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  Mock mission Saturday, April 14, 2012

 Mock mission Saturday, April 14, 2012 at Barnhardt Trailhead.


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Mock mission Saturday, April 14 at Barnhardt Trailhead.

Mission went well, though it had some interesting twists and turns.

3 Airlines reported PLB signal south of Payson. Civil Air Patrol notified, and GCSO notified.

Due to snow, we were not sure if CAP would be able to launch, so GCSO brought PLB locator device.

We set it up and it sounded like signal was coming from the canyon the Barnhardt trail follows.
CAP was able to launch at 9:30 and found signal near Rye. We let them know we had a signal coming from the canyon, and they were able to confirm it and isolate it fairly close.

We sent a mounted team in with our locator, and since it appeared to be a good likelihood that the signal was coming from the canyon, followed them with a ground team with medical skills. Mounted team located 3 subjects, one with injured leg, and determined we would need rope rescue.

Sent rope gear in with rope team members.

Meanwhile a report came in that a church group or science class was reported overdue in the same area, vehicle was described and located in parking lot. Started dog and tracking team on the vehicle, but no scent article was available so dog teams had a difficult time getting started.

It was discovered that at the party of 3 with the injured leg, 2 of the party had left the injured subject to find help, and were now missing.

We attempted to put dog teams on the tracks, but did not have scent articles, so the dogs had difficulty getting started.

Someone arrived with scent articles, and the dog teams worked with them, but possibly due to snow, high winds, etc, did not come up with a solid signal. Dog teams found tracks, and were following them.

When the rope rescue was completed, we were able to put additional resources on the missing subjects, and had several working in their direction when they hiked out.

As in any mission, we learned a lot, and as with any mission, the biggest issues were complete communications.

It took a bit to come to the realization that it was all the same group instead of 2 different groups. In retrospect, all of the information was there, just needed to be all put together.

The team that rescued the injured subject got to work with a horse drawn litter over a very rough trail. It was a tremendous help for the team compared to a normal litter and wheel carryout.


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