Posted 8/17/12 – During the month of July, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue (SMSR) responded to 18 calls for assistance. Details on a selection of the calls are described below.
Busy 4th of July: After participating in the Sierra Madre 4th of July parade SMSR responded to several calls in the local area. The first was a mountain biker who had fallen on Cardiac Hill at Chantry Flats. The subject was located, treated for hip and shoulder injuries and transported to a waiting ambulance. While involved with the first call a second report was received about an injured hiker on the 1st Water Trail at Chantry Flats. The subject was located, treated for injuries and transported to the Chantry Flats parking lot.
Busier July 9th: With 4 operations, July 9th was the busiest day of the month. The first call was a request from Altadena SAR for assistance in locating 3 overdue hiker. SMSR search the Mt. Wilson Trail and Chantry Flats area. The hikers were eventually found, unharmed, in the Eaton Canyon Area. The second call again was a request from Altadena SAR for assistance in locating a woman and her dog in the Sam Merrill Trail area. Both subject were found, rehydrated and escorted to the trailhead. The third call was a sprained ankle at Chantry Flats. SMSR responded and assisted Sierra Madre FD with the subject. The last call of the day was an individual having trouble breathing at Chantry Flats. Again, SMSR responded and assisted Sierra Madre FD with the subject.
July 15th – 2 injured at Hermit Falls: SMSR sent ground and litters crews to Hermit Falls. The 1st subject had bi-lateral ankle fractures. The subject was treated, packaged in a litter and airlifted to Huntington Memorial Hospital. The 2nd subject had minor ankle injuries and was escorted to the Chantry Flats parking lot.
July 25th Mt. Langley Search: The team responded to a request from Inyo County for assistance in searching for an overdue hiker in the Mt. Langley area near Mt. Whitney. SMSR provided both ground crews and overhead staff to help manage the search. Unfortunately, the subject was found deceased just below Old Army Pass. SMSR ground crews were some of the first on scene helped with the recovery.
July 27th – 1 injured at Hermit Falls: SMSR dispatched ground and litter crews down to Hermit Falls. The subject was located, treated, packaged in a litter and airlifted by LACoSD Air-5.
In our March article we reported that a new class of probationary members had started training to become full members of Sierra Madre Search and Rescue. Over the past six months several members have dropped out leaving a total of 7 members. The class has received training in rappelling, ascending a rope, setting an anchor, tracking, radios, litter wheel, litter tie in, helicopter operations, land navigation and knots. Starting in February they were judged field qualified and available to respond to calls. Their first opportunities were the 4th of July call outs described earlier in this article.
For over 60 years the all-volunteer Sierra Madre Search and Rescue team has been responding to calls for help in the local mountains and beyond. Funded entirely by private donations, SMSR provides a range of public programs on wilderness safety in addition to its search and rescue activities. The Team never charges for any of its services.
For more information, including how to arrange a wilderness safety demonstration for your school or group, visit www.smsr.org.