Pre-Conference Workshops

  1. Grand Canyon National Park SAR Cache/Operations Tour
  2. Mountain Small Party Assisted Rescue (MSPAR)
  3. Technical Self Rescue
  4. Loc8/RDT Software for Image Analysis
  5. Initial Response Incident Commander for Wilderness Search
  6. Backcountry Artificial High Directionals
  7. Helicopter Rescue Operations

Grand Canyon National Park SAR Cache/Operations Tour

This workshop aims to provide an intimate tour of Search and Rescue operations within the Grand Canyon National Park. Participants are expected to be well prepared with at least two liters of water, adequate sun protection and snacks to carry them through a day of technical demonstration outside, and inside park facilities.

Mountain Small Party Assisted Rescue (MSPAR)

MSPAR (Mountain Small Party Assisted Rescue) This course targets experienced mountain rescue personnel who may be tasked to respond to high urgency vertical rescues with minimal gear and personnel. Typically this includes hasty teams or helicopter rescue based strike teams. The course targets four basic SPAR concepts / skills that enable a team of 3 or 4 to perform high angle movements and extrications using only the gear on their harness and a length of rope. Graduates of the course will be able to move responders and patients up, down, and over vertical obstacles with only their basic kit plus 4 or 5 additional contingency pieces. Course includes integrated drills to combine skill sets and develop speed. This course will change how you look at contingency rigging and high urgency responses, without sacrificing safety. It will give you powerful tools to rescue your own teammates mid operation. one of the best benefits of this type of advanced training. Although most tasks are on single rope, you will be shown how to still achieve high safety and internally engineered redundancy. The caveat, is you need some basic skills. Since one of those skills is using your body weight (counterweight) as a haul force, proficiency in single rope technique (climbing a rope with ascenders and being able to transition to rappel) is required. Participants will be required on the first morning to demonstrate they have a safe and functional rope climbing system, have the ability to ascend / descend a rope, and perform a change-in-direction (changeover) mid-air. This is not a beginners course. You should already have a basic understanding of simple and compound mechanical advantage systems. Gear list, and videos of acceptable systems and entry requirements will be sent after registration. Be prepared to be on rope for most of the course.

Technical Self Rescue

Technical Self-Rescue for Climbers is an intensive two-day seminar on improvised multi-pitch rock rescue techniques. Participants learn a series of haul, lower, rappel and rope-climbing systems and then apply them to a variety of practical high-angle scenarios. Every element of each system’s construction is done with the tools that a climber normally carries on a harness during a recreational climb. The goal of this program is to learn to build complex systems with limited equipment. Individuals who complete the program should be able to apply these skills on a wide array of complex high-angle problems.

Loc8/RDT Software for Image Analysis

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) have become ubiquitous in modern search and rescue operations. This course / workshop seeks to improve collaboration among MRA participants and to utilize sUAS, or “drones” as data collection devices to improve the probability of locating subjects in difficult terrain or concealed environments. Beginning with mission planning, this workshop will also cover payload configuration for optimized data collection and data analysis using Loc8 (pixel-detection) and RDT (radiometric analysis). Once targets are identified, this course will conclude with potential workflows to transmit imagery locations to personnel in the field to incorporate the data into the search planning process.

This course prepares the student to manage the Initial Response to a missing person incident, primarily in the backcountry/Wilderness setting, using best practices. The course focuses on the first 12-24 hours of the incident and the preparation for the transition to an extended incident if the search is not resolved during the Initial Response. A free software program titled Initial Response Organizer will be introduced and used throughout the course to aid in management and documentation of the Initial Response. Participants will work in teams of two to manage the Initial Response during a tabletop exercise to reinforce concepts from the pre-course reading and the course lectures. This course is about 50% lecture and 50% hands-on exercise.

This two day, hands on field workshop will focus on the use of Artificial High Directionals (AHDs) to facilitate safer edge transitions and mitigate friction on technical rope rescue systems. Through whiteboard analysis and multiple setups, Elevated Safety instructors (and Alpine Rescue Team members) Martin Barnett and Tom Wood will teach students about resultant forces, mechanical advantage, monopods, bipods and tripods, highlines, guiding lines and advanced rigging theory.  Patient packaging and edge transitions using both horizontal and vertical litter orientations will be covered as well. Students should bring appropriate clothing and footwear, sunscreen, eye protection, helmet, harness, 4-6 carabiners, personal descent/ascent system and gloves. All team gear will be provided.

Helicopter Rescue Operations

This single day pre-conference event will encompass essential components Helicopter rescue operations and safety through the provision of both classroom and practical training opportunities.

Course Outline:
Morning: Theoretical classroom training
Basics of helicopter rescue operations
Landing zone requirements, ground-to-air communications, hand signals
Risk assessment and risk management for heli ops, including GAR
Loading and unloading and Center of Gravity Issues
Dynamic Hoist techniques
Afternoon: Practical Hands-on training
Aircraft familiarization – Bell 429 and/or Bell 407, including:
LIVE Exercise – Ingress/Egress with rotors turning
LIVE Exercise – Hover exit and entry training in technical terrain
LIVE Exercise – Dynamic Hoist demonstration
After Action Review

%d bloggers like this: