Thursday, June 16, 2016
SARs, MIPs, and Bears, Oh My! - OZAR Week 2
Week two at Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and the water levels have dropped to below flood levels once again. Visitation has become heavy, and I began my week with river search and rescue training on the Upper Current River. My main goal was to get familiarity with waypoints along the river, so as to match them up to launch points that may be accessed by road (along with getting more stick time on the motorboats, of course).
After being out on the river, I spent time doing daytime patrols of the Jacks Fork District, where Ranger Kent Breese and I were called to a search and rescue for two adult males that had capsized their canoe, one of which had Lou Gehrig's disease. As we hiked up and down the hills to locate the two men, we were made aware that the one patient's condition had left him unable to speak. While brainstorming methods to communicate with a non-verbal patient (white board and marker, asking the patient to squeeze my finger once or twice), the two men were reported to have returned to the concessionaire's canoe shop.
I had the opportunity to spend my first night shift riding along with Ranger Daniel Newberry, a graduate of Temple University's own SLETP. While patrolling the Rocky Falls area, we had a few surprises. Firstly, we had a visit from a Missouri black bear, which I later understood-- largely from Ranger Newberry's reaction-- are very rare in the area. After the excitement of our wildlife sighting wore off, we road up to a vehicle of teenagers that had pulled over on the side of the road as our vehicle approached. As Ranger Newberry got out of his vehicle to check if the passengers were alright, he noticed the smell of alcohol from the vehicle. After checking the ages of the driver and passengers in the vehicle, he decided to administer Field Sobriety Tests on the driver, which he later arrested and cited under assimilated state code, zero tolerance for consuming alcohol and operating a motor vehicle.
Over the weekend, I conducted river-side surveillance alongside Ranger Breese to monitor for possession of glass on the river and other violations. After noticing a group consuming alcohol who appeared to be under the age of twenty-one, Ranger Breese pulled this group over to the side of the gravel bar, where he separated the group into individuals of legal and drinking age and those under who we had both observed consuming alcoholic beverages, and issued several citations for Minor in Possession of Alcohol.
This upcoming week, a heat advisory has been issued, so I'll be thinking cool thoughts.
Stay safe-- until next week!