Self Rescue Group Meeting Minutes
January 30, 1999
The SRG was called to order at 11am on Saturday, January 30, 1999 in San Jose, CA.
Mark Bowers announced that he would be teaching a pickoff class at Kirkwood in August. This is available
to SFBC, Diablo, and Mother Lode members only.
- Introductions were made by all.
- Goals were discussed:
- Cindy Heazlit wanted to create a curriculum for classes and for teachers teaching the class.
- Eric Johnson thought it would be good to have it in "hand out" form.
- Mark Bowers suggested that it would be good to have a hand out for grottos on how to "casually" incorporate self rescue training into caving activities. Some grottos cringe at the word "training" and it is better to sneak the training in on them.
- Cindy Heazlit said that she'd like to have all the trainings be free of charge. This would mean that there would have to be fund raising to cover costs of teaching materials and copying curriculum.
- Mark Bowers suggested that it would be good for all of us to cave together to get comfortable working together.
- This digressed into a discussion of "The Rockpile" and how the local SAR teams refuse to do rescues when there are "bad air" (high CO2) conditions. The SAR teams figure that by the time they get there, it would be "too late" and they'd be risking their folks for a body recovery.
- Discussion on if we want to do certification. It was generally agreed that we do NOT wish to do this, as it leads to all sorts of liability issues. The discussion shifted to the use of checkoff lists. It was generally agreed that these are OK, especially when the "checkoff" is simply someone saying that they saw the other person perform the exercise. Mark Bowers says that he's used this in the past in his classes. The students operate in pairs, each looking at each others work. Cindy Heazlit said that she's also used checkoff lists with the SFBC training program.
- Mark Bowers suggested that we do "on the rocks" sessions with "knowledgable" cavers such as Bill Farr, Rich Sundquist and Mark Fritzke. He figured that they had all sorts of tricks up their sleeves, and that we should write them down for others to use.
- We should work to do both "day trainings" and "grotto presentations". The day trainings would truly be trainings, where the grotto presentations would be 1 hour topic specific talks (such as on hypothermia).
- Scott Askey asked about the various modules.
- Discussion of research. Mark Bowers suggested we contact Dan Smith of Smith Safety Products for use of his test equipement so we could do true scientific studies. Cindy Heazlit mentioned that John Norman and the Desert Dogs are also willing to do some research.
- More discussion on the publications that we wish to produce - pamphlet/handout/book?
- Mark Bowers suggested putting off elections and officers until we incorporate.
- Dane Mortensen asked about the benefits of incorporation. Cindy Heazlit had a NOLO press incorporatoin kit. She read off the benefits of incorporating: Tax exempt status (we'd become tax deductable), Limited Liability of officers (officers are not personally liable for corporation debts), Perpetual Legal existance, formality. Disadvantages are: Paperwork, incorporation fees ($200), time in maintaining records.
- Mark Bowers suggested that we wait on incorporating until we're more comfortable with each other.
- Mark Bowers suggested that there be no "official" Self Rescue Group trainings until after we incorporate. Cindy Heazlit made unhappy noises.
- Discussion of membership was tabled until we incorporate.
- Discussion of codes of conduct was tabled until we incorporate.
- It was decided that we meet quarterly. The next meeting will be at the Rockpile on April 24 for a combination cave/work trip.
- Cindy Heazlit and Eric Johnson will work together to write the SRG bylaws from the NOLO incorporation kit. Cindy will send Eric the forms that need to be modified. Cindy and Eric will present the bylaws for review at the next SRG meeting.
- Mark Bowers suggested that all publications have distribution lists on them. The publication only goes to folks on the distribution list.
- Mark Bowers suggested that if you want control of publications, you shouldn't ever put it in electronic format. He said that it should only be distributed in hard copy, and taken back at the end of the meeting. Cindy thought that this was too restrictive and stifling.
- There was much discussion of material. It was decided that authors of modules have full control of whatever they create. There was discussion of multiple authors.
- Steve Maberry said that if one person puts in 100 hours, and 2 others only put in 10 hours each, that the person that put in 100 hours should have a greater say on the project.
- It was decided that only curriculum reviewed by the group could be put out as a group publication. Material would be distributed, and if no one objected, it was considered accepted. "Silence is consent". If there were objections, they would be discussed by group members.
- We need to teach the material to ourselves before others before we can get group approval.
- All "official" trainings are on hold until after incorporation. Individuals may teach as they wish.
- Cooperative Alliances
- Bowers said that we need to review our relationship / committment with other groups.
- Cindy went to the Western Region Training Committee (WRTC) and presented a cooperative
agreement that she had written up. The WRTC agreed to put a link to the SRG web site from the Western Region NCRC
web site. They agreed to coordinate events, so there would be no conflicts. They also agreed to
allow the SRG use of their ropes and slings on an "as available" basis.
- Ken Laidlaw wanted to make sure we used SI units and correct names in our papers.
- Fund Raising.
- Cindy discussed T-shirt ideas. Mark Bowers and Dane Mortensen said that they liked it if it was educational - like "how to build a rope stretcher".
- Cindy discussed "pocket rescue kit". Dane said he liked the T-shirts better. Ken Laidlaw said that a similar project with the MRA raised a lot of money. The important thing, Ken said, is to make sure it is small enough to get carried all the time. Ken also said that if you get materials in bulk and have a small get-together to assamble the kit, the work goes quickly.
- Mark didn't think the T-shirt idea would work because of the initial financial outlay involved ($500). Cindy will try to contact folks for a loan to get things started. Cindy will also contact folks to see about selling the items in the appropriate places.
- Web site.
- Cindy announced that the response has been positive. There have been over 1700 hits - about 10/day. No suggestions were given for improving it.
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