Yesterday, our search and rescue team received a call to respond for an extended mission from Thursday through Saturday or Sunday, to assist with road blocks and perhaps other assignments in connection with the Wallow Fire. Our Coordinator said we'll probably be asked to do the same multiple times over the next few weeks.
See: Northern Arizona Fire Personnel Help Fight Wallow Fire, Others to find out who else is responding from Coconino County.
The theme of our SAR booth was the ten essentials of hiking, with the ten essential categories being navigation, illumination, insulation, nutrition, hydration, shelter (which, in our case, was as simple as a rain poncho or an All Weather space blanket with grommets so it could be used as a tarp), tools and repair, sun protection, first aid, and (although it feels strange to say so right now, given the first part of this post) fire-starting.
|Coconino County SAR members teach children and adults about the ten essentials.|
A lot of children visited our booth, and they seemed to really enjoy going through the list on the P-SAR cards, reading off each item and then searching for it in the Zip-Loc baggie. Some wanted to see if they could lift my backpack. And some also got a little quiz. We ask, "If you got lost, what would you do?" and heard a lot of really good answers about ways to signal for help. Many eventually got around to the main answer we were looking for: sit down and stay put. Or "hug a tree" as we like say. We also asked the kids what they can do to prevent getting lost in the first place. (Parents seemed happy to hear that question.)
So it was a good day for SAR community education. We were invited to return to the festival next year.