Team Meeting | August 2017

SDMRT Team Meeting Minutes

August 9, 2017 – County Operations Center

Meeting called to order by Hugo Bermudez at 1905.


Treasurer – Lori Rigsbee (not present)

  • Hugo reported that monthly reports for May, June & July had been submitted to the board and have been approved.
  • As of 8/2/17 the team’s total checking/savings were $25,494 and Lori had also received undeposited funds of $735.00 making total team assets $26,229.

Operations Committee – Tony Rolfe

  • Tony reported that the Operations Leader (OL) Committee had a quarterly meeting on 8/2/17 and discussed criteria for assigning “acting OLs” for out-of-county mutual aid operations if an OL was unable to participate.
  • Tony shared with the team that Sgt. Duey expressed gratitude toward Kyle Albertson and Dennis Peck for their leadership and assistance in the Command Post at 2 recent searches.
  • Operations – Hugo Bermudez
    • 2017-12 Joshua Tree 7/30-8/1/17 Rachel Nguyen & Joseph Orbeso – Operation Report has been submitted by Bill McNaul and posted by Kiana Nakamura.
  • No Non-Operations

Training Committee – Hugo Bermudez

  • Upcoming Desert training, 8/11-12/17 – John Hatala
    • Details will be sent out via e-mail.
    • Team members were asked to update Mission Manager re: participation.
    • Plan to meet at the CP by 2100 (4×4 not necessary).
    • Steve Herman will be Incident Commander.
    • Grayson Hough will be Safety Officer.
    • All team members must bring a tarp (& other necessary equipment) for erecting personal day-time shelter.
  • Supplemental helitac training with USCG, Sat 8/26/17 – Steve Herman
    • This is the first training with the USCG. If participation and attendance is noteworthy, then more training is likely as many of their pilots will eventually be stationed in Kodiak, Alaska and will be tasked with land rescues/extractions.
    • The board will be asked to consider whether this supplemental training will count toward yearly total.
  • Tijuana Fire Department has reached out to the team (as well as the Border Patrol) to explore binational training. Hugo is trying to arrange a meeting to discuss further.
  • 9/9/17 0800-2100 SDSAR Alpine Unit hosts all-units field training, Santa Ysabel East Preserve
    • Comprehensive, multi-agency scenario, lots of nice scenery, some plot twists and turns as well as something to keep everyone interested.
    • Requires an ALL Units participation, as your skills have been planned into the scenario: Comms, Motorized, Mounted, Canine, Medical, Tac Search, Tech Rescue, Mountain Bike Team and Training.
    • SDMRT participation is encouraged, to reinforce the teams with your specialized skills and experience challenging experience for each Unit and individual participants.
  • Reminders of the following ongoing combined SDSAR (& SDMRT invited) events:
    • Each weekend afternoon Cedar Creek medical support by SDSAR. Note: Although SDSAR designates these as “operations,” participation does NOT constitute an operation for SDMRT.
    • SDSAR Tech Unit offers “Tech Tuesdays” ≈ every other week, 1800-2100 (more dates soon to be posted), Ridgehaven Parking Structure
    • Next SDSAR/SDMRT tech rope rescue course will be 9/23/17 through 10/1/17, both weekends plus Tues & Thurs evenings in between.
      • Tony/Grayson informed the team that testing will likely be offered on 2 days after the class. The first test will likely be 10/7/17 and second test will likely be a week or 2 later.


  • Resignations: None
  • New LOAs: Nazli extended 3 months, to 10/24/17

MRA LIAISON – Monty Bell

  • Monty shared some of the details re: the robbery incident in Kern County.
  • Monty shared with the team that Kern County has conducted 11 swift-water rescues so far this year.


  • No report

MEDICAL – Patrick Carey

  • No report

EQUIPMENT – Grayson Hough

  • A prioritization list of equipment “wants” is being created. There are no immediate needs now.


  • MOU with SD Fire Authority for UCSD HPWREN high-speed data network now fully executed. (Thanks to Dennis Peck and Mark Kenny for their leadership in getting this done!)
    • Dennis provided a summary of the network’s capabilities and discussed the following next steps:
      • Re-establish contact with UCSD to determine if "loaner" equipment is available to field trial.
      • Conduct field trial in past east county training locations, incorporate team’s on-hand router equipment and PCs.
      • Prepare field trial report to Board.
      • Recommend to Board equipment list for purchase of portable equipment.
  • Three team policies were presented/summarized for a potential vote at the September team meeting (Bylaws require a majority of voting members to approve official team policies). Drafts will be sent via e-mail for members to review.
    1. Revised Policy 201 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SDSAR.
      • A suggestion was made to also send out the previous version for comparison.
    2. Revised Policy 301 Personal Equipment, Tech Pack List
    3. New Policy 112 Nonmembers Attendance at Field Trainings
      • Several members shared concern over the team losing autonomy due to portions of the drafted language (specifically the inclusion of nonmember names on the lesson plan submitted to the SAR coordinator).
      • It was suggested that issues re: nonmember attendance be kept informal as in the past.
      • Several members wondered why the new policy was so verbose and asked for the definition of “solid justification”.
      • A discussion ensued regarding the effectivity of liability waivers.
      • A few members expressed frustration over the reasoning behind the need for this policy and the board’s reactivity due to a single event (Mt. Shasta mountain climb).
      • It was suggested that the cadence of the team’s recruitment cycle and nonmember participation in Multi-SAR poses DSW challenges that may be overcome with either earlier background checks and/or temporarily swearing in of nonmembers.
      • It was recommended that the new liability waiver, as well as any new policy regarding risk to the team be reviewed by the team’s liability and D&O insurer.
      • Based on the level of concern regarding the new policy and many of the viewpoints discussed it was suggested that the board may want to re-drafting or reconsidering this policy prior to holding a vote since September’s meeting will be shortened due to recruitment.
  • Boy Scouts of America request for guest speaker, 8/26/17, 12:30-1:30 pm, Fiesta Island – Marshall Masser is looking for volunteers to join him and Richard in presenting to Boy Scouts how we operate and recruit along with tips on how to safely travel in the backcountry.


  • Annual new member recruitment
    • Sept 13 Recruitment Meeting
      • Team Meeting at 1830; Recruitment Meeting 1900
      • COC Building 5500 Room 120
    • Sept 18-20 Interviews – evenings, location TBA
    • October 13-15 Multi-SAR
    • The revised application form includes the following:
      • Are you a United States citizen? Yes/No If no, are you a legal alien with US citizenship application submitted? Yes/No
      • Release for use of photographs
  • Tony shared with the team details re: former team member Amy Mann’s involvement with assisting a trail runner on the Appalachian Trail who had broken their ankle. One of the subject’s friends contacted SDMRT through the team contact webpage and expressed gratitude.
  • Tony reiterated to the team DSW reporting/filing expectations of 24 hours after an incident.

Meeting adjourned at 2040.