Monthly Archives: June 2015

Operation Deli Wrap

Operation Deli Wrap

Operation Deli Wrap

An annual event for OMEGA is a summer camping outing to practice rescue skills. Members of the team spend 48 hours in a remote area of Colorado sharpening their outdoor skills and practicing rescue skills.

This year’s trip was on the Western Slope. Participants used the first evening to set up camp in a remote area of the White River National Forest. The site selection was very deliberate, forcing the team to give basic survival greater consideration. The camp site was on a plateau, miles away from civilization. Bathroom use required digging a hole and covering up the deposit. Water was restricted to what was brought in. More water was available from a creek a mile away and a good three hundred feet down. It would need to be purified before it could be used.

Cobweb in Forest

It’s a dense forest with some monster cobwebs.

First thing in the morning of the second day, the team received a simulated callout for a missing hiker. A male in his 20s went hiking in the area the day before and had not returned as was expected. The reporting party was able to provide some directions to where the missing hiker was supposed to be. This required some orienteering skills on the part of the team in order to look for the subject. Along the way they encountered various clues, mostly in the form of discarded items, helping them rebuild the hiker’s path.

Search Dog

“I know he’s out there somewhere…”

Mantracking

Searching for clues on the top of the plateau.

The hiker was located on the far end of the plateau in a cave entrance pit, which he fell into. He was unconscious with possible spinal injuries and hypothermic. Several members of the team entered the pit to stabilize and package the hiker for transport. The rest of the team rigged a haul system above the pit to get the hiker out.

Access - Stabilize - Tranport

Access – Stabilize – Transport

A little evening caving

A little evening caving

The exercise relied on the participants to use a variety of skills to successfully locate and extract the patient and a little brawn to get him off the plateau to a waiting vehicle.

The evening activity was exploring caves in the area – a little recreation and developing navigation skills on the surface and contortion skills underground.

Sunday morning was a time to break camp and get ready to leave the wilderness. Several members went on a hike to enjoy nature’s beauty. Mission accomplished.

Cattle Drive

Heading out, the team was caught in a cattle drive.

Earthquakes

We live in a world susceptible to disasters.  Hollywood often capitalizes on the cinematic aspect of disasters, but the reality is far from what we get to see on the silver screen.

Dwayne Johnson, star of the recently released movie San Andreas, starred in a public service announcement to talk about the reality of earthquakes.

View the clip and visit http://ready.gov/earthquake/ to learn about this danger.

Antonio’s Rescue

A component of search and rescue is technical rescue.  This is far more common in mountain rescue and in cave rescue than it is in urban settings, but there are times when this is a necessary skill and regardless of the setting, performing the rescue requires very specific skills.
One of the components of Operation Rumble in the Rockies was introducing a stranded window washer 25 feet off the ground.  He was too far away from the window for responders to reach and the roof was inaccessible.  Exercise participants — ARES, CERT, MRC and ground SAR — did not have the skills to perform a technical rescue and the idea was to recognize a limitation in capabilities and request resources to solve the problem.

The attached video is a demonstration of what a a technical rope rescue would look like.  This is similar to what you would see in mountain and cave settings.

Members of OMEGA hold two vertical training sessions each month to allow our members to develop and maintain the skills required to perform rescues such as this.