Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

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Jeffshadows
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Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by Jeffshadows »

TUCSON - Pima County Search and Rescue along with the Southern Arizona Rescue Association are helping a stranded hiker in the popular hiking area around Cat Mountain near Ajo and Kinney Road.

The hiker called 911 after he realized that he was stranded.

So far there are no reports of the hiker having any injuries.
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Jim_H
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by Jim_H »

I don't want to paint the picture that I think all people who call for help are idiots or lazy. I know there are situations where help is needed and it should be available. Someday I may need to call for help, but I won't be able to because I don't carry a cell phone, I go alone most of the time, and when I would need it I'm usually too far from cell service or people to get it anyway. Say, wasn't that how it was before roughly 1995 and the advent of the cell phone? I usually don't tell anyone I'm doing something until I post it here, so you can say what you like about the intelligence of that.

Never the less, this topic reminded me of something HikeAZ posted to my January 27, 2008 triplog for Mt Elden. I still can't believe this:
You could merely call for search and rescue if you need help....... :-)

"Search and rescue teams escorted two stranded hikers off Mount Elden early Sunday morning just as storm clouds were moving in.
Gerald Baca of Flagstaff and Tallon Gonzalez of Winslow had gotten off the trail and could not make their way down in the dark, according to a Coconino County Sheriff's Office press release. They stopped and made a fire to get warm, then Baca used his cell phone to contact his father, who notified the sheriff's office at 12:18 a.m.
Sheriff's office deputies, volunteers with the county search and rescue squad and a DPS helicopter launched a search, locating the hikers at 4:38 a.m.
They were in good condition, and after being given food and water, they were escorted down the mountain.

The sheriff's office reported that neither of the hikers was prepared for a remote winter hike -- they were not adequately dressed, did not have adequate food or water, and did not have a flashlight. The sheriff's office reminds hikers to always take enough food and gear to handle emergency situations that may come up.
I will never understand how that happened unless they were high or drunk. You can see the Mall from the trail!! They couldn't go back to their tracks and hike down?
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by hippiepunkpirate »

jhodlof wrote:I will never understand how that happened unless they were high or drunk. You can see the Mall from the trail!! They couldn't go back to their tracks and hike down?
There was a night rescue up on Elden a few nights ago actually. Elden does have some rugged spots where you could cliff out if you were off-trail, but it you won't get yourself stuck unless you're climbing on stuff that you're not comfortable backtracking on. That's why any time you're climbing, don't climb up anything you can't climb down, or climb down anything you can't climb up. The only way you could really get LOST on Elden is if you went up during a snowstorm and your tracks got snowed over. You're comments about the Peaks are pretty dead on as well, Jim. Head downhill and even if you don't find your car, the mountain is surrounded by roads!
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Jim_H
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by Jim_H »

hippiepunkpirate wrote:
jhodlof wrote:I will never understand how that happened unless they were high or drunk. You can see the Mall from the trail!! They couldn't go back to their tracks and hike down?
There was a night rescue up on Elden a few nights ago actually. Elden does have some rugged spots where you could cliff out if you were off-trail, but it you won't get yourself stuck unless you're climbing on stuff that you're not comfortable backtracking on. That's why any time you're climbing, don't climb up anything you can't climb down, or climb down anything you can't climb up. The only way you could really get LOST on Elden is if you went up during a snowstorm and your tracks got snowed over. You're comments about the Peaks are pretty dead on as well, Jim. Head downhill and even if you don't find your car, the mountain is surrounded by roads!
Or just don't be stupid and don't head out into terrain you are unfamiliar with on the Peaks. What would these people have done in 1990?
Do you know anymore details about the recent Elden rescue?
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by azbackpackr »

Ok, but what happened to the guy on the original post on this thread? I am dying to know why did he need help (he also could have gotten cliffed out on Cat Mtn. I guess) and what was the outcome?
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by hippiepunkpirate »

jhodlof wrote:Do you know anymore details about the recent Elden rescue?
From the Daily Sun, Feb. 25th 2010
Search and rescue crews located early Wednesday three men who became stranded atop Mount Elden.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office received the call for help at 8:20 p.m. Tuesday. Based on the description provided, a search and rescue coordinator determined the hikers were near the radio towers on Mount Elden. The hikers couldn't locate the trail down.

Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue volunteers were flown to the top of Mount Elden by a Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue helicopter. Rescuers walked down to the victims, reaching them at approximately 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. The hikers were described as suffering from exposure. One hiker reported a sprained ankle and no feeling in his feet. They were given food and dry clothing and then hiked down the trail with search crews. Some portions of the trail required rope rigging to assure safe passage. All three men refused medical treatment once off the trail.

Search and rescue crews said the hikers were not appropriately equipped or prepared for the terrain and weather conditions. Even though the hikers had managed to build a small fire it was nearly extinguished by the time rescuers arrived.
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by keepmoving »

azbackpackr wrote:Ok, but what happened to the guy on the original post on this thread? I am dying to know why did he need help (he also could have gotten cliffed out on Cat Mtn. I guess) and what was the outcome?

I recently became field qualified with SARA and attended this very call. The hiker had made his way to the top of Cat Mountain but took a different route down and ended up cliffed out on a narrow ledge where there was no way up or down without a rope.
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by azbackpackr »

Knowing the area a bit, that is exactly what I was picturing. How was the rescue done?
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by keepmoving »

One team hiked up from the ground, one team flown in. They lowered several members to him and assisted him to climb out and air evaced him from the summit.
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by Canyonram »

My own first reaction is that part of the adventure is that it includes some risk --it is one's own preparation and skill that allows you to step off into whatever adventure you chose and return---part of the satisfaction after a backcountry hike, etc. SAR expert and consultant Laurence Gonzales has a recent article in the DEC 2009/JAN 2010 of National Geopgraphic Adventure magazine that offers a different perspective:

http://ngadventure.typepad.com/blog/200 ... s-pay.html

For those noT aware of the 'Yuppie 911' at Royal Arches loop / Grand Canyon:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33470581/ns/us_news-life/
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by Jeffshadows »

I figured it was probably something like that, as well.
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by explore4corners »

Just a note on the disparaging comments about Pinal County SAR on this and a few other threads. Yes, the team is fully trained and staffed with members with years of experience. Yes, the team is fully equipped, even with a trailer:) The members consist of those belonging to Sonoran SAR as well as former members of Superstition SAR who wanted to continue their service in wilderness search and rescue. Everyone is trained, equipped and certified and bring many, many years of experience to the job. It is true that SSAR did not want the posse to be created, though every other search and rescue group in AZ has long since been a part of the Sheriff's dept. in each county. It is also true that PC SAR has conducted over 20 successful rescues since the 1st of the year. And without charge - after all, most of the work is done by dedicated volunteers. NASAR and MRA's position against charging for rescue makes sense to most of us, while we recognize the desire of some people to charge "that other guy." Stuff happens, even to experienced people. Read through the annual editions of ANAM to see my point.
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

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Every other search and rescue group is connected to a sheriff's dept? Not! What about ART, Apache Rescue Team? We are not too active right now but did most of the searches in Greenlee County for years, plus over on the New Mexico side of the boundary. And a lot of people used to tell us that if they get lost, make sure ART gets called out and not Apache County Search and Rescue, the good ol' boys on ATVs.
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

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I think what she meant was that the sheriff in each county is responsible for SAR by state law, which is a fact in AZ. They can choose to delegate the task, etc. No one is bagging on the SAR groups. They do a lot of great work and deserve some recognition for that work. My only point is that they are not professionals. That has, is, and will continue to be my major observation on the subject. To infer otherwise is to put words in my mouth...

I don't know what "Charge that other guy" means, frankly. I pay my taxes; I pay what I owe and don't try to find ways around it. This is the civic duty of all Arizonans and, on a larger scale, Americans. I think a lot of people in our society have forgotten about that duty. Those taxes, in part, pay for EMS and Fire services. I would be more comfortable if they also included SAR run by a section of Tucson Fire in conjunction with PCSD, or something along those lines.
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by azbackpackr »

True, Greenlee County Sheriff or McKinley County Sheriff (NM) or NM State Police call us out.

Which brings up the subject: The forest service does NOT call people out. They refer calls to the sheriff's departments.
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by explore4corners »

Each county does have varying quality of EMS, law enforcement, fire and SAR services, but I would take issue with saying SAR groups are not professionals. even though they serve without pay. I know a bit about the requirements for Maricopa, Pinal, Coconino, Yavapai and a few others. The beginning levels for most groups in AZ and across the west include WFR or EMT, Ropes Rescue certifications, Swift Water certifications, NASAR or MRA certifications, land navigation certifications, alpine rescue certification, avalanche assessment and rescue certification and NIMS/FEMA courses amongst others that are largely dependent upon terrain and need. Some counties have multiple groups that may have differing requirements according to the types of missions. Just for example I will tell you my ropes rescue certifications are from 2 organizations - one is the state fire marshall standards and the other certifies volunteer and paid technicians internationally. The swift water course I took was from the same instructor who taught the same certification class the week before to the PJ's (US Air Force Parajumper rescuers.) NASAR and MRA certify individuals and groups in the US and internationally. Our certified canine handlers have been requested by the FBI and reservations as well as other counties and states. Fire personnel have EMT's and ropes courses and occasionally swift water, but are not required to have the full suite of wilderness rescue skills. There are many fine private groups in AZ and across the country, but I know the standards here in central AZ, Coconino County and southern Utah the best. I'm with you on the good ole boys on atv's there, but the citizens should hold the Sheriff's department accountable for better training imo. Just for grins I will tell you truthfully I've been on rescues of firefighers, former SEAL's and more than a few marines and soldiers home on leave and venturing out. And they thought we were indeed professional.

Didn't mean to imply at all that any of you were piling on SAR here in AZ. I just saw a couple disparaging notes from an isolated couple of people about Pinal changing to a posse system rather than using the former 501(c) orgs they used to use and I was getting kind of tired of it. I will tell you after a couple thousand rescues I've never heard anyone say "charge me, I screwed up." It's always "I never thought it could happen to me", and a few times "I didn't want to call because I was afraid we'd be charged." Go to MRA's website and NASAR's website to see the position papers on charging for rescues from the perspective of those of us who actually perform the service.
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by Jeffshadows »

Professionals get paid and are more stringently trained and regulated than any volunteer, any day.

BTW - What makes you so sure none of us on here never actually have "Performed the service" I wonder? :-k
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

Post by explore4corners »

I don't and never said so. To quote myself I clearly said: "Didn't mean to imply at all that any of you were piling on SAR here in AZ. I just saw a couple disparaging notes from an isolated couple of people about Pinal changing to a posse system rather than using the former 501(c) orgs they used to use and I was getting kind of tired of it." I've met a ton of climbers and hikers that have spent some time in SAR here, California, Utah, Oregon and Washington, so I don't make that assumption at all.

Didn't agree with your statement: "My only point is that they are not professionals" , but hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and reasonable minds can differ.
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Re: Search and rescue crews helping stranded hiker

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explore4corners wrote:Didn't agree with your statement: "My only point is that they are not professionals" , but hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and reasonable minds can differ.
Agreed! ;)
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