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May 2012


P.O. BOX 357

A self-supporting, not-for-profit group of volunteer citizens dedicated to improving safety in the Arizona wilderness.

Operating under the authority of the Gila County Sheriff's Office
John Armer, Sheriff

TRSAR Squad meets monthly

General Public Welcome
2nd Thursday @ 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Payson Public Library Meeting Room
328 N. McLane Road - Payson, Arizona


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Don’t forget.
The meetings this month are:

Board  Meeting: Tuesday the 8th, 1600 Hrs at the Squad Building.

General Meeting: Thursday the 10th, 1900 Hrs at the Library.

Commander's Corner


We had an all night rescue in Salome Canyon Saturday night, 4/28/12.

We were called out at 9:00PM for a subject who had fallen somewhere in Salome Canyon. You may recall this is one the of the "canyoneering" trips where folks will enter the top of the canyon and go through a series of pools, sometimes rappelling down waterfalls or steep sections along the route. This 19 year old subject fell during the last rappel and injured, possibly broke, both wrists and one elbow.

DPS Ranger helicopter arrived and pinpointed his location for us at the bottom of the last waterfall. DPS Ranger inserted two of us with swiftwater and rope rescue gear near the mouth of the canyon. The injured subject's location required that we swim a floating litter up from the mouth of the canyon through four different pools with three rocky ascents separating them to his location.

We packaged him then reversed course and lowered him down these rocky descents and swam the four pools to the mouth of the canyon. Then we had a steep climb up to the main trail where DPS Ranger was able to pick him up for transport to a hospital.

Fortunately, Tonto Basin Fire and Globe Fire also responded.

Four Members of Tonto Basin Fire accompanied the two TRSAR members on the swim and ascent up the canyon and provided on scene medical, and then assistance with the difficult extraction. Additional members of both Fire departments assisted with the steep carryout to the helicopter. The Gila County Mounted Sheriffs Posse also responded and assisted with carrying gear on pack animals. This was was a great assist after a challenging all night mission. We arrived back in Payson around 6:00AM.

Stay safe and stay prepared.
Bill Pitterle – Commander, #500



Pine-Strawberry middle school student injured on hike

May 2, 2012

Search and rescue volunteers are currently working to get an injured Pine-Strawberry middle school student off a trail.

The child was reportedly hiking the Donahue Trail, just south of Pine near Milk Ranch Point, when he twisted his ankle, said Lt. Tim Scott with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

The P-S Fire Department notified the sheriff’s office that a member of Tonto Rim Search and Rescue is currently with the student and needs assistance to get the child out, Scott said.

“P-S fire is currently responding to the Pine Trailhead along with Gila County Mounted Posse and Search and Rescue Coordinator Deputy Rod Cronk who will supervise the rescue,” he said.

The age of the child is currently unknown. More information will follow.



May 2012 Training

Training Note – First Aid

The First Aid course is also called Standard First Aid and is the first level.  The Wilderness and Remote First aid course is the second level. If you have a current Wilderness and Remote First Aid certificate, you do not need to re-take the Standard First Aid course.  Standard First Aid and Wilderness and Remote first Aid are two year certifications.




The purpose and objectives of the Squad shall be:

A.  To maintain a fully trained and qualified volunteer team on call 24 hours a day to perform     search and rescue operations; and

B.  To provide professional assistance on search and rescue missions, and recovery of injured or accident victims as requested by the Gila County Sheriff’s Department.



A.  All members are required to attend a Search and Rescue Academy within one year of being accepted as a member, per GCSO.  Extensions may be granted on an individual bases at the Board’s discretion.

B.  Members wishing to remain on active status must attend at least three official Squad functions per quarter of the calendar year, as well as two training exercises per six months of the calendar year.

C.  Members who wish to remain on reserve status must attend at least one official Squad function per quarter of the calendar year as well as one training exercise per six months of the calendar year.

D.  All Technical Rope Team members must attend at least two rope-training exercises, or rope missions, per six months of the calendar year and complete an annual skills checklist. 

E.  Mantrackers must attend at least one classroom training per calendar year and three field trainings, or mantracking missions, per calendar year.

F.  All Swiftwater Rescue Team members must attend at least one swiftwater training exercise, or swiftwater mission, per calendar year and complete an annual skills checklist.




9 May (Wed) – CPR Time: 1800 (3 hours) – Place: Pine/Strawberry Senior Dining Hall - Instructor: Dave Burkhart – Call Dave at 623-640-0353 to register


17 May (Thur) – Tracking (candidates and certified) - Time: 1730 – Place: Pine Narrows – Instructor: Jim McMillion


19 May (Sat) – Rope Rescue – Time: 0800 – Place: Box Canyon; Meet at Boy Scout Camp and hike to same location as the March 16 mission. – Instructor: Roger Miotto    _____________________________________________________________________________________

20 May (Sun) – Swiftwater Rescue – Time: 0900 – Place: To be announced– Instructor: Paul Morgan


Thursdays and Saturdays - SAR Dog Training - Time: TBA – Place: TBA - Call Susan at 480-278-3806 for more info, or email at kansasstarr88@yahoo.com to be put on the list for regular time and location updates. Lost people welcome!



Requested Training Sessions

If you would like to volunteer to run a training session, or if you have a training session request, contact any Board member, or Morris Brown 

Squad Web Site:  www.trsar.org



AZK9CON in Flagstaff
by Susan Starr

April 28, 2012 


Pictures from AZK9CON
Available HERE

Day One

Six of us on the Dog Team attended the conference:  Greg Reed, Herb Grau, Jim McMillion, Co Horgan, Kelly Somers and myself.  We took three of the dogs; Ringo, Lewis and Toulouse.  The first day was a class that interested all of us because we are back to doing this training again – “Introduction to Man Tracking”.  It was supposed to be classroom followed by some exercises outside, but the weather was so nasty; cold, snowy and windy, that we only got in one track.  But the instructor, Chuck Melvin, asked Greg, Kelly and Herb to run the track and he was impressed with their knowledge and expertise. 

Since outside work wasn’t possible, we ended the day with a class on understanding and tracking Alzheimer’s subjects, which was also of great interest to all of us. 

 Day Two

Co and Kelly stayed in the classroom, taking a class on “Introduction to Scent Theory”.  Herb and Greg took Ringo to the initial disaster response class, which Jim also took Lewis to.  I took Toulouse to Beginner and Intermediate Trailing.

The instructor, Chuck Morris, had some new and different ideas that I hadn’t heard before; much had to do with the correct language for commands.  So we worked on that for awhile, then did fast run aways for motivation for the dogs.  Toulouse did pretty well with these.  We then layed some tracks right before lunch, and left them there to age for about two hours. 

After lunch we came back and each ran one of the aged tracks.  One handler who has a very high energy Malinois found him getting distracted by all the squirrels.  He is from Maricopa SAR and squirrels are not an issue, but lizards are.  His dog got off track several times interested in the squirrels. 

Toulouse got right on track, nose to ground, and did a very good track but went to the wrong person (although later I realized it was the partner of the person he was looking for, so cross-scent may have been an issue).  He headed in the right direction to the right guy, but as he approached the tree he got very spooked by a tree limb above him, which was quite large and very low hanging.  The instructor had me redirect him around the tree and he found his subject. 

The instructor moved us to a new area, and started out with me as a “DNA” subject.  Earlier in the day he had me brush my teeth with a new, dry toothbrush which he then sealed in a Ziploc bag.  It sat for about four hours.  At this point I went and hid, and two separate dogs ran the track to come find me, and both did very well. 

Then it was Toulouse’s turn again.  This instructor’s method involved harnessing the dog with his back to the direction of travel , after he smelled the scent article.  The idea is to get a clear indication from the dog of the direction of travel.  Toulouse was wiggling around so hard I could barely get the harness on him, trying to get his head turned around the opposite way, which was the direction of travel.  The instructor said to me, “Which way does he want to go?” and I said “That way”, indicating back over my shoulder, and Chuck said, “Ya think?!”  Toulouse took off at a fast pace, nose to ground, and made his way over to a large rock outcrop, about 200 yards away. 

As I approached I saw the subject laying prone on the rock about 15 feet above me, but lowered my eyes immediately so as not to cue my dog.  Toulouse cleared an area about twenty feet away, then cleared the area beneath the rock.  He stopped and distinctly told me the person is not here.  Then he came back towards me, but wanted to go back to the area he had just checked.  Chuck had me pull him off, and the moment I brought him back he headed up the notch in the rock.  Toulouse jumped up on the rock and there was Mike.  Toulouse leaped from rock to rock and sniffed the subject while I praised him.  Later I found out Mike had accidentally dropped his water bottle and it was under a log in the area Toulouse kept going back to.

Greg and Herb learned a lot too, but it was not so much Disaster and more fundamentals of dog training that pertained to disaster training.  The trainer is certified by FEMA so it was a new learning experience.  I decided to take Toulouse to that training the next day.

Day Three

Both Kelly and Herb had to leave early, so Greg, Jim, Co and I took the three dogs to the second day of Disaster training.  The first few hours were spent discussing fundamentals and different types of certifications, and what FEMA requires from dogs and handlers.  It was very interesting and quite a lot of new information for us. 

The last part of the morning and the early afternoon were spent training on the “bark barrel”.   Two plastic barrels are laid end-to-end, and a subject crawls in there and pulls a door shut.  This is to practice refind-recall and get the dog excited to find someone in the barrel.  Lewis is very good at this; his refind-recall skills are well honed.

Ringo had a problem with the male subject in the barrel because he had on wrap-around sunglasses.  I’ve noticed this before with Ringo, the instructor, Robin Haeberger, said that Aussies are not happy if they cannot see someone’s eyes.  She got in the barrel and Ringo had no problem approaching her and returning to Greg.  His “sit” skills were very good also – sitting is his alert to Greg that he had found someone.  Toulouse took a little more time because the other dogs had done this exercise the day before, but as the practice went on Toulouse got better at it, even returning to me which is hard for him.  Being the hound that he is, he loves to take off on his own, but on this exercise he began to understand what was required of him.

After lunch we did some more barrel training, and then started on obstacles.  As you can see in the photos, all three dogs did very well walking the plank, but Lewis was the star of the day.  He walked across the ladder rungs and stood up on the rickety pallets.  Ringo jumped up easily on the obstacle, walked the plank and wanted nothing to do with the unstable pallets – until about the third time he was up there.  Then he did okay, figuring out how to place his feet.  Toulouse did well, walking the plank and standing on the pallets.

We learned a lot today and all of us and the dogs are completely worn out.  Tomorrow is the last class which is Field First Aid and snake training for Ringo and Toulouse.

 Day four

Our last day was comprised of just one class - Field First Aid for Canines.  We had already had a lot of the training, but there were some new techniques and ideas that were discussed.  The instructor had some really interesting first aid kits he used, and some new types of bandages.  One was an "Israeli" bandage with a large butterfly on it that could be used to tighten up a bandage, or twisted to use as a tourniquet. 

 The photos are of Lewis with a SAM splint on, and Ringo looking like a trussed up chicken:  Co and Greg practiced a paw bandage, a chest bandage, a tail bandage, a head bandage and a knee bandage.  Ringo took all this with usual dignified aplomb.

 A good time was had by all - we learned a lot and look forward to going back next year.  Thanks for your support. 




Tonto Rim Search and Rescue Squad
Mission Debrief Form Instructions

After each mission the Mission Debrief Form should be filled out.

If you haven't already filled one out at the mission site it can be done in the Members Only area of our web site under "Mission Debrief Form Instructions"


 After you complete the form click the "Submit Survey" button at the bottom of the page.

This will cause an email with all the info in the form to be sent to Sgt Hudgens, Board Members and other necessary personnel.

Thank you.




REVISED 1/24/2012


May 12th Wildlife Fair-Payson
May 19th Aero Fair-Payson
May 26th & 27th Pine/Strawberry Arts & Crafts Show-Pine
June 9th & 10th

Strawberry Festival-Pine

June 30th & July 1st  Pine/Strawberry Arts & Crafts Show-Payson
July 4th Payson 4th show-Payson
July 14th Farmers Market-Payson
July 28th Farmers Market-Payson
Aug 11th Farmers Market-Payson
Aug 25th

Farmers Market-Payson

Sept 1st &  2nd Pine/Strawberry Arts & Crafts Show-Pine


     Business Cards for Active Members


All active members are permitted to have business cards with your SAR info on them. If you do not have them yet, or if you have used up the ones you had, contact Mike Taylor to place your order. They are nice to have when you are doing any Squad activities, and the best part is they are free. A common use for them is to hand out to family members of the search/rescue subject.

Email miket@trsar.org or call 978-8009.



Tonto Rim SAR Members can now have your very own email address through our site. Just contact our Webmaster at jack@jackswebs.com  to arrange for it, no cost to you or us.

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