Sierra Madre SAR. After an hour-long evaluator training session, there was a short briefing, and the teams made their way to the testing locations.

The typical scenario involves a patient raise and lower with careful attention to the medical care provided. Due to the terrain in the region, it was necessary to perform a number of operations to move the victim to an appropriate location. The evaluators assess 6 areas: Leadership, Operational Plan, Communications, Safety, Medical, and Technical. Each of these areas are assigned a score of 1-3, and a minimum passing score is 12. At the conclusion of the scenario, the evaluators debrief the team, and provide the score. If a passing score is not received, then the team must re-test at a later date.

Ventura County SAR finished the day with a barbeque of tri tip and chicken, which tasted great after a day in the field. Organizing such an event is a lot of work, and they did a great job. I am continually amazed at the number of well-trained, dedicated, SAR resources that are available to the residents of California. It is truly a sight to behold.

Article originally appeared on SBSAR.ORG (http://sbsar.org/).
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