Frogland Rescue

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Last Saturday, while lead climbing the 3rd pitch of Frogland, witnesses say that a climber lost his footing and succumbed to a fall of about 20 feet, allegedly breaking his right arm and injuring the right side of his body.

Kevin Riley and Ian Valley, both with Action in Solitude, were also climbing Frogland at the time and captured something that most people don't get to experience -- a first-hand account of the accident along with video of the actual rescue.  Here's Kevin's version of the events that took place:
On November 30th 2013, Ian Valley and I decided to get on Frogland, a mega-classic route on the Whiskey Peak formation in Red Rocks. After I led the first wandering pitch (not the actual first pitch but pretty cool nonetheless) we arrived at a bolted anchor. Someone then alerted us that there was a helicopter coming (unbeknownst to us the incident had already happened and someone had called 911 to activate Search and Rescue).
At some point that morning, Dani Ramos from the Bay Area started leading the 3rd pitch. After traversing out, he started moving up a crack having clipped a bolt and placing two pieces. At this point his foot blew and he fell approximately 15-20 ft. upside down, allegedly breaking his right arm and causing injuries of unknown severity to his right leg.
After Search and Rescue was activated they arrived by helicopter below the initial pitches of Frogland. The helicopter pilot would set the ship down on one skid on top of a large boulder, to let the SAR members out one by one. Initially one of the members led the first two pitches of the route, after arriving at the large belay ledge (which happened to be pretty crowded with 6 people on it) where the injured party was located, they fixed lines for lowering Dani in a basket. After a few more SAR members arrived on scene they proceeded to raise the litter up to Dani, get him packaged and lower him down below the beginning of the route. At this point the helicopter came back in with a long line to extract Dani and one of the Search and Rescue team members back to ground transport and/or the hospital.
We hope for Dani’s quick recovery so he can get back on the rock soon!
We couldn't have said it better ourselves -- or captured it better.  Kevin and Ian had a camera on-hand, which resulted in the following footage, a very rare glimpse into one of our rescue operations:

After Dani was given medical attention and extracted from Frogland, he was short-hauled to a waiting ambulance.  We wish Dani a speedy recovery!

Special thanks to Kevin and Ian with Action in Solitude for taking the time to put this footage together.  Definitely a rarity.
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Wilderness First Aid Course 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

We are happy to announce that we'll be hosting a Wilderness First Aid course before the year is up!  One of our Mountain Rescue volunteers is a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) certified instructor and he has offered to teach this year's course.
  • This course is designed to introduce outdoor enthusiasts and individuals working in remote locations to wilderness medicine principles.
  • Learn how to improve equipment, deal with challenging environments, and act with confidence.
  • Classroom lectures and demonstrations are combined with realistic scenarios where mock patients will help you integrate your learning.
Dates:  December 7-8, 2013 (8:00am - 5:00pm both Saturday and Sunday)
Location:  Las Vegas, NV
Cost:  $225/person
Payment Type:  Cash, Check, or Credit (via Paypal)

If you're interested in taking this course, check out the information below and sign up today!
Send us a note using our Contact Page if you have any questions. 
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How the Balloon Festival Came to be

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

If you've had the opportunity to read the details outlined on our volunteer and donation pages, you'll quickly realize that there is a whole lot of time, dedication, and money that goes into being a LVMPDSAR volunteer.  We constantly strive to be the best, which results in an innate desire to attain the best equipment and training that we can put our hands on.  Our team constistently tests and researches the equipment and techniques that we use, we train multiple times a month, and on top of that, we look for ways to improve ourselves by hiring outside agencies to provide training to our Dive, Mountain Rescue, and TEMS teams.  We treat learning and growth just as seriously as we treat a mission and in the end, we want to be the best that we can be.

Like most non-profits, the desire to help the community often collides with funding.  The only way that we're able to pay for extra equipment or training without having to dig into our own pockets is to ask for donations.  Unfortunately for us, we're horrible at asking for donations.

A couple of years ago, the volunteers gathered in a room and discussed our fundraising options.  We knew that receiving donations from the community would help with our training and equipment needs, but we didn't feel comfortable making the request.  Instead, we rattled through a number of ideas and settled on hosting a hot air balloon festival.  We knew that it would be a huge undertaking and lots of work to organize, but we liked it because it would provide the community with an unforgettable event that we hoped they would enjoy.  And of course, the end result would be that we'd receive donations to meet our needs.

Since that meeting, our volunteers took the hot air balloon idea and ran with it!  Not only does our festival include hot air balloons, but we have many other activities to enjoy.  Delicious food, a carnival, rides, SAR and police demos, tethered and untethered balloon rides, and the opportunity to meet the LVMPDSAR volunteers in person.  As our second event quickly approaches, we have decided that accepting donations in a way that gives back to the community suits us best.

Please plan on joining us the weekend of October 25 - 27th.  We'll be at Southern Hills Hospital, located off of Sunset and the 215, and entry into the event is FREE!

For more information as well as an event schedule, visit the Las Vegas Balloon Festival website.

We hope to see you there!

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2013 Hot Air Balloon Festival: Oct 25 - 27

Thursday, September 12, 2013

This year's annual Hot Air Balloon festival will be held October 25th - 27th at Southern Hills Hospital.  Come join us for morning burns, hot air balloon rides, food, carnival, games, and numerous police and SAR helicopter demos throughout the day.  All funds raised during this event will help to purchase training and equipment for LVMPDSAR team members.

Southern Hills Hospital
9300 W. Sunset Rd.
Las Vegas, NV  89148

We hope to see you there!
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Kilimanjaro Summit

Friday, August 16, 2013
One of our MR volunteers summited Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341ft / 5,895m) on 8/7/13 at 5:50am and dedicated his accomplishment to Dave. Awesome job!

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David Vanbuskirk: 1976 - 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It is with a heavy heart that we report the loss of one of our SAR Officers, David Vanbuskirk.  He died last night when he fell during the helicopter rescue of a stranded hiker at Mt. Charleston.

Dave was an extraordinary individual who was well-respected by his colleagues.  He was a leader, a friend, and played an integral role in our SAR family.  It is an understatement to say that he will be greatly missed.

Never Forgotten.
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Black Orpheus Rescue

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Yesterday morning at about 8:00am, four Mountain Rescue Officers and seven Volunteers responded to the Red Rock Overlook off of Charleston Blvd.  The call was in response to two climbers who had found themselves stranded on Black Orpheus, a climb located in the Oak Creek area of Red Rock Canyon.

On Sunday, two climbers began their ascent of Black Orpheus in anticipation of a late exit.  Along with their climbing gear, they packed warm clothes and a headlamp.  As they made their way up, they lost the route at one point.  As they struggled to find the route, they eventually ran out of gear as well as batteries in their lamp.  They found a belay ledge, anchored themselves in, and committed to spending the night.  They were too high on the route to rap down.

Once they were settled in, the two climbers were able to get a cell signal and sent a message out relaying their current situation and that they would attempt to climb out in the morning.  This message was eventually relayed to LVMPDSAR.  As a result, one Officer was flown to the area early Monday morning to check on their status.

As the helicopter scanned the area, they found the two climbers still stranded.  Once it was confirmed that they needed help, the team was called to the area.  All Officers and Volunteers were flown about 400 feet above the climbers where technical systems were set up.  Two rescuers were lowered to the area where the climbers were located.  The rest of the team set up a mechanical advantage and raised everyone back to the top in pairs of two.

After all climbers, rescuers, and equipment were retrieved from the climb, everyone was flown back to the Red Rock Overlook.  Both climbers were uninjured and after drinking some water and eating some snacks, they were sent on their way.
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