FUNSAR Field Exercises

Another group of future NASAR sar technicians completed the Fundamentals of Search and Rescue course this past weekend in Lawrence County, AL. It’s truly an honor for RAT-SAR to train and network with these fine folks willing to volunteer their time in service of others.

Fundamentals of Search and Rescue

Several search and rescue teams in Alabama had members present for the first weekend of the NASAR Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR) course taught by RAT-SAR NASAR instructors. RAT-SAR would like to thank Lawrence County EMA for the use of their EOC. Lawrence County Alabama continues to go above and beyond in their support of search and rescue education and operations.

 

A week of search and rescue

4 straight days of search and rescue operations for the RAT-SAR team. Monday and Tuesday in North Carolina on the Seger Search and then Wednesday night and Thursday in the Bankhead National Forest searching for two women who became lost along the Lawrence/Winston county line. Again, can’t say enough good things about the teams we have worked with this week. With RAT-SAR being a responding agency for Lawrence County Alabama Sheriff’s Office Multi-Agency SAR team, it’s great to be part of the “bigger picture” when it comes to working with various agencies on operations – all with a common goal of saving lives. Special thanks to ALEA Aviation, Colbert County NW search dog, Huntsville K9 Search, and of course all the fine folks with Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office for another successful mission in the Bankhead Forest! Also a huge thanks to Smokey C’s Bar-B-Que & Wings for feeding all the rescuers today!

Chad Seger Search

RAT-SAR would like to thank Haywood Search and Rescue, all the rescuers, incident management personnel, and agencies who put their all into finding Chad Seger. The terrain and remote nature of the missions made for a difficult search operation, and while this was not the result we were hoping for, we were honored to play a small role in bringing closure to this situation and to work with such fine people. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Seger family and our thanks goes out to every search and rescue technician, law enforcement official, volunteer, and agency who participated in this search. Thank you for all you do.

Weaver Point

Members of the RAT-SAR team were back at Weaver Point in Little River Canyon this week practicing single rope rescue skills. Weaver is a 185’ free drop providing fantastic views and exposure for recreational rope practitioners who are making the transition from short rappels / climbs to longer drops, or working as cave rescue technicians.

Overdue Hiker Search

09/08/20 RAT-SAR was paged out Tuesday morning to assist on a search for a hiker who was last heard from on Friday. The hiker’s vehicle was located at the Randolph trailhead in the Bankhead National Forest in Winston County. After dispatching two hasty teams from Randolph trailhead, and one hasty team from the Sipsey trailhead, the hiker was found safe but slightly disoriented. He was walked out to the Sipsey trailhead and transported back to the ICP by vehicle. Agencies responding to this search included Winston County Sheriff’s Office, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Ashridge Volunteer Fire Department, and RAT-SAR. Special thanks to Lawrence County EMA for bringing the search teams lunch and water!

Technical Training

RAT-SAR members spent the weekend training a new group of responders in the art of single rope technique. Special thanks to David Walker from Haywood County Search and Rescue for his expertise and help on the class, as well as Bucks Pocket State Park for allowing RAT-SAR to train at their location.

Night Search

Strong work again by the Lawrence County Alabama Sheriff’s Office Multi-Agency SAR Team. The call went out last night for two hikers who had gotten off trail and lost close to trail 209 along the Sipsey River. Team members from Lawrence County and RAT-SAR responded and setup an Incident Command Post at Randolph THD and planned a nighttime initial response mission with a 4-man team. The subjects were located at approximately 11:30 last night and walked out by the team to the command post. Everyone was out of the woods by 2 AM.

 

 

RAT SAR General Meeting

On August 16 RAT-SAR had the first general meeting since the inception of the Covid crisis. While we have still been responding to callouts during the pandemic, our trainings and meetings have suffered. During this meeting we covered upcoming training schedules, debriefed recent missions, went over our initial actions plans, and had the team setup a new portable repeater we plan to use in the backcountry. In total we had 23 SAR personnel who attended this meeting.