Lafayette Parish SAR

RAT-SAR team members spent the last couple of days training members of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team in single rope rescue techniques. Louisiana’s Lafayette Parish SAR has 60 team members with a wide range of experience from search tactics to water and technical rescue. It’s an honor for RAT-SAR to be part of their training curriculum.

Warehouse Fire

RAT-SAT team members assisted Etowah County EMA at the command post during ongoing operations resulting from a large warehouse fire in Attalla, AL. The warehouse contained compressed paper products requiring more than 150 firefighters and 60 departments to contain. RAT-SAR would like to thank all the departments, firemen, first responders, volunteers, and the Etowah County EMA for their continuing hard work and dedication to the citizens of Alabama.

Missing Hiker Found

A RAT-SAR team member recently assisted with a missing person rescue at Beaman Park north of Nashville, Tennessee. Wallace “Buzz” Carter, age 67, did not return to his vehicle after a hike that began around mid-day on Saturday, September 28. Rescue operations were conducted all day Sunday before being called at 6 p.m. Efforts continued on Monday morning, and RAT-SAR member Jason Lovvorn (photo above) went out in Monday’s first search group, sweeping terrain around a trail currently under construction. Around 10 a.m., the call came in that Carter had been found in good shape on nearby private land by a volunteer searching on an ATV. The entire RAT-SAR team is pleased that rescue efforts ended happily for Carter and his family.

Training Weekend

The RAT-SAR team was back on the bluffs this past weekend training on raises and lowers at Bucks Pocket State Park. This was the first training event for some of our new members and concluded a two-weekend rope rescue operations class.

Kevin Lynch Search – Smoky Mountains National Park

After spending four nights in the Smoky Mountains near the Cataloochee Trail, Kevin Lynch was found by search and rescue personnel, alert and responsive.  It was a true honor for RAT-SAR to work alongside many other professional agencies, ultimately leading to this very successful outcome. We can’t thank all the volunteers and agencies enough for their dedication, professionalism and hard work. This is what search and rescue is all about and why Randall’s Adventure & Training built a volunteer SAR team. Read the wrap-up article in The Mountaineer.

Here are a few pics of the RAT-SAR team during their 3 days of search missions on the Lynch search.

WFR 2019

July, 2019 – Members of RAT-SAR participated in a 5-day Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification course hosted by Randall’s Adventure & Training. Scenarios included everything from a mass casualty plane crash incident to common fractures often seen on hikers and backpackers.

Wilderness First Responders are individuals who are trained to respond to emergency situations in remote locations. They are part of a wide variety of wilderness medical providers who deal with medical emergencies that occur in wilderness settings.

Cave Rescue Exercise

The RAT-SAR team spent the weekend with teams from North Carolina for their third annual cave rescue exercise. The event has grown since its inception three years ago with more rescuers and teams participating. This year’s even featured a multi-drop vertical that required the rescuers to navigate some horizontal passage, as well as raising the patient through three vertical drops. The rescue required improvising anchor systems, building friction reducing high directionals, and using techniques we teach in our Limited Resources Rescue class. The exercise lasted 10 hours not counting the previous day that was spent in the campground going over improvised climbing techniques and building mechanical advantage systems, as well as performing tests on those systems with load cells. Once again, we can’t say enough good things about the North Carolina SAR and MSAR teams for their expertise, knowledge and thinking out of the box.

SPAR / SRT Class

Great weekend working with folks from the North Carolina teams at the Southwestern College SPAR/SRT class. Two days with a lot of different techniques including traveling hauls, pickoffs using victim’s rope, high directionals, guided rappels, bottom up rescues, improvised anchors, rebelays, SRT climbing, take-down raps, breaking into mainlines, lightweight single rope systems, contingency lowers, buddy rappels, and a whole lot more. As always when it comes to working in North Carolina, we couldn’t ask for a better group of technicians to work with. Much thanks to David Walker, Kevin Reeves and Jason Lovvorn for all their help with instructing. Keep an eye on the Southwestern College site since we will be running this one again in the near future. Oh, and it didn’t pour down rain – that’s a first for us!!

Advanced Rescue

Members of the RAT-SAR team assisted with teaching the Advanced Wilderness Rescue class in Pisgah National Forest this past week.  Wilderness Week is a week-long training event for North Carolina Search and Rescue personnel with several classes going on at the same time.  We worked on tree rescues, single rope rescues, twin tensioning systems, traveling hauls, high-lines, and ended the class with a simulated waterfall / canyon rescue down Flat Laurel Creek.  It wouldn’t be Wilderness Week without a ton of rain and this year was no exception.  We always love getting to train with the MSAR group.  You’d be hard pressed to find a more skillful, professional rescue team anywhere.