Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 2013 Update

This fall the Big Sky Search and Rescue team has continued to work on their skills while responding calls for rescues of injured people in the back-country. In September the Big Sky team held a joint training with the Gallatin Valley Search and Rescue team at Ousel Falls. The training focused on Kootenay Highline rescues which would be called into play should an injured party be located in a canyon and the most effective and efficient method of extraction would be up rather than down the canyon.

Ousel Falls Highline Training (BSSAR/GVSAR) from Chris Ebeling on Vimeo.

Over 25 people participated in the day long training where highline skills, communications, teamwork and problem solving were all enhanced. Teamwork, commitment and skill competency is what makes Big Sky Search and Rescue so powerful in their endeavors. In addition to the Kootenay highline training in September,
the Big Sky team held training on patient assessment; wound and hypothermia management and back-boarding. In October, the team held a rescue exercise for a injured person in the Kirchner Park area. This was a late night exercise where all the equipment was utilized, including navigation via GPS; Teton litter; suck sack; medical gear and lots of sweat. These types of exercises are quite valuable to ensure the Big Sky team is familiar with the equipment and prepared to use it in any situation.

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 2013 Update

With nine (9) missions completed as of August 3rd this year is shaping up to be a busy year for the team. Along with these missions the Big Sky Search and Rescue (BSSAR) team members have also completed eight (8) training sessions as well as an eight (8) day Wilderness First Responder Course. This is a completely volunteer organization and the team has dedicated a minimum of twenty-five (25) days so far in 2013 to the mission of BSSAR. To ensure that the team is prepared to handle a variety of backcountry emergencies the team trains monthly on a variety of skills. So far this year the team has trained on: Operating within a crime scene; Swift Water Rescue; Mock Lone Lake Rescue with snowmobiles and skiers; Low Angle Rescue in conjunction with the Big Sky Fire Department; GPS training and geocache; Mission and radio protocol. In addition to the monthly training, several of the team completed an eight (8) day course to certify or re-certify as Wilderness First Responders (WFR). The course is conducted by Wilderness Medical Associates International and is designed to give those certified the principals and skills to handle medical emergencies in backcountry settings that may find the patient hours if not days from advanced medical care facilities. The majority of the BSSAR team are certified WFRs. All the training ensures that when BSSAR is called to assist in a rescue that it can be completed safely and effectively. BSSAR is a not-for-profit community organization staffed by a dedicated group of volunteers. When called out through the Gallatin County Dispatch Center (911) we provide our expertise and equipment under the direction of an Incident Commander; usually a Sheriff's Deputy. In Montana the Sheriff's Department is responsible for all backcountry rescues. BSSAR is one part of several Gallatin County SAR Teams. Our primary response area is the Gallatin and Madison Ranges of southwest Montana. We frequently assist other Gallatin and Madison County teams, and they help us. We also assist other agencies and counties when requested.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 2013 Update

The BSSAR building is located next to the Big Sky Community Park behind the Water Treatment Plant. This location provides the BSSAR team with the advantages of a centralize location to:

Stage and coordinate missions

Store equipment

Hold training

The BSSAR team is equipped to monitor mission at this site with the use of various voice and visual communications methods. Members of the BSSAR team have a variety of skills necessary for backcounty rescues such as:

High Alpine Rope and Rigging for Rescue

Swift Water

Helicopter Operations

Snowmobile, Backcountry and Alpine Skiing

Wilderness First Responder and Emergency Medical Training

Each month the BSSAR team meets and conducts training on the use of the equipment by simulating various search and rescue scenarios. This way the team is prepared to react quickly and professionally when called upon.