|Coconino County Search and Rescue Flagstaff Unit, Inc.|
Flagstaff Unit earns MRA Wilderness Search, Technical Rock Rescue, and Alpine Search and Rescue Certification.
Saturday, August 14, 2011, Coconino County Search and Rescue conducted a mock search and rescue operation for two missing hikers. The exercise simulated the segmented search phase. After the subjects were located, a simulated medical situation was resolved by participants. The exercise was monitored by MRA representatives who granted the Flagstaff Unit MRA certification in Wilderness Search.
On October 9, the Rock Rescue Team earned Technical Rescue Certification during a series of tests conducted near Sedona.
The Final certification was tested on March 6, 2012, when the unit conducted a mock avalanche search and rescue near Snowbowl.
Thanks to all visiting MRA members for taking the time to conduct the test and provide insight into improving our operations.
Technical Resce Dry Suit donars and SAR Volunteers below from right to left:
Sgt. Aaron Dick, Bruce Crozier, Bart Thompson, Tom James, Brian Kolb, Mike Purcell, SAR Volunteer Randy Marlatt (modeling the suit), Mayor Jerry Nabours, Mike Gouhin, Nicole Janosco, and J.R. Reinhart.
The Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit is a volunteer arm of the Sheriff's Office involved in performing the Sheriff's statutorily mandated function of conducting or coordinating search and rescue operations within the county. Search and Rescue operations are supervised by a deputy assigned as the Search and Rescue Coordinator. The Unit is trained by the Sheriff's Office to provide vital search and rescue services to the second largest county in the nation, which encompasses approximately 18,600 square miles of diverse and sometimes very remote rugged terrain.
Over the past two years the Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit has seen an increase in technical canyon rescues including the Insomnia Canyon rescue that occurred on August 13 and 14, 2011. The technical canyon environment requires some specialized personal protective equipment for rescuers to operate safely in that environment. One of those pieces of equipment is a dry suit. The dry suit allows the rescuer to keep their insulating layers dry while working in wet environments such as the pools often encountered in technical slot canyons. The technical slot canyon environment is often cold and wet which places the rescuer at risk for hypothermia while conducting strenuous rescue operations. This spring the Flagstaff Sunrise Rotary Club and the Flagstaff Noon Lions Club donated funds to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit to purchase four dry suits for canyon rescue and other water rescue operations. The generous donation will allow rescuers to operate more safely in hazardous environments to accomplish the mission encapsulated in the search and rescue motto “so that others may live.”
The following video production sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center, Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue and Arizona Snowbowl addresses the dangers of avalanche in and around the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. The 8 minute video explains the resources necessary to safely enjoy the winter backcountry.