GPSAR Digital News for January / February 1998

Past issues on-line currently include...
June 1997 | July 1997 | August 1997 | September 1997 | October 1997 | November / December 1997 |




In Memoriam

GPSAR Called To Assist In Search For 7 Year Old

GPSAR Called To Assist In Search For 82 Year Old Alzheimer’s Victim

GPSAR Provides Display And Demonstrations At Fort Washington Expo

GPSAR Officers, Executive Board Members And Committee Chairs

GPSAR Member News

Message From The Chief

GPSAR News To Be Published Bi-Monthly

Message From The Education And Training Committee Chair

Study Casts Doubt On Lyme Disease Treatment

Important Information And Statistics To Know From The American Heart Association

Story Of The Month

Quote Of The Month






Cody’s Lucky Jack ("Lucky")

April 14, 1992 - February 14, 1998


Cody’s Lucky Jack (known as "Lucky"), a level 3 certified five year old quarter horse, died on February 14, 1998 after being struck by an automobile. Partnered with Captain Caroline Zollers in the Equine Unit, Lucky had been raised and trained by her since birth. Lucky had recently completed extensive training and had been to search and rescue missions and educational/public relations details in recent months. His sudden death was devastating for Captain Zollers, who not only lost one of her best friends, but her search partner as well. Lucky will be deeply missed not only by Captain Zollers, but by all of his "teammates".




On December 21, 1997, Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue was called by a local Police Department in reference to a lost 7 year old boy. The boy was located by police as the dispatch for GPSAR personnel was under way.





On February 9, 1998, Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue was called by State Police in reference to a lost Alzheimer's patient. The patient was successfully located approximately 5 hours after she "walked out" from the location at which she was residing.




Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue personnel provided a display, recruiting booth and demonstration at the 1998 Horse and Pet Expo held at the Fort Washington Expo Center on February 6, 7, 8, 1998. The display provided excellent exposure for GPSAR. Numerous persons were interested in membership and information on GPSAR. Members of our Canine Unit were utilized for both the "Show of Breeds" and the "Search and Rescue Demonstration". We have already been contacted and asked to return next year for providing the display, recruiting booth and demonstrations all three days.




As of January 1, 1998, the following GPSAR personnel have been promoted and/or will serve in the following capacity/rank. Additionally, the following members will serve as "Chairpersons" for the following committees. Please note that at the speed of our growth, additional personnel will most likely be promoted before mid 1998, so all personnel, keep up the good work.



Steven L. Labov, ICS, MSO - Chief of Department

William Ludwig, ICS - Assistant Chief

Timothy J. Wallace, MSO - Assistant Chief

Mark Hopkins, ICS, MSO - Senior Captain

Carol Zollers, MSO - Captain

Peggy Kratz - Sergeant

Charles Mankin - Sergeant

LaRone Marshman, MSO - Sergeant

Nadine Hinkley, MSO - Sergeant



Steven L. Labov, ICS, MSO - Chief of Department

William Ludwig, III, ICS - Assistant Chief - Co-Financial Officer

Timothy J. Wallace, MSO - Assistant Chief / Co-Secretary

Mark Hopkins, ICS, MSO - Senior Captain - Membership Chair

Nadine Hinkley, MSO - Sergeant / Sergeant-at-Arms

Chuck Mankin - Sergeant / Sergeant-at-Arms

Rosella Gray - Co-Secretary

Ross Kaplan, MSO - Co-Financial Officer

David Park, ICS, MSO - Sergeant-at-Arms

Stuart Zonies (Non Voting Member)



Audit/Finance Committee Chair - Ross Kaplan, MSO

Awards Committee Chair - Sergeant Nadine Hinkley, MSO

Budget Committee - Executive Board

Constitution and By-Laws Committee Chair - Rosella Gray

Education and Training Committee Chair - Captain Mark Hopkins, ICS, MSO

Ethics, Integrity and Grievance Committee - Executive Board

Explorer Liaison Committee Chair - Thomas Mower, MSO

Fund Raising Committee Chairs - Sheila Crouthamel and Donna Ferron, MSO

Membership Committee Chair - Captain Mark Hopkins, ICS, MSO

Public Relations Liaison and Professional Standards Committee Chair - Assistant Chief Timothy J. Wallace, MSO

Safety Committee Chair - Sergeant Charles Mankin

Strategic Planning Committee Chair - Donna Ferron, MSO




Congratulations to Chief Labov for being presented with the Lifesaving Award and Medal by Major General Eric M. Harwood, of the Pennsylvania State Military Reserve.


Congratulations to Sergeant Mankin for being chosen as one of the photographers to cover the emergency services event, "A Day in the Life of the World’s Bravest" which was a multimedia event utilizing the worldwide web, television and radio. His expertise was utilized in photographing the Philadelphia Fire Department.


Congratulations to the following new personnel that have successfully completed the Basic Search and Rescue Operations Training Program: Lynn Bell, Christopher Currie, Donna Ferron, Mike Packett, Frank Gopaul, Rosella Gray, Lillian McKinney, Crawford Mechem, MD, Matthew Tartaglia and Mary Thomas.


Congratulations to the following personnel that have successfully completed the Public Safety Officer OC Defensive Training Program: Assistant Chief Wallace, Captain Hopkins, Captain Zollers, Sergeant Hinkley, Sergeant Kratz and members Ross Kaplan, John Tyler, Carol Wallace, Chris Wallace, Lynn Bell, Donna Ferron, Frank Gopaul, Rosella Gray, Crawford Mechem, MD, David Park, Patricia Smirniotis, Matthew Tartaglia and Denny Waldman.


Congratulations to the following personnel that have successfully completed the Leadership Training Program: Assistant Chief T.J. Wallace, Captain Mark Hopkins, Captain Caroline Zollers, Sergeant Nadine Hinkley, Sergeant LaRone Marshman and member Dave Park.


Congratulations to the following personnel that have successfully completed the Bloodborne Pathogens Awareness Training Program: Chief Labov and members Gray, Grimshaw and Ravenell.


Congratulations to the following personnel that have successfully completed the Incident Command Systems Specialist (ICS) Training Program: Captain Mark Hopkins and member David Park.


Congratulations to member Denny Waldman and his partner "Magic" for certifying to Advanced Level 3 in the Equine Units Certification Training Program.


Congratulations to member Pat Smirniotis and her partner "Chester" for certifying to Level 1 in the Canine Units Certification Training Program and, for Chester being chosen by Trainers Choice in their calendar photo contest as pin-up of the month for June 1998. In addition to SAR work, Chester also works part-time as a therapy canine. In his off time, he enjoys relaxing, soccer, frisbee and fishing.




I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in electing me as Chief of Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue for 1998 and 1999. Membership at the beginning of 1998 is the highest in the history of GPSAR. While a Basic Search and Rescue Training Class was just conducted, we are currently setting up another, as we have in excess of 10 more new members for March. We have many tasks ahead of us. Our mission statement will be changing to also include "education" of the public towards search and rescue. Keep your eye on future issues of GPSAR News, as we have many changes upcoming including new "specialty units," an Explorer Post through the Boy Scouts of America program, increased PEMA and FEMA training programs and many, many other things. With your continued help, GPSAR will continue to be the "biggest and best" search and rescue organization in the tri-state area.




With the development of Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue’s web site, GPSAR News will now be published every other month. Members of GPSAR will have all information available to them in the "Members Only" area of the web site. For those that do not have a computer or access to the web site, GPSAR News will now have an extended Calendar of Events so that they will be able to keep up to date from one hard copy issue to the next in so far as details and training are concerned. GPSAR News is usually an 8 page issue, however, an increase in the number of pages per issue is being considered. Please forward any comments on GPSAR News to our e-mail or mailing address.




As the new Chair for the Education and Training Committee for Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue, I feel that I have a big task in front of me. Membership is on the rise and things are changing on a daily basis in this field.


We will be trying out several new ideas to see how they work for our membership. These ideas include: Training workshops for 2 or 3 hours after a business meeting, more in-house training's taught by GPSAR members and members of mutual aid groups, opening some training's up to outside emergency services organizations, etc.


I would like some feedback and ideas from members. I feel that everyone has something to offer and a skill to teach. I want everyone out there to think of what they can share with the membership and get in touch with me. My contact information is on the member phone/contact list. Please feel free to use it.


With your help and commitment, this can be our best training year ever.



Captain Hopkins




For those members that would like to buy uniforms directly and have them sent directly to your door, you may order them from "The Sportsman’s Guide" at 1-800-888-3006




Doctors should not immediately order blood tests and prescribe antibiotics when people bitten by ticks express fears of contracting Lyme disease, according to a study published by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, doctors don’t know what questions to ask to determine if people are at risk of contracting the nonfatal disease.


Or, physicians simply order the tests and prescribe the antibiotics without considering if such measures are necessary, according to the study which was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.


Physicians may be caving into demands from patients for immediate drug treatment according to Dr. Alan Barbour of the University of California. He stated "although patients may have many facts about Lyme disease, perhaps more that their physicians, many of those facts may be inaccurate or need to be placed in the right context. Doing so requires straight talking from the physician, rather than reaching for the lab order sheet or prescription pad."


Researchers examined 142 people who reported tick bites but no symptoms. Two-thirds underwent blood tests for Lyme disease and 55 percent received antibiotics, the study showed. None of the 142 developed Lyme disease.


The study also indicated that the use of serologic tests makes little if any contribution to the management of patients with tick bites and is not a small issue in the light of costs. The average cost per patient was $205.00.


A physician who is a Lyme disease expert in New Jersey feels "it is better to treat patients even if they don’t have the symptoms. It is important to get a jump as testing may not become positive for five weeks. The window for treatment may be in the first week."


The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received more than 98,000 reports of Lyme disease cases from state health departments from 1982 through 1996. Symptoms include fatigue, chills, fever, joint pain and a bulls-eye rash around the tick bite. Without treatment, it can cause arthritis, numbness, paralysis of the facial muscles and an irregular heartbeat. Peggy Sturmfels, 48, of Jackson, New Jersey, got the disease in 1981 but was not diagnosed until 1987. By then, the damage had been done. She stated, "I have problems with my hips and joints. I have neurological problems, is the danger treating too soon, too often? I don’t think so."




As emergency service personnel, you should all be aware of the following information:


Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), can buy extra time for a victim. Administering CPR can be a very personal choice, however, it is extremely valuable to know, if even for your own family.


When someone stops breathing, or heart stops beating, they typically can survive for only 4 to 6 minutes before lack of oxygen can result in brain damage or death. CPR can buy extra time, until professional help can take over, by artificially circulating oxygen to the brain.


Over 70% of all cardiac and breathing emergencies occur in the home when a family member is present and available to help the victim.


Accidental injuries, including choking and drowning, are the leading cause of death in children, and send over 16 million children a year to the emergency room.


Over 1.5 million heart attacks occur each year, and approximately 350,000 of these people die before ever reaching a hospital.


CPR saves lives! Statistics show that the earlier CPR is initiated, the greater the chances of survival. The American Heart Association estimates that 100,000 to 200,000 lives of adults and children could be saved each year if CPR were performed early enough.


Retention of CPR learning is a major issue, according to the American Heart Association. In fact, studies have shown that memory of CPR skills and knowledge tends to deteriorate as early as three months after training, even among highly trained professionals including doctors, nurses, etc. This is one reason why Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue will be setting up short refreshers throughout the year.


CPR is not just for heart attacks either. Approximately 7 million adults and children suffer disabling injuries in their own homes and backyards each year, resulting from accidents which may require CPR, according to the American Heart Association. Some of the common causes of "sudden death" that may require CPR include: electric shock, heart attacks, drowning, severe allergic reactions, choking, drug overdose and suffocation.


The country’s number 1 killers, a combination of heart attacks and accidents, claim a life every 34 seconds in the United States. One is six men and one in eight women age 45 and over have had a heart attack or stroke according to the American Heart Association. Approximately 45% of all heart attacks occur in people under age 65.




A North Carolina man, having purchased a case of rare, very expensive cigars, insured them against (of all things), fire.


Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of fabulous cigars, and having yet to make a single premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the man stated that he had lost the cigars in "a series of small fires."


The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in a normal fashion. The man sued... and won!


In delivering his ruling, the judge stated that since the man held a policy from the company in which it had stated that the cigars were insurable, and also guaranteed that it would insure the cigars against fire, without defining what it considered to be "unacceptable fire," it was obligated to compensate the insured for his loss.


Rather than endure a lengthily and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the judge’s ruling and paid the man $15,000.00 for the rare cigars he lost in "the fires." After the man cashed his check, however, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson.


With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used as evidence against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning the rare cigars and sentenced to 24 consecutive one year terms.




Few men have the natural strength to honor a friend’s success without envy.