The Upper Ojai Rescue Team has developed a number of specialty teams to enable team members gain a higher level of training and experience to better serve our communities. The specialty team members are true experts in their field, with a lifetime's worth of field and rescue experiences.
The Alpine Specialty Team is a group of dedicated members who excel in the world of snow, rock and ice. They are extremely adapted to operating in frigid snowy environments at high elevations. They are individuals who have received advanced training in navigation, avalanche dangers and winter survival skills. The special team leaders have completed the California Office of Emergency Services Search Management class for the Direction and Control of the Search Function Winter SAR course. Special gear the teams use are special dry dynamic ropes, avalanche beacons, avalanche probes, shoves, snow shoes, and crampons just to name a few specialty items. Each member has been issued special clothing for operating in the extreme cold and each member must carry a pack that will ensure their survival for 72 hours.
The Swiftwater Specialty Team are members who have achieved advanced training in water rescue. These members are very familiar and have a great deal of respect for the power of moving water. Much of the training in preparing for a water rescue is making sure the rescuer does not also become a victim. The rivers and creeks in our area become very different when it rains. The rivers and stream experience a huge increase in velocity and pick-up a great deal of debris. All the member of the swift-water rescue team have completed the Rescue 3 Swiftwater Rescue Technician and the team leaders have successfully completed the Rescue 3 Advanced Swiftwater classes. Special gear the teams use are Kokatat SAR Goretex dry suits, special life jackets for rescue work, rope guns for shooting a rope over the river, inflatable white water boats and some big “boogie boards” called Carlson boards.
The Climbing specialty team are the rock climbers of our team. They all have been climbing for many years, some in in excess of 30 years and for a few for their entire life time. Rock climbing takes special training and years of dedication to become safe and efficient. A few of the team members have climbed all over the world with many of climbs up the big walls in Yosemite. Special gear for rock, include dynamic climbing ropes, climbing harness, victim harnesses. Then you get in to the protection aspect, where you have carabiners, camalots (cams), stoppers, micro stoppers, wired hex set, quick draws, and of course your climbing helmet and climbing shoes. All of this gear is carried with either the lead climber to insure everyone safety.
Off-Road Quad & Motorcycle Team
The Upper Ojai Search and Rescue team has a a motorcycle/quad specialty team, whose members are trained and certified operators of quads and motorcycles. We use these to access areas which are more quickly and safely access with smaller vehicles. We are in the process of acquiring a six wheeled vehicle like a John Deere mule for our search and rescue needs. The quads are mostly purchased with money from our fundraiser and the Mule should be a government surplus item. We are in the process of securing two motorcycles, so we don't have to relay on personal motorcycles for search missions.