Members of Santa Barbara County SAR setting up anchors for rope systems to raise a simulated injured subject up a rock face during their technical re-accreditation test.

The Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) team successfully passed its technical rock rescue re-accreditation during a statewide event held last weekend in the Alabama Hills west of Lone Pine, California.

More than 300 search and rescue members representing 21 Mountain Rescue Association teams from throughout California participated in the re-accreditation held Saturday, March 5, 2011. Every team had to first locate a “victim” with simulated injuries and then rock climb to affect a rope rescue system of the subject off the mountain and back down.

For their specific test, members of SBCSAR had to climb several pitches en route to their subject, then treat the subject for a broken lower leg and then raise him with a rope system before lowering him several hundred feet back to the ground.

This annual re-accreditation is the largest gathering of search and rescue volunteers in the state and allows teams to learn from each other the most up-to-date technical rock rescue techniques being used.

Sgt. Frank Underline of the Ventura Sheriff’s Department, who coordinated the event, remarked, “In today’s world it is refreshing, not only to see over 300 volunteers willing to give their time to go out and provide search and rescue to their communities, but also to give up their free time to train and participate in the re-accreditation process.”

In addition, Mr. Underline mentioned participating teams routinely respond to each other’s county SAR incidents through a statewide organized mutual aid system. Thus, events such as this, helps to train everyone to work together for such incidents.


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