Palisade Glacier SAR

On Saturday June 28, 2014, at about 7:20PM, Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a call regarding an injured hiker on Palisade Glacier (above Big Pine in the Sierra Mountain range). According to the reporting party, Jay Underwood a 32-year old man from Palo Alto, California, had sustained a blow to his knee by a boulder and could not walk due to severe pain. The reporting party further explained that he and Underwood had been camping at Sam Mack Meadows; the morning of the 28th they left camp to climb the Palisade Glacier via the U-Notch route. After successfully climbing to the top of U-Notch, they began their descent. Not long into the descent they heard the sound of boulders falling – Underwood looked up and saw a “watermelon” sized boulder heading in his direction.  Underwood attempted to move out of the way but was struck on his left knee by the boulder.  The pain was too intense for Underwood to walk back to camp. Underwood’s hiking partner contacted the Sheriff’s Office via cellular phone, and advised that he would bring warm clothes and a sleeping bag to Underwood’s location until search teams could assist the next morning.

On Sunday June 29th at about 6:45AM, 8 Inyo County SAR members started up the North Fork Trail to provide assistance to Underwood until air support arrived. By 9:30AM Underwood was loaded into US Forest Service helicopter 525 and transported to the Bishop Airport where he was met by Symons Ambulance Service to further transport him to Northern Inyo Hospital for treatment. A big “thank you” goes out to Inyo County SAR and US Forest Service 525 for your help and quick response!

 

 

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Bear Aware

Yesterday evening at about 11PM, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a bear sighting in Big Pine. Sheriff’s deputies, along with Big Pine Tribal Police and CA Fish and Wildlife responded and located the bear in a field north of Poplar Street. The Fish and Wildlife team was able to successfully relocate the bear. This bear sighting along with the recent bear report in Bishop on June 1st underscore the importance of being “Bear Aware”. It is important to remember that feeding wildlife is detrimental to the animal – once conditioned to human sources of food bears will seek them out creating increased safety concerns for people. For information on bear-proofing your residence, please visit Department of Fish and Wildlife’s “Keep me Wild” webpage at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/bear.html.

Unified Command

This morning First Responders and Command Staff gathered from Inyo County, City of Bishop, fire and law enforcement, local allied agencies, Red Cross, hospitals, local tribes, and state and federal agencies for our quarterly Unified Command meeting.  Unified Command brings these stakeholders together each quarter to discuss disaster management, and to share essential status updates within the respective organization/agency.  Some of the presentations today included earthquake preparedness by USGS, firework safety proved by the Bishop Fire Chief, a fire season update provided by CalFIRE, and the Inyo/Mono Health Officer, Dr. Rick Johnson, provided a briefing. 

 

USGS has a super informative publication called “Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country”. The link for their webpage to download this pamphlet is: http://www.earthquakecountry.info/roots/index.html.  This link also has a Spanish-language earthquake handbook available and a guide for business owners. 

 

An overarching message that was shared both from the Fire Chief as well as CalFIRE is that fire season is a massive concern, with the drought exacerbating the already dry conditions.  Everyone plays a role in fire safety.  A great public resource, offered by California Wildfire Coordination Group (CWCG), is the new fire prevention website complete with an online campfire permit section.  Remember, “One less spark is one less fire.” Check it out at: http://www.preventwildfireca.org/

 

With the 4th of July approaching, please stay tuned for more information on fireworks safety – but in the meantime remember that “Safe and Sane” fireworks are the only fireworks that are legal in the State of California – and may only be used on your own private property, or with the permission of the private property owner. 

 

Stay safe and stay informed!

 

Bear in Bishop

On Sunday June 1st, 2014, at about 10:00pm the Inyo County Sheriff’ Office was notified of a bear in the roadway on West Line Street across from the DMV. Shortly after deputies arrived the bear disappeared into thick brush. By 11:00pm the bear reappeared, only this time reports were indicating that the bear was rummaging through trash in the Snow Circle area of Bishop. Sheriff’s Deputies and Tribal Police located the bear in the middle of a residential driveway eating trash. Once spotted the bear ran off into a field east of Longview Street.

According to California Department of Fish and Game bears may be a common occurrence in residential areas this summer due to a lack of food and water in the mountains. It is important to remember that feeding wildlife is detrimental to the animal – once conditioned to human sources of food bears will seek them out creating increased safety concerns for people. For information on bear-proofing your residence please visit Department of Fish and Game’s “Keep me Wild” webpage at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/bear.html.

 

SAR Rope-Work Training

On May 15th through the 21st, 11 members of the Inyo County volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) team participated in 7-day technical rope-work training provided by Rigging for Rescue, of Ouray, CO. The training was a combination of classroom learning, and field exercises. Some of the classroom topics included sessions on the forces involved with rescue loads, methods for calculating forces in a system, and observing videos and examining results of drop tests performed on different materials and equipment, and various rescue techniques. Curriculum for the field sessions included personal on-rope skills, litter lowering and raising techniques, pulley systems, belay systems, and guide/highline systems. The purpose of the training was to train current volunteers in the most advanced techniques used in high angle rescues activities. Individuals at the rope-work seminar will lead trainings in the techniques for the remainder of the SAR group.

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Veteran’s Services Update

Just a quick heads up: The Veteran Service MONO Outreach Program will be observed Thursday, MAY 22, 2014; please schedule your appointment by Wednesday, May 21st. The Veteran Service S. INYO Outreach Program will be observed Thursday, MAY 29, 2014 at Department of Social Services (behind Southern Inyo Hospital); please schedule your appointment by Wednesday, May 28th.  All appointments can be made by calling 760-873-7850.  Also, there is a newly formed PTSD support group in Bishop.  Check out the flyer for more information: ptsd group

Helicopter Training

Inyo County Narcotic Enforcement Team members participate in short-haul helicopter training in the San Louis Obispo area May 1st and 2nd. Participants also included local agencies within California as well as federal agencies. The short-haul method is the safest and fastest way for law enforcement to enter and exit rural mountainous terrain during marijuana eradication and reclamation missions. For more photos – check out our Facebook page!

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April 23rd is Denim Day!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month; as part of that effort April 23rd has been set aside as Denim Day.  The Denim Day campaign began in 1999 as part of an international protest of an Italian Supreme Court decision to overturn a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans.  The Court infamously stated that, “It is common knowledge… that jeans cannot even be partly removed without the effective help of the person wearing them… and it is impossible if the victim is struggling with all her might.” This judgment became an international symbol of myth based injustice for sexual assault victims, and prompted world-wide outcry.

Denim Day is an outward example of how a community can help change people’s perceptions about violence against women, men, and children.  Please consider joining local non-profit organizations, government organizations, and others in wearing denim on April 23, 2014.

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Inmate Services

With the increase of inmates serving longer sentences due to state realignment, the Inyo County Jail (ICJ) is offering many more services for inmates so that time spent incarcerated is time spent working toward a new work skill or toward personal development.  Some of the services offered include: GED and Job Skill Training, Kid and Parent University, Moral Recognition Therapy Class, Toiyabe Indian Health Project Services, Alcoholics Anonymous, Mental Health Services, as well as faith-based services.  The staff at ICJ and the volunteers who assist in the programs really work hard to support the inmates with opportunities for self-improvement. The programs are a result of the collaborative effort of the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP).

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