Ahead of Their Time

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Sandy Young, Shelley Sumption & Donna Fitzpatrick
There are currently four women on the Mountain Rescue team, which accounts for 5% of its members.  Although it's not uncommon in this day and age for women to be members of rescue organizations such as ours, they often get asked what their role is on the team.

The truth is that their role is no different than anyone else's.

All of the LVMPDSAR Mountain Rescue volunteers get trained to do every job.  From working technical systems to going over the edge as a rescuer, all members know what to do and how to handle the situation.  This gives our officers the ability to freely hand out assignments as volunteers show up for a rescue.  Everyone is held to the same standard, so anyone can step in and get the job done.

In 1987 when the LVMPDSAR Unit as we know it today was formed, three of those original Mountain Rescue members were women.  Sandy, Shelley, and Donna not only knew how to run systems, but they played an integral role in providing medical treatment to each patient that they ran across.  It may not have been as common for women to be jumping in and getting their hands dirty in the 80's, but these women were doing it.

Thanks for paving the way, Ladies!
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80 Foot Fall Near Angel Food Wall

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Last night at approximately 6:30pm, SAR Officers received reports of a 61 year old man who had fallen approximately 80 feet near Angel Food Wall.  It was reported that the man had originally lost consciousness, was now awake, and had suffered injuries to his face.

As the call came in, the Mountain Rescue team was preparing to start one of its monthly training sessions and happened to already be geared up and in the area.

One Officer and one volunteer, a neurosurgeon, were initially flown by helicopter to the area.  After locating the fallen climber from the air, both officer and volunteer were dropped off about 200 feet above the climber.  As they made their way to the climber, one officer and 7 other volunteers prepared necessary gear to help with the rescue.  Upon initial medical assessment, it was found that the climber had suffered wounds to his face, including his nose and a laceration above his right eye.  Abrasions were also discovered on the lower portion of his back.

Although winds were extremely high, pilots were able to deposit a majority of the team to the LZ above the climber while two team members were dropped off at a location below.  All teams made their way to the location of the climber where he was treated and packaged into the litter.  From there, the team began a scree evacuation, moving the climber down the Angel Food Wall approach.

After nearly 4 hours of locating and extracting the climber, the canyon opened up and rescuers were able to find an LZ.  Pilots once again battled winds to remove the climber first, who was delivered to a waiting ambulance located at the Mt. Charleston overlook.  Once the climber was handed off, the climber's guide was flown out along with the rest of the team.  The climber was transported to UMC.

Here's a video of the night time helicopter extraction out of the base of the Angel Food Wall approach.

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Mountain Shadow Productions

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Earlier this year, we posted a 1 minute video clip of our Unit that was filmed by Mountain Shadow Productions.  This crew has been following us around for a while now and we have to admit, these guys are incredible!  Not only are they entirely professional and easy to work with, but they've taken up a special place in our little SAR family here in Vegas.  To Nigel and the rest of the crew, thank you for turning out such amazing footage of our Unit!

Here's the 4 minute version of the clip that was posted:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoZve0ZsNsE

Follow them on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/mountainshadowproductions
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