Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Beach Patrol

This was kind of a nothing rescue....You can tell because they make it sound like the guy was critical and life was in the balance, then we just stand him up and have him lay down in the Bauman bag. There really wasn't another way to get him out though. I just walked down to him instead of inserting---saves a whole hoist evolution and takes away half the risk.
Nothing like video to remind me I've got a good face for radio

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Water rescue training

Here's how we do swiftwater rescue.....The harness is rear attached so you're face forward. You have the 'quick capture' straps in your hands. The copter will fly upstream while the crewchief inserts the rescuer to the water---just until your feet touch. This has a ruddering effect that points the rescuer upstream, then the copter will crab left or right until the rescuer is lined up with the victim....
When the victim flows to the rescuer, lots happens at once. The crewchief plays out enough cable that the rescuer is completely in the water. The pilot 'turns base' and flies sideways, keeping pace with the water. That way the rescuer isn't fighting the current at all. After the quick capture strap is around the victim and you have a good 'bear hug', you make SURE the cable isn't wrapped around any body part you're fond of and you wag your head as a signal to lift. You get popped out of the water and flown to a safer spot.
We always train for this in winter. You go from really cold water to really really cold fast moving air. Brrrrr.....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Summer office

This was my summer office during the 'Moonlight Fire'. I'm on a resource list so if US Forest Service needs a helicopter, I get called to do management/coordination/inspection duties. You have to be ready to just up and go, and live out of your car for weeks on end. It's a dream job. This site was called Mountain Meadows helibase, and we were right on the edge of a thick forest with the helibase in the floodplain. Camping, helicopters, problem solving....Kind of like Glamis except you get paid. No beer though. The first picture is looking southwest with Mount Lassen on the horizon. My machine was a Bell UH-1H, sort of the granddaddy of San Diego's fire/rescue copter. I had a good crew and good pilots on this caper. There were 14 machines in the lineup with plenty of work for everybody

Monday, January 7, 2008

August shindig

OK so reunion.......Lee and Tina claimed the cabin already, but they have to work it off in party logistics. Here's what's available---get back to me ASAP as August is popular at the lake. There are three log cabins, one room, one bed. There's electricity but you walk to the bathroom. They are right on the lake and have a nice porch. I think they are $60 a night. There is a duplex at the lake also, with fireplace/full bath/sleep 6-8. They are around $160 a night. I might get a discount since I'm on the board of directors at the lake, but for God's sake give me some notice.
RV space is available too. If anyone wants RV space tell me now so I can reserve the ones next to the log cabins.
Actually, no one's been able to tell me what Lee's moped was named. Surely, you can come up with it

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Catalina with Mckenna

Most eighth graders go to the mountains for camp, but it doesn't make much sense for the Julian kids that already live there. The Julian kids spend a week at 'Campus By The Sea', a secluded canyon a fedw miles north of Avalon. Mckenna really wanted me to chaperone, and I agreed a year in advance.
As the time approached I didn't want to go. Nothing against Eighth graders, Catalina or Mckenna. I spent most of the summer following the big fires around the state and as soon as I got home it was time to go to Catalina---I think I had 12 hours to pack.
It was great. The facility was outstanding with a private dock, no roads, plenty to do. I was impressed by the kids and the teachers. My task was to lead the 'Underwater hike' which was snorkelling. The kids wore wetsuits but I didn't just to keep the complaints about cold down. It didn't work. On the last day the kids got to go to Avalon, and had the option to take the water taxi or do the 6 mile hike. Some of the other adults and half a dozen kids did the walk, and I treated to root beer floats once we got there.
The best part was time with Mckenna, of course....At mealtime I laid down the law about good manners--no hats, no one eats until everyone has their food, boys hold girl's chairs, the works. They really got into it.