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Alberta Cave Rescue Organization Needs List

ACRO is 100% volunteer driven and being a technical rescue organization, most of our energy is devoted to maintaining our capacity as an emergency response agency, i.e. training, practices and mock exercises. Our annual income is approximately $1000 per year with the remainder contributed via blood, sweat and tears.

If you are able to help us by providing the following, we would be extremely grateful!

Funding for 2011 Workshop Facilities

Unlike previous years, we were not able to source training facilities for FREE and therefore had no choice but to book a facility that will provide us classroom space, outdoor field space and accommodations/kitchen facilities for just over $3100. At this point, our only option is to pass on the entire cost of the facility to our participants and instructors. The two workshops combined run five full days including evening sessions which is why having facilities close or commensurate with accommodation is ideal as it maximizes the time able to cover the material and practice the skills. If you would like to fund part of all of the facility costs, we want to hear from you!

SRT Training Kits - we spend a lot of time trying to pull together odds and ends from our personal SRT kits in order to introduce cavers to Single Rope Techniques (SRT) at our workshops. If we had complete adjustable SRT kits that we could "assign" for the duration of the training, it would greatly benefit us. The kits that we need to assemble include

  • Adjustable caving harness
  • Chest Croll
  • Handled Ascender or Non-handled
  • Steel semi-circle Maillon (or equivalent)
  • Adjustable foot loop
  • Adjustable chest harness
  • Helmet
  • Headlamp
  • Two locking carabiners, one non-locking (prefer notchless)
  • Storage bag

Branding / Graphic Design Currently we are working with LDI Solutions on some logo ideas. We gratefully appreciate Scotty Lee's assistance and hard work!

Communications / Media Relations - if you have communications strategy or media relations experience, we could use your help in dealing with media inquiries during responses, or in helping us to formulate communication strategies for major training events.

Technical rescue equipment - if you are a distributor or supplier of technical rescue equipment, please contact our Equipment Coordinator to determine latest needs. We are always in need of consumables such as 1 inch tubular webbing and 8 mm cord. We can always use more static rope (11 mm preferred).

Hardware - we are currently in need for approximately 32 locking carabiners preferably of 28 - 30 kN MBS

Ropes - our preference is New England KMIII, diameter of 11 mm. We are also interested in HTP diameter 10.5 mm.

Rescue Randy (to simulate a rescue load) - while we often use live loads during training (ourselves!) it would be nice to simulate live loads during rigging analysis practices to determine the best rigging points and not have one of our rigging volunteers have to be in the stretcher. lets look at the one with sand bags for weight instead as it can be divided up between people for carrying.

Stretcher wheel - it sure helps to have a wheel when carrying a subject over long distances from the cave entrance to a location where they can be transferred to medical care. Experience has shown that wheels work well even in sloping and challenging terrain. We have cascade stretchers although a wheel with a universal attachment system would work as well.

Automated call-out notification service - we currently subscribe to OneCallNow and plan to continue with this service. The fees are approximately $100 per year. If you would like to donate funding for this purpose, please let us know.

Seamstress / industrial sewing - whether cave bags, cave rescue suits, exposure bags, edge protection, etc. We can always use the services of a industrial seamstress.

Material Supplier - our exposure bags, cave packs are made from heavy duty PVC (or equivalent). If you can supply this material, and we can find an industrial sewer, we can make bags for our rigging equipment and personal equipment needed during rescue. We also provide fleece layers as part of our patient packaging kits.

Sleeping bags (synthetic insulation only) - we use sleeping bags / blankets to package our patient as cave environments can be very cold when one can't move to generate heat. Take a look at this bag.

Hypothermia heating kit - a couple of our members have purchased HeatPac kits and are willing to make them available to ACRO during call-outs if needed, but it would be great if ACRO could include one in each regional gear cache (THREE total). At a minimum, it would be great to be able to replace fuel cartridges for the personal ones used during cave rescue training. If you can help out with this, let us know!

Training facilities - As Fire Departments / Municipalities become more and more concerned about their own liability and operational funding, the opportunities for us to train at locations where rope rescue techniques can be utilized have diminished. Recently, due to a joint training relationship with CALSARA we were able to host training at the Multi-Agency Training Facility in Calgary. This was facilitated by a City employee who also happened to be an ACRO volunteer. Access to this facility is only available to ACRO for a $500/day booking fee and this only includes the rope tower and not other related facilities (such as the rubble pile, simulated storm system, and classrooms). ACRO currently has liability insurance as funded through the Government of Alberta. If you can help us lobby to secure reasonable access and opportunity to this and other locations, that would be greatly appreciated.

SRT Kits - while all members who are operational are expected to have their own SRT kit (harness / ascenders / descenders / cows tails, etc) we often find that during training those new to caving / cave rescue may not have the necessary equipment. We would like to put together some kits that can be "borrowed" by members during training or operations that would include a cave harness, chest harness, ascender, petzl stop, 9 mm dynamic rope cowstails, carabiners, etc. If you are willing to donate this equipment, please let us know.

Governance - We've recently incorporated as a society within Alberta as of March 15, 2010. If you're interested in by-laws, organizational governance, development of policy, etc we'd welcome you to assist us in working on these areas.

Information Technology - we utilize a number of on-line resources including this wiki page, an email distribution list (MailMan), a training management system (ITM by Mission Control) and various links to other pages. If you have wiki, data entry, or similar skills please let us know.

Treasurer - as we continue to develop, we know people are going to want to support us and we want to handle any donated monies appropriately ensuring transparency and due diligence. If you are familiar with basic accounting / financial practices, please let us know!!

Fundraising - while our operating budget is currently quite small, there are things that require funding. If you have experience in fundrasing please let us know!


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