PSA — Colorado SAR Looking for Help

Post by blogger | February 18, 2011      

They are there if you need them, and cost you not a penny. But how about giving back by volunteering for Search & Rescue?

Here in Colorado, Garfield County SAR is doing a membership drive.

Email them at garfieldsar using the proverbial gmail suffix. I couldn’t find a website, anyone got the info?


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18 Responses to “PSA — Colorado SAR Looking for Help”

  1. Andrew February 18th, 2011 3:57 pm

    Are they going to perform a background check, check your credit and give you the rubber glove treatment if you volunteer?

  2. naginalf February 18th, 2011 4:22 pm
    Does not list Garfield county as having a website and why they don’t have addresses for their offices is beyond me.

  3. Tom February 18th, 2011 4:46 pm

    The 39 page application is no longer and issue. Our new application and process is very much like the other SAR teams in Colorado. If not getting the rubber glove treatment is a deal breaker, we can get probably get somebody to perform that for you. Please e-mail us at garfieldsaratgmaildotcom and I will promptly send you an application and all requirements.

    Garfield County Search and Rescue Inc.
    P.O. Box 1116
    Glenwood Springs, CO 81602

  4. Lou February 18th, 2011 5:11 pm

    I always saw that box of rubber gloves up at Mountain Rescue Aspen, was wondering what they were for 😀

  5. Mom February 18th, 2011 5:36 pm

    Cheers for Mountain Rescue… who dug you out on February 18th 1981?..Today is your day to celebrate along with your Mom..

  6. Lou February 18th, 2011 6:05 pm

    Mom, YES!

  7. team member February 20th, 2011 12:52 pm

    Garfield County Search and Rescue is suspending long- :mrgreen: term, senior team members for “non-compliance of training requirements”. Many have years of field experience and hold certifications in Wilderness First Responder, Nat’l Ski Patrol, are experts in backcountry travel, and participated in multiple missions. And now this team needs to have a “membership drive”… interesting.

  8. Tom February 20th, 2011 2:12 pm

    “NON-COMPLIANCE OF TRAINING REQUIREMENTS” says it all. Once a member has met his or her initial training requirements, all members are required to attend 4 trainings and 4 missions per year. We feel that these are very reasonable minimums.

  9. Adam Olson February 20th, 2011 7:51 pm

    If I volunteer will there be an opportunity to use the “Bear Cat” down there in Garfield County? I’m not sure Ive seen that unit in action……………………..yet!

    Did you really suspend currently SAR personnel and then start a membership drive?

    How many rescues does Garfield County SAR do each year?

  10. Lou February 20th, 2011 8:32 pm

    Frankly, I’d prefer that the folks “rescuing” me or my loved ones did a few trainings a year. Four sounds reasonable. I was involved with SAR for a while, and found there were some fairly complex things that one has to master to be effective and not a burden, so a bit of training can go a long ways. The missions requirement sounds reasonable as well. Do you want a guy rescuing you who’s qualified by the sticker on his pickup window, or by experience?

  11. Tom February 21st, 2011 9:44 am

    We do not have access to the BearCat.

    Yes, we were forced to remove a few members from our roster this year, due to lack of participation in trainings and/or missions. We give these members many opportunities to correct their shortfalls.

    We are called out on over 60 missions per year.

  12. nate February 21st, 2011 10:31 am

    RE: team members comments –

    What makes a person an “expert in backcountry travel?” Does that person hold an IMGA certification or are they NASAR or MRA certified? Have they led or been part of many backcountry objectives? What role did that person have in those objectives? Deeming oneself as an “expert” because you’ve camped/hiked a couple dozen times or maybe spent time camping/hiking in a foreign country hardly makes one an “expert.”

    Secondly, what in the heck does NSP have to do with SAR? You can ski with a toboggan…great…how many times does GCSAR use a ski hill style toboggan or have to ski into a scene. I do believe that being able to ski, even in GarCo, is important for Colorado high country SAR work, but specifically sighting an affiliation with the NSP makes no sense as there is no direct benefit of being NSP to GCSAR. What type NSP member are you? I can pay some money to NSP and become a member.

    An example of why there are training requirements; Garfield County is one of the largest counties in the state and the methods of travel differ from that of some of the neighboring counties. Being able to confidently run a snowmobile in the winter is huge. Yesterday’s mission on the flat tops required a 26+ mile approach on packed trails, and then follow that up with another 17 miles of terrain navigation and breaking trails on snowmobiles. I don’t think anyone is going to trust a greenhorn to get on a $9k snowmobile and say…”here ya go have at it.” So there are training requirements. And like it or not America is a very sue happy country, so SAR teams state wide have standard operating procedures, minimum training requirements, etc… This is one of many steps in trying to ensure that its personnel are staying up-to-date on pertinent topics and a way to limit liability for the team.

    Lastly if a “senior team member” only shows up once or twice a year how are they going to have built any camaraderie with their teammates and/or be apprised if/when policies, etiquette, response methods, etc… have changed?

    Adam Olson – GCSAR had 63 missions last year. I am not sure what the number is to date this year. As Tom stated above, and Lou Dawson agreed with, the minimum training requirements are pretty easy to meet. Also when a member has not met the minimums the board sends them a letter notifying them that they have not met the minimum requirement. Someone from the BOD also tries to reach them via email and phone to see what is going on and to have them come and talk with the board. We all have families, jobs, etc…and every single person on the team would agree that those things take precedence over SAR. If still that person is unresponsive, then yes, they are removed from the roster. Would you want to work next to someone, potentially in a very high stress environment, that you barely know their first name, and have no clue what their abilities, strong-points, or limitations are?

  13. adam olson February 22nd, 2011 8:47 am

    60 rescues a year! You guys rock. It seems like 4 rescues is a minimal commitment. Keep up the good work.


  14. Bill February 23rd, 2011 2:28 pm

    What does National Ski Patrol have to do with search and rescue? First, NSP’s OEC (Outdoor Emergency Care) course is one of the top outdoor oriented first aid courses available, and every NSP member must take this 60+ hour course in addition to learning the on-the-hill skills. Second, since many search and rescue people serve as NSP Auxiliaries, working in ski area first aid rooms, they keep their skills honed to a high degree and gain valuable experience. And as for paying your money and joing NSP, if you’re not ready to do some serious study, devote a lot of time, and attend CPR trainiing plus an 8 hour annual refresher, don’t bother–we don’t want you, just like SAR doesn’t want dead wood. Clear? From a very senior (in age) SAR member who makes every training session and mission he possibly can, and doesn’t feel threatened by the culling of the losers.


  15. nate February 23rd, 2011 3:58 pm

    Wow. “Bill” it seems like you are pretty unhappy with some folks on your SAR team. I am glad GCSAR folks are like a tight knit family and whenever problems arise we feel comfortable enough to speak to each other in person.

    Good luck with any “dead wood” or “losers” that you have issue with on your team.

  16. Bill February 23rd, 2011 3:58 pm

    Whoa! No offense intended, Nate. It does take a little more than just paying some money to join NSP, just like it takes more than a little money and effort to be a member of SAR. In any organization, 20% of the people do 80% of the work, and those that got eliminated were no loss.

    We have a great team in Garfield SAR, and the new blood we get will help us to move forward. The “rubber glove” period was a trying time and we have emerged as a stronger, more cohesive and better organized group than before.

    So, welcome prospective members!


  17. team member March 3rd, 2011 8:37 am

    Garfield SAR has become more interested in protecting their liability issues than properly training its field personnel. That’s why so many great field leaders have chosen to resign… Riding an ATV or snowmobile around a parking lot isn’t a replacement for experience.

  18. Lou March 3rd, 2011 8:59 am

    TeamMember, next unsubstantiated anonymous insulting post will be deleted. Back it up. Give some facts, and don’t hide like a coward. While some healthy discussion about SAR is welcome, this is not a place for bashing.

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