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November 21, 2012 - Wrightwood-Phelan Search & Tracking Accreditation

Searcher documenting the subject's boot print. Photo by Antonio M. Arizo

On Nov. 18, 2012 Wrightwood SAR successfully completed their MRA accreditation in Search and Tracking.

The test area was in the San Bernardino National forest around Cajon Pass. Three separate scenarios were presented to the Wrightwood Team:

1. A search scenario with medical
2. An ELT search
3. A Grid Search.

THE SEARCH SCENARIO:
The search scenario included an informant interview; Vehicle search; Tracking of the two subjects; the medical treatment of one subject/patient packaging and the evacuation. Wrightwood did well; tasks the evaluating team was critical of included:
1. Working the vehicle/LKP earlier
2. Getting teams into the field earlier.
3. Secondary informant interview

Tasks the Evaluating team thought Wrightwood did well included:
1. Overall tracking skills
2. Medical
3. Track description including track photo with scale
4. Command post organization

THE ELT SCENARIO:
Wrightwood utilized ELT “Trackers” and “3-Navigation Pro,” Mapping program. Wrightwood plotted coordinates and bearings on both hard maps and on the computer.

THE GRID SEARCH SCENARIO:
The grid search was conducted in a dense area of four foot high brush; with a surface area of approximately 40, 000 Sq. feet (one acre). 14 items, golf ball size (one was actually a golf ball) were seeded in the area and all 14 items were found. Team needs to obsess on maintaining the straightness of the grid line.

Their estimated P.O.D. was 70 to 75%; their actual P.O.D. was 100% after making one pass.

Overall the evaluators thought that Wrightwood was a cohesive team.

Thanks to the evaluators for doing an excellent job; evaluators included:
Andy Puhek-Ventura
Antonio Arizo-Ventura
Paul Raab-Ventura
Steve Sullivan-Malibu
Kyoji Miyazaki-Placer
Dan Land-Montrose

Thanks to West Valley SAR for hosting Wrightwood and helping to set up the scenarios; thanks especially to Bob Gattas, Frank Kams, Cameron Heald, and Tom Shenton(coordinator.)

Three members from YOSAR observed the accreditation process and help to seed the grid search area.

Wrightwood met all of the MRA & Region requirements. It is the Evaluation Team’s recommendation to the California Region that Wrightwood pass the Search and Tracking discipline.

Dan Land
Vice-Chair Cal Region of the MRA

View all of the Wrightwood Accreditation photos