Conference Schedule • Click here for PDF

Situational Awareness in Mountain
Rescue Operations  - Charley Shimanski

Charley Shimanski is a 30+ year veteran of Alpine Rescue Team, and the Mountain Rescue Program Coordinator for Flight For Life Colorado. Flight For Life provides critical care transport with five helicopters that assist search and rescue agencies throughout Colorado’s 54—14,000 foot mountains with rescue capability, aerial search support and an Avalanche Deployment Program. A leader in helicopter rescue operations and training,  Charley is the Air Rescue Commission delegate to the International Commission for Alpine Rescue. Past President of the Mountain Rescue Association, Charley serves as a frequent speaker at national and international rescue conferences.

Situational Awareness in Mountain Rescue Operations
Situational Awareness has been a primary focus in military, civil, commercial and aerospace applications. More and more, search and rescue organizations are focusing an situational awareness as a key factor in reducing risk and increasing safety.

This multi-media presentation will include a detailed discussion about the multitude of elements pertaining to the risks in rescue operations in austere mountain environments.
At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:
1. Identify the three stages of Situational Awareness
2. Identify seven key factors that reduce situational wareness, and
3. Understand common methods to avoid the loss of   situational awareness

Utilizing data and dramatic video images, this presentation will include case studies of situational awareness in search and rescue operations.

All Bleeding Stops - Alison Sheet, MD

Dr. Alison Sheets is an Emergency Physician at Boulder Community Health. She received her medical degree from the University of Colorado in 2004 and completed her emergency medicine training at Denver Health Medical Center in 2008. She is the current medical director and an active field member and mission leader for the Rocky Mountain Rescue group. She also serves the MRA as Director at Large and is the current ICAR medical delegate. In 2008 she was a staff physician for the Himalayan Rescue Association’s Pheriche clinic at 14,000 ft. in the Everest region of Nepal. Prior to her medical career, Dr. Sheets worked as a mountain guide and a professional ski patroller for over a decade in Colorado. She still climbs and skis whenever she can both in the US and internationally.

All Bleeding Stops
Lecture format will present best practices for controlling bleeding in the search and rescue environment. Case presentations will demonstrate interesting causes of bleeding and hemodynamic instability in real mountain rescue environments. Additionally, we will cover topics including permissive hypotension, TXA infusion, tourniquet use and other methods to deal with the hemorrhaging patient.

Crisis Leadership - Daryl Black

Daryl Black is a sought-after creator and author of the 1:100 Leadership Solution, presenter and facilitator throughout Canada, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand specializing in leadership and human factors in high risk environments.  Through his experience in leadership in these very chaotic times and circumstances, Daryl believes the answer to bring out the best in ourselves and others lies in leadership. Not just any leadership but specifically, crisis leadership.   It is, always has been and always will be about, the human factor.  Check out his website at www.daryldblack.com

Crisis Leadership
Crisis is the ultimate textbook in which to study, learn and define leadership.  In this talk, Daryl will share how to connect with the team, lead yourself so you may lead others more effectively.  It comes down to being the leader you would want.

If you’ve asked yourself “How do I be a better leader?” “How do I get through to people more effectively?” “How do I communicate better?” then this talk is for you.

Risk Assessment: Current Practices of MRA Team - Ernst M. Bergmann & Dave Clark

Ernst Bergmann is the Mountain Rescue Team Leader of Rocky Mountain House SAR> He was the Chair of the Safety Committee of the Alpine Club of Canada for seven years and coordinated Canadian content for Accidents in North American Mountaineering. He has been a climber, mountaineer, back country skier and whitewater paddler for more than 30 years. Ernst has a PhD in Biochemistry (UCR 1993) and has worked as a medical researcher, lecturer and med tech consultant. Prior to becoming a scientist, her served in the German army. He has a strong interest in human factors, situational awareness and risk management for emergency response.

Dave Clark is a retired firefighter and long-time member of Portland Mountain Rescue. An avid mountaineer and backcountry skier, he is also a past president of the MRA. He is currently re presenting the MRA as an alternate delegate on the ICAR Terrestrial Rescue Commission and is a team accreditor for the MRA.

Risk Assessment: Current Practices of MRA Teams
We have performed a survey of MRA teams to find out what the current best practices for risk assessment during missions and training are and have received responses from the majority of MRA teams.

This presentation will outline current best practices for Operational Risk Management and Risk Assessment and present the results of this survey. Summary of the most common formal Risk Assessment Tools for SAR operations will be discussed. SAR GAR is the most common system in use with MRA teams. We will conclude with a discussion of pros and cons of informal versus formal risk assessment tools.

Near Miss/Lessons Learned Panel - Dale Wang & Skeet Glatterer

Skeet is a Cardiothoracic surgeon and Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. He has been climbing since 1969 and served as expedition physician for guided trips to Russia, Africa, Nepal and Alaska, as well as a volunteer on the Denali Climbing Ranger Patrol. Skeet is an active member of Alpine Rescue Team in Evergreen, Colorado, and has previously served as chair of the MRA Medical Committee, MRA alternate delegate to the ICAR Medical Committee and MRA Member-at-large.

Dale Wang is a mission leader and rescue member of the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group in Doubler, Colorado. Prior to RMRG, he has also been an NPS rescue patrol volunteer on Denali. He currently serves on the board of the Rocky Mountain Region, and on the RMRG executive board. He is the helicopter operations coordinator for RMRG and a member of the Colorado helicopter Hoist Rescue team.
Since the 1980s Dale has been actively climbing and ski mountaineering in Alaska, the Nepal Himalaya, Europe and all over North America.

Near Miss/Lessons Learned Panel
Panelists will present near misses from their teams SAR missions or trainings and the lessons they learned form the experience. This will be an interactive session; questions and comments from the audience will be encouraged.

When Angels Fall - Accidents in Helicopter Rescue Operations - Charley Shimanski

Charley Shimanski is a 30+ year veteran of Alpine Rescue Team, and the Mountain Rescue Program Coordinator for Flight For Life Colorado. Flight For Life provides critical care transport with five helicopters that assist search and rescue agencies throughout Colorado’s 54—14,000 foot mountains with rescue capability, aerial search support and an Avalanche Deployment Program. A leader in helicopter rescue operations and training,  Charley is the Air Rescue Commission delegate to the International Commission for Alpine Rescue. Past President of the Mountain Rescue Association, Charley serves as a frequent speaker at national and international rescue conferences.

When Angels Fall - Accidents in Helicopter Rescue Operations
While rescue mountaineers must strive at every turn to focus on the safety of their victims, they understandably must put their own safety first. Rarely, rescuers will be hurt, or even killed.

This multi-media presentation will include a detailed discussion about the multitude of elements pertaining to the risks in helicopter rescue operations in mountainous terrain and will profile a number of helicopter rescue accidents use of helicopters, and will include analysis of those accidents.

Utilizing materials from several Mountain Rescue Association teams and the NTSB, this Power Point presentation will include dramatic video images of helicopter accidents. Case studies of accidents and near-misses in mountain rescue operations will be featured in this program.

High-Angle Helivac with the Petzl Lezard - Steve Petty

Steve is a former firefighter and a 19 year veteran of Davis County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team with most of those years spent as a Field Team Leader for both mountain and water operations. He holds several SAR related certifications including Advanced EMT and PDI Master Diver. Steve serves as a Reserve Deputy for the Davis County (Utah) Sheriff’s Patrol Division and former member of their SWAT Team. He also serves as an evaluator in the MRA Intermountain Region and is currently the Commander of Davis County Search and Rescue team. Steve has a wife and three children and works full-time as a Regional Sale Manager for the Petzl Professional Division.

High-Angle Helivac with the Petzl Lezard
Develop in partnership with the Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne de Chamonix Mont-Blanc (France), the LEZARD lanyard is designed for helivac at altitude. It allows the drop-off/recovery phases to be secured thanks to an adjustable arm that can be instantly ejected to free the victim, the rescuer and helicopter if the latter needs to suddenly leave its stationary position. Manipulating the LEZARD helivac lanyard is easy thanks to the instant identification of the (colour-coded) attachment elements and the very quick and precise adjustment of the adjustable arm with the ADJUST rope clamp.

Hoist Rescue in Colorado and Washington - Dale Wang and Oyvind Henningsen

Dale Wang is a mission leader and rescue member of the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group in Boulder, Colorado.  Prior to RMRG, he has also been an NPS rescue patrol volunteer on Denali.  He is the helicopter operations coordinator for RMRG, and a member of the Colorado helicopter Hoist Rescue team.    Since the 1980’s Dale has been actively climbing and ski mountaineering in Alaska, the Nepal Himalaya, Europe, and all over North America.  Professionally, he is a practicing emergency physician and medical advisor to AIARE and to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Øyvind Henningsen is an operations leader and a rescue member of Everett Mountain Rescue in Washington.  He is the Team Coordinator and a Rescue Technician with the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team.  He is the MRA delegate to ICAR for the avalanche commission, an instructor for AIARE, and a part time ski guide.

Hoist Rescue in Colorado and Washington
The history, current state, and future directions of the Colorado Helicopter Hoist Rescue team will be presented.  This program is a collaboration between the Colorado National Guard and civilian MRA teams, with the objective to be able to provide safe and efficient hoist rescue capabilities in the high altitude technical terrain found in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

We will also present the Snohomish Helicopter Rescue program, which is a collaboration between the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and volunteer rescuers from Everett Mountain Rescue and local Fire Departments.  The team serves several counties with a hoist equipped helicopter staffed with personnel providing ALS medical care and technical rescue capabilities.  The collaboration between local law enforcement and volunteers, the training and mission scope of this program will be discussed.

Trauma Care for Mountain Rescuers: You maul ‘em, we haul ‘em - Ken Zafren, MD

Ken Zafren, MD is an Emergency Physician in Anchorage, Alaska and Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center in California. He has many years of experience in mountain rescue, starting with Rocky Mountain Rescue Group in Boulder, Colorado in the mid1970s. Dr. Zafren is a past Medical Director for the Alaskan Mountain Rescue Group and for the Denali National Park Mountaineering Rangers. He is a post Chairman of the Medical Committee of the Mountain Rescue Association Dr. Zafren has represented the United States and the MRA on the ICAR Medical Commission since 1995. He is the only American ever elected to Honorary Membership of ICAR.

Trauma Care for Mountain Rescuers: You maul’ em, we haul ‘em
Trauma care in the wilderness is the art of the possible. We will discuss the approach to the trauma patient, including the primary survey with control of airway, breathing and circulation (ABC) as well as stabilization of disability (D).

We will review the assessment and initial treatment of specific head, chest and abdominal injuries. We will discuss stabilization of spinal and pelvic injuries.

Radio Discipline and the art of “Avoiding Verbal Vomit” - Andy Graham

Andy joined Olympic Mountain Rescue in 2000, playing an active role in missions, as training coordinator and now also as board member. He is a career firefighter/Paramedic involved with the fire service since 1978. He also serves on the Pierce County Technical Rescue Team, a highly trained multi-agency group deployed for specialized rescue and response. In addition, Andy has designed and delivered boots-on-the-ground rescue courses for emergency service organizations in Mexico and Cambodia and is a conference lecturer on related topics. In his free time, he is an active aircraft pilot. At the MRA conference, Andy will bring together his unique combination of skills developed over decades in the fire service, the aviation arena and search and rescue to give the mountain rescuer the skills needed to streamline radio discipline and improve communication when time matters most.

Radio Discipline and the are to “Avoiding Verbal Vomit”
In the class attendees will learn the skills needed to improve radio communication. We will take lessons learned form the fire service, aircraft operations and the wilderness search environment to streamline traffic over the air. The attendee will learn to properly structure  information via radio, as well as how to decide what information needs to be transmitted and when. Too often radio frequencies are tied up with non essential traffic adding stress to search organizers and searchers alike. Come join us and “Avoid Verbal Vomit”.

ICAR Medical Commission - Ken Zafren

Ken Zafren, MD is an Emergency Physician in Anchorage, Alaska and Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center in California.  He has many years of experience in mountain rescue, starting with Rocky Mountain Rescue Group in Boulder, Colorado in the mid-1970s.  Dr. Zafren is a past Medical Director for the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group and for the Denali National Park Mountaineering Rangers. He is a past Chairman of the Medical Committee of the Mountain Rescue Association. Dr. Zafren has represented the United States and the MRA  on the ICAR Medical Commission since 1995. He is the only American ever elected to Honorary Membership of ICAR.

ICAR Medical Commission
In the class attendees will learn the skills needed to improve radio This presentation will be part of a joint presentation about the International Commission for Alpine Rescue.

1. Brief history of ICAR MEDCOM
2. Selected recent recommendations: Multi-Casualty Incidents in the Mountains Evidence-based recommendations for on-site management and transport of patients in canyoning incidents.
3. Selected recommendations in preparation: Multiple trauma management in alpine environments. Suspension syndrome.

Drowning - Ken Zafren, MD

Ken Zafren, MD is an Emergency Physician in Anchorage, Alaska and Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center in California. He has many years of experience in mountain rescue, starting with Rocky Mountain Rescue Group in Boulder, Colorado in the mid 1970s. Dr. Zafren is a past Medical Director for the Alaskan Mountain Rescue Group and for the Denali National Park Mountaineering Rangers. He is a post Chairman of the Medical Committee of the Mountain Rescue Association Dr. Zafren has represented the United States and the MRA on the ICAR Medical Commission since 1995. He is the only American ever elected to Honorary Membership of ICAR.

Drowning
Drowning is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. This presentation will cover prevention and treatment of drowning victims with an emphasis on mountain rescue.

Hypothermia - Doug Ritchie, B.Sc EMT Instructor

Doug is a registered EMT and a Search and Rescue instructor with SAR Alberta. He has been involved with Search and Rescue in Rocky Mountain House Alberta as a Search Manager and with the Mountain Rescue team. He has led and organized groups in the outdoors in numerous activities for over 24 years as the Director of Frontier Lodge. His passions are Telemark skiing, Backpacking and alternative building methods.

Hypothermia
Explore the one thing we will all encounter while involved with Search and Rescue.  We will share about some of the new information concerning hypothermia and trauma.  We will also share information on doing a proper hypothermia wrap.  Join us and learn some new information and share some stories you may have encountered.

Hosted by: Rocky Mountain House
Search & Rescue

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