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Grand Canyon rescue -- third time's the charm

Discussion of medical or rescue topics related to climbing and mountaineering.
 

Postby kiwiw » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:32 am

The Chief wrote:
Well, a SPOT was my primary alert device as I was giving a client of mine CPR after he collapsed at 10,800. I administered CPR for well over an hour awaiting help.

It never came.

I pronounced Jack dead at 1448 24 July 2009.

Wish they would have come.

Autopsy results confirmed that Jack died of HAPE.


that is a legit reason to call in a rescue, that's really to bad they didn't come.
but for the people who call in a rescue because their water tasted salty 3 times in as many days...
that's just insane.
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Postby Day Hiker » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:58 am


In September, a hiker from Placer County was panning for gold in New York Canyon when he became dehydrated and used his rescue beacon to call for help.


"Help; I'm dehydrated! Where can I possibly get some water????"

Image
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Postby surgent » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:17 pm

edl wrote:My dad made a good suggestion regarding backcountry rescues. When you call 911, the operator says "We'd be happy to send a helicopter. Will that be Visa or Mastercard"? Then we'll really see you badly you need rescue.


I made a snarky comment earlier in this thread. These men were idiots to the extreme.

However, asking for payment up front in a SAR situation is not the way to go. There are real situations and people will often not call for help when they really need it for two reasons: hubris and the potential cost. There is not much that can be done about the first.

Every SAR team is backed in some manner by a law-enforcement agency, be it county sheriff, state police or NP. It is they who decide whether to cite the rescued if they feel it is justified. In the case of the GC hikers, yes, absolutely: cite the hell out of them then pass the costs over to them.

I was with SAR (Central AZ MR) for 6 years. Many times the rescued would inquire about costs - in spite of their physical situation. After we brought them down, then the sergeant would go over the details and decide if citations were necessary. We tended to give the rescued a wide latitude, but yes, a few were cited. One person called in a "bleeding out" situation, mobilizing two teams and some helicopters, only to find out he had an agave spine in his calf about 2 inches. They were cited for the costs. That was appropriate.

The only beef I have with the GC story is why the rescue crew did not recognize the situation for what it was the first time and forcibly evacuate the hikers then. If not the first time then surely the second time. Why give them a third chance?
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Postby The Chief » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:26 pm

My post was to state how the reverse happens when utilizing a SPOT.

DO NOT COUNT ON A SPOT TO SAVE YOUR ASSES IF YOUR DICKEY SHRIVELS UP CUS IT STARTS SNOWING OR THE WATER TASTES A LITTLE FUNKY!

I agree 100% that the OP is frkn joke. Those "victims" should be held accountable for the cost of SAR. They should also be banned from the Park for life on the merits of their sheer stupidity.
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Postby MoapaPk » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:32 pm

Chief -- The SPOT people, and/or the SAR they are supposed to connect to, seriously owe you an explanation.
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Postby The Chief » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:39 pm

The SPOT worked fine....

NWS China Lake SAR was put on alert via the NASAR folks due to the SPOT 911 SATLINK confirmation.

It wasn't the SPOT nor the NASAR folks.

It was the CnC within the local SAR establishment that made the call to stand down.
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Postby MoapaPk » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:25 pm

justanothertroll wrote:So what exactly does your story have to do with this thread? Sorry that Jack died and you lost a client but what is the correlation with this discussion? Are you saying that PLU's such as the spot don't work or are you somehow trying to glorify yourself by showing us all how close to death's door you tread every day?


I really wanted to hear Chief's details. What his story contributes to the thread is another possible failure mode for over-reliance on a SPOT.

It's like carrying an ice axe. A person has to realize that the ice axe doesn't guarantee safety, and if you want 100% safety, stay on the bunny run. If more SPOT/GPS users (I use both) understood the risks, we might not have as many folks thinking that technology is a substitute for caution. Of course that won't help SPOT sell units.
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Postby Day Hiker » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:19 pm

surgent wrote:The only beef I have with the GC story is why the rescue crew did not recognize the situation for what it was the first time and forcibly evacuate the hikers then. If not the first time then surely the second time. Why give them a third chance?


Later that same evening, the same SPOT device was again activated, this time using the “911” button. Coordinates placed them less than a quarter mile from the spot where searchers had found them that morning. Once again, nightfall prevented a response by park helicopter, so an Arizona DPS helicopter whose crew utilized night vision goggles was brought in. They found that the members of the group were concerned about possible dehydration because the water they’d found tasted salty, but no actual emergency existed. The helicopter crew declined their request for a night evacuation, but provided them with water before departing.


Looks like on the second time, the group actually requested evacuation but was denied. So, on the first time, the group pushed the alarm and then changed their mind when the rescue crew arrived. But on the second time, it doesn't appear as if they changed their mind.
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Postby Day Hiker » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:25 pm

The Chief wrote:the NASAR folks


If I were them, I would change the acronym. Looks too much like NASCAR folks . . . but without a car.
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Postby surgent » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:37 pm

Day Hiker wrote:
Later that same evening, the same SPOT device was again activated, this time using the “911” button. Coordinates placed them less than a quarter mile from the spot where searchers had found them that morning. Once again, nightfall prevented a response by park helicopter, so an Arizona DPS helicopter whose crew utilized night vision goggles was brought in. They found that the members of the group were concerned about possible dehydration because the water they’d found tasted salty, but no actual emergency existed. The helicopter crew declined their request for a night evacuation, but provided them with water before departing.


Looks like on the second time, the group actually requested evacuation but was denied. So, on the first time, the group pushed the alarm and then changed their mind when the rescue crew arrived. But on the second time, it doesn't appear as if they changed their mind.


I missed that. However, shouldn't the context of the calls have been a tip-off that these hikers were in way over their heads? I wonder if it was two different flight crews who handled calls 1 and 2, and perhaps not enough time to do write-ups, debriefs and share the info.

This is a case where identifying the individuals is appropriate, holding them up to public ridicule. I am positive these idiots have no real idea how asinine their actions were. We need stocks and pillories again!
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Postby haivanhuynh » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:18 pm

pinscar wrote:I cannot express to you how happy I was to have read this article:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33470581/?GT1=43001

Cell phones, SPOTs and ACRs have no place in the backcountry. They contribute to the dumbing down of backcountry users. Have a problem? It's not necessary to actually KNOW anything. Just push a button.

Please, flame if you want. I am unbending on this topic and will not argue.


Quoted for truth.
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Postby Sleighty » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:57 am

I actually just turned on to NPR and they were talking with an SAR dude from san bernardino, and he mentioned a HUGE increase in the number of people heading off into the hills with little or no experience, but heading out in terrible conditions or being unprepared with a newfound confidence given by these SPOT type devices. It is unfortunate that people think it is a lifeline. He mentions being summoned multiple times by people who simply ended up being "uncomfortable, but entirely capable of walking out on their own." Going to have the crying wolf effect, and soon the people who the devices were actually build for are going to be just as SOL as ever.
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Postby The Chief » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:20 am

justanothertroll wrote:So what exactly does your story have to do with this thread? Sorry that Jack died and you lost a client but what is the correlation with this discussion? Are you saying that PLU's such as the spot don't work or are you somehow trying to glorify yourself by showing us all how close to death's door you tread every day?


What does your post have to do with anything on this planet other than showing how ignorant and selfish trolls are.

Your presence on SP is just a like that aggravating boil that needs to be lanced so the infectious puss can be gotten rid of.

In other words, trolls such as yourself are just the puss of SP.

Now to answer your pussass question.

My post was to let folks know that the SPOT SAT LINK system works.

Unfortunately, how ones local SAR CnC deals with the alert/call out, is a completely different story.
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