Sunday, December 2, 2012

An awesome old timey Mountain Rescue video

This may be in black and white and the ice tools may be dated, but the scenario is real enough, when your team can do a snow evacuation as fast and smooth as the one in this movie, you'll be a real mountain rescue team!

One of these days the self-appointed cognoscenti of rescue in the US might stop selling books and giving paid-for workshops long enough for us to realize again that there's no substitute for speed, mountaineering agility and teamwork in evacuation.

By the way, by the time I got to RAF Mountain Rescue, the mountains of Scotland were in color.


By the way, it's winter out there in my driveway. Happy winter.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Search Team Leader training photos available on FB

On the MASAR Facebook page. You can share and download.

Here's a couple for those who don't have FB. Thanks to Jim for making the photos available.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Search Team Leader Training today

Here's the press release sent jointly between MASAR and Unity College:

For Immediate Release
Unity College to Host Search and Rescue Training
Unity, Maine – October, 2012 – Unity College will host search and rescue training on and near its campus from October 19 through October 21.  The immersion training will require teams to sleep overnight in the woods adjacent to the campus in Unity, Maine, relying only on the items they carry for survival.
     On Friday training will begin on the Unity campus before moving to Howes Pond bowl (southeast of routes 9/202 and 7). Training will move back to the Unity campus on Saturday afternoon, where the balance of the weekend will be spent.
      “This training weekend is the initial session of a one-year course to bring experienced Search Team Members to a level at which they can become certified as Search Team Leaders,” noted Jim Bridge, Education Director and Member, Board of Directors, Maine Association for Search and Rescue (MASAR).  “The applicants will have requirements for developing specific experience over the next twelve months, and be required to document their work and experience for review in the fall.”
      A capstone weekend will take place at the end of the training and certification process, Bridge says.
     Four applicants, three instructors and several Unity College students who are members of the Unity College Search and Rescue Club will participate in the training weekend in Unity.
     The MASAR has twelve certified units with approximately 120 certified searchers.  It receives approximately 30 call outs per year, though not all units in Maine participate in each call out.  The organization has specialty units that are frequently requested and deployed based on the particulars of the search and rescue.  Some of the specialty units include K9 Unit with 20 certified dog teams, three units that specialize in technical rescue and the extraction of injured persons, and also a mounted unit
with eight certified horse and rider teams.
     The MASAR web page is online at
and they are also on Facebook.
     Unity College is a small private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Search Team Leader Training memo

Dear MASAR unit reps: Please find below a link to an open web folder containing the flyer and schedule for our upcoming STL training course, to be held in and about Unity College (central Maine) on the weekend of October 19th to 21st, 2012.

The MASAR Education committee is providing this training program to support general SAR leadership education within MASAR and member groups, and to support units in meeting the recently promulgated STL Standard.

The STL Standard is the proper level of training for people in charge of search parties in the field, and it is important that Units recognize this and begin to document that their leaders meet the standard. The standard is a practical standard requiring skills demonstration in each item, and so the training is hands-on and practical, more than 70% time in the field and hills. The Education Committee has labored hard to make sure that this opportunity for hands-on, field based training.

We expect that our best MASAR instructors, working together with the candidates themselves and their current knowledge, can improve the quality of search and rescue for just about any leader for any team in the state. We hope that each unit will name one or two candidates.

Units may name candidates, or individuals may name themselves, by email response to either Mick Womersley (organizer) or Jim Bridge (Chair Education Cttee).

Emails should contain brief details of the individual’s SAER “resume” and some statement of commitment to a team or MASAR in general. (We prefer not to expend limited resources to train folks who are not ready, or who may soon be moving away.) The Education Committee reserves the right to choose this years candidates from among the best deserving applicants, although all are encouraged to consider the course. (Please read the required qualifications before applying.)

Best regards,
Mick Womersley
Education Committee Member,
Resource Officer

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

For new members: Training materials

Here is a link to the Maine BASAR search and rescue training materials. This is the online training course we will run this fall.

You'll need to be put on the list of authorized users to enter the site. You need to send me, or Paige or Travis or Corey an email so one of us can "invite" you to become an authorized user.

These files are not available through Google search and are copyright of Maine Association for Search and Rescue.

Here is another link to the MASAR Standards webpage. All members will take CPR and the fitness test this fall to become authorized "trainees" as per the Search Team Member and Physical Fitness Standards. The more committed of you will also take BASAR.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Up and running again

After a long, hot, useful, and even occasionally restful summer, the Unity College SAR Team is both in-training and operational again for the school year. This web page/blog will be used as a place for team members to post team news bulletins, announcements, and other items of interest, as well as photos.

The photo album, which is open to the public, is getting quite huge. I recommend a visit, especially for new members. Here's a direct link.

The team leadership, composed entirely of students (all I do is ensure continuity from one year to the next, liaise with the authorities, and help with training), will shortly be announcing the meeting and training schedule for the fall. Be sure to check your campus email.

Welcome back, and be sure your ready packs are good to go!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Team Training at the Unity House

Click here to see a report of what happened when Warden Lt. Adams came to visit the team at the official Unity College president's residence, the Unity House.

The author is the president's partner, Michele Leavitt.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Murdered ranger at Mt. Ranier: husband is a Unity College alum

I was saddened to hear about this horrible killing. There's not a lot to say, except that every penny that goes into looking after military veterans, especially those suffering from PTSD, is a penny well spent.

Now it turns out that the murdered ranger's husband, Eric Anderson, went to our small college.,0,5455728.story

Monday, January 2, 2012