Itís Great Weather For Search And Rescue
By Mike Wallace
Director, Superstition Search & Rescue
The weather now is awesome for rescue work. Not in the way you may think though.
Superstition Search and Rescue has had another very busy year so far. We averaged 1.5 rescues a week for the first four months of 2008. In May, we saw a decrease of numbers down to one rescue a week.
In June, when the temperatures reached the hundreds, fortunately, the number of people needing assistance drop to nearly zero. So, you see it is awesome weather for rescue work.
As much as we love what we do, ultimately no rescue is a better option for either the rescuer or for those in need of rescue. In this heat, most people avoid the outdoors, and the few who do venture out, usually are the more experienced and are prepared.
Even if prepared, there are risks. In this heat, the body can lose up to one liter of water an hour due to perspiration, evaporation, and urination.
The average person can only absorb 24 ounces of water an hour. So, even if a person is hydrating, there is a potential of an approximate 10-ounce loss of water an hour.
Dehydration affects body-core temperature, endurance, and most important — your ability to think. A mere 1 percent loss of normal body fluids starts affecting rational thinking.
These consequences of water loss do not only happen to those who become lost or are the victims of injury. The dangers of dehydration are just as risky for the search team members.
So when I say it is good weather for search and rescue, I mean it. It’s great because it keeps most of the unlucky, the lost, and the crazies where they should be — chillin’ in the indoors, pounding a large glass of ice water.