Sierra Madre Search And Rescue Log, August, 2011

Sept. 5, 2011 – August was a busy month for the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, with 17  calls for assistance.

Stranded Hikers, Chantry Flat: SMSR was notified of three hikers stranded on a cliff near Chantry Flat. Responding Team members found the hikers in a precarious off-trail location and determined that one was injured. The uninjured hikers were lowered to the ground using the Team’s stranded-hiker rescue procedure. The injured party was stabilized and placed in a litter, then lowered to the ground and wheeled out to the road. From there the patient was transported to an L.A. County Fire Department helicopter waiting at Chantry Flat and flown to the hospital.

Missing Hikers, Chilao Flats: SMSR’s help was requested by Montrose Search and Rescue on a search for missing hikers in the Chilao Flats area of the Angeles National Forest. Teams searched throughout the night, until the hikers were located by an SMSR crew after sunrise. SMSR team members walked the hikers several miles to safety.

Injured Swimmer, Chantry Flat: The Team responded to a report of an injured cliff-diver at a waterfall near Chantry Flat. SMSR EMT’s, along with paramedics from the Sierra Madre Fire Department, L.A. County Fire Department, and U.S. Forest Service personnel, stabilized the  injured party at the scene. Due to the nature of the injuries the subject was airlifted out of the canyon via helicopter and flown to the hospital.

Missing Hiker, Big Santa Anita Canyon: The Team was called out on a night search for a critical missing party in the local mountains. SMSR sent several crews into the field and the subject was located safely. Team members escorted the subject to Chantry Flat.

In addition to responding to callouts, the Team participated in the multi-agency Mass Casualty Incident drill with the Sierra Madre Fire and Sierra Madre Police departments. Dealing with over 30 victims, Team members exercised their triage and evacuation skills as part of the EMS branch of the simulated incident. The L.A. County Sheriff’s Air-5 helicopter was incorporated as a treatment and transport element of the drill. Team members also practiced their incident management skills as part of the unified command structure that was established to manage the mock disaster.

SMSR team members provided medical support for the 2011 Mt. Disappointment Endurance Run on August 13, with crews staged along the 33.1-mile course and at the start/finish area on the  summit of Mt. Wilson. High temperatures and 6,195 feet of elevation gain and loss added to the challenge but no serious injuries were reported.

The all-volunteer SMSR team has been serving the local community for 60 years. 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