These are my stories as a volunteer member of the Sheriff's Search & Rescue team in Coconino County, Arizona. I'll share what it's like to go from a beginner with a lot to learn to an experienced and, hopefully, valuable member of the team, as well as the missions, trainings, and other activities along the way.
About Coconino County
About Coconino County
Encompassing 18,661 square miles, Coconino County, Arizona, is the second largest county in the U.S. but one of the least populated. Our county includes Grand Canyon National Park, the Navajo, Havasupai, Hualapai and Hopi Indian Reservations, and the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world. Elevations range from 2,000 feet above sea level along the Colorado River to 12,633 feet at the summit of Mt. Humphreys in Flagstaff.
October 11, 2008
Don't Tell, But....
And who are they gonna be lookin' for? Why, li'l ol' me and my teammate Joe. We're gonna be sittin' out there, all bundled up (it's supposed to be cold and windy, and we'll be at an elevation of over 10,000 feet) with goodies to keep us warm and occupied. We'll bring books and dinner too, cuz who knows how long we'll be waiting to be found. We'll also have radios so we can eavesdrop on the teams' progress.
When they eventually find us, well, one of us is going to require a litter carry. Joe and I will draw straws, arm wrestle, and fight about who gets to be the injured one, but I sure hope I win. I've been a fake patient before, and riding in that litter makes me feel rather icky.
This whole mock SAR mission is dependent on the fact that no real mission takes precedence. It's been reeeeeeally quiet for a while. In fact, when I returned from a recent trip to Colorado, I was surprised to find I hadn't missed any missions while I was gone. Hmmm, makes me think the elk poop is about to hit the fan.
Well I hope your training goes well, as for the elk poop it is funny we have our basic academy down here this weekend and the same topic came about how quiet it has been. Mite have to duck and cover when fly's.
Funny, not long after I posted that last entry, my pager went off. It was for a litter carry of an injured hiker (unconscious, broken leg). But we got to the SAR building, and it was soon 10-22'd. Apparently, the Guardian medical folks went in and carried the girl out. Not sure why they called us if they were going to take care of it ... but, oh well. That's how it goes sometimes. Hurry up and go home.
I picked up my instructions for the mock search tomorrow. I guess I'm doomed to be carried out; our coordinator has me down as the injured party. I love what he wrote on the briefing for my age and weight, though. So kind. But when the rescuers pick up the loaded litter, I'll bet they'll be thinking, "Hmm ... this feels like more than ___ pounds."
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