March 2013 Rescue Log Sierra Madre Search And Rescue

Posted 4/22/13 – Search and rescue activity in our local area continues at a very modest level with the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue (SMSR) Team responding to three calls for assistance in March.

Seizure, Big Santa Anita Canyon, Chantry Flat:  The Team received a page at 11: 54 a.m. on March 17th to respond on reports of a hiker experiencing a medical emergency in the Fern Lodge area below Chantry Falt.  Search and rescue team members responded along with fire department units from Los Angeles County and Sierra Madre.  Crews were able to quickly reach the subject and assess the situation.  The subject was stabilized on scene and wheeled out via litter to a point where vehicle access was possible.  The hiker was transported back to Chantry Flat and transferred to ambulance for the trip to a local hospital.  The operation was secured at 2:00 p.m. and all units released from the incident.

Lost and Stranded Hiker, Mt. Wilson:  At 3:22 p.m. on the 2nd , SMSR responded to a mutual aid request from Altadena Mountain Rescue to assist in the rescue of a hiker over 4.5 miles above the Mt. Wilson Toll Road.  Limited communications prevented rescuers from determining the hiker’s exact location.  Along with SMSR and Altadena Mountain Rescue, air and ground units from LA County Fire responded on the call and a command post was established at the Toll Road gate off of Pinecrest Drive in Altadena.  SMSR personnel began working search assignments along the Mt. Wilson Trail and Manzanita Ridge where they respectively intersection with the Toll Road.  The hiker was spotted by helicopter shortly after crews began their field assignments.  The hiker assessed for injuries and was airlifted off of the mountain.   The rescue was secured at 4:22 p.m.

Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) California Region Snow/Ice Reaccreditation, June Lake:  Over the weekend of March 2-3, eighteen Search and Rescue teams from across California including the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue team, participated in various hands-on rescue scenarios in areas such as: snow/ice rescue techniques; avalanche beacon rescue; winter litter evacuations and medical treatment (see photos below).  These scenarios are designed to assess the skills and preparedness of the respective rescue teams to support operations in winter conditions.

The Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) was established in 1959 on Mt. Hood, Oregon, and is the oldest search and rescue association in the United States. It is an organization of teams dedicated to saving lives through rescue and mountain safety education.  SMSR is a fully-accredited member team of the MRA and successfully completed the re-accreditation process.

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