GPSAR Digital News for March / April 1998

Past issues on-line currently include...
June 1997 | July 1997 | August 1997 | September 1997 | October 1997 | November / December 1997 |
January / February 1998




Correspondence Address: Post Office Box 11292, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania 19027, U.S.A. - Apparatus Locale: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.


Emergency Outside Montgomery County, Pennsylvania: (610) 630-6744 - Emergency Within Montgomery County, Pennsylvania: "911"

Business Office: (215) 922-7225 - Fax: By Appointment - Internet E-Mail Address: [email protected] - Web Site:


In Memoriam

GPSAR Called By State - Mission Successful - Elderly Victim Will Live!

GPSAR Called To Assist In Search For 10 Year Old

GPSAR Called To Assist In Search For 9 Year Old

GPSAR Chief Asked To Appear On Television For Search And Rescue Interview

GPSAR Provides Display And Demonstration At Horse And Pet Expo

GPSAR Member News

SAR Tips !

Equine Care

Canine Care - Flea And Tick Prescription Treatments

Lizard Blood May Kill Lyme Bacteria

Painkillers Used By You Can Be Deadly To Your Four Legged Partner

Telephone Scam Alert

Top Ten Causes Of Death In The United States For 1997

A Coat That Arms!

Story Of The Month

Quote Of The Month





November 1996 - March 25, 1998


Fritz, a level 1 certified one year old German Shepherd, died on March 25, 1998 after being struck by an automobile. Partnered with Tom Mower in the Canine Unit, Fritz had been in intensive training for the last 9 months before reaching level 1. Fritz had recently completed the intensive training and had been to educational and public relations details in recent months. His sudden death was devastating for Tom, who not only lost one of his best friends, but his search partner as well. Fritz will be deeply missed not only by Tom Mower, but by all of his "teammates" as well.




On April 1, 1998, Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue was called by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to assist in a search and rescue mission for an elderly Alzheimerís victim that had left his rural home and did not return.


The search had begun on March 31, 1998 at approximately 3:30pm in the central part of the State of Pennsylvania with numerous resources.


GPSAR was contacted at 3:30am and alerted the necessary resources for immediate response as the drive alone would take almost four hours.


Upon arrival, the Chief was asked to take over as Manager of Search Operations at which time, the mission events were re-assessed. After interviewing the family again, reviewing the history of the victim and with knowledge of behavior of Alzheimerís patients, the mission was redirected to concentrate much closer to the area of the point last seen which was the victims home. The victim was found alive shortly thereafter near his home, and taken to the hospital in critical condition.


We have been advised that the victim has since recovered and been released from the hospital. GPSAR has received a letter of appreciation from the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.


Thanks go out to all GPSAR personnel involved, the Pennsylvania State Military Reserve, the Pennsylvania State Police, Northeast Search and Tactical Rescue, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the many other organizations and personnel involved in saving the life of this victim and in upholding the motto of the search community, "That Others May Live."




On March 25, 1998, Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue was called by local police in reference to a lost 10 year old boy. The boy was located by police as the dispatch for GPSAR resources was under way.




On April 5, 1998, Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue was called by State Police in reference to a possible lost 9 year child. The child was located as the dispatch for GPSAR resources was under way.




Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue was asked to appear with the Military Reserve on live television for a 30 minute interview on search and rescue in the tri-state area. The Chief appeared with three representatives of the military reserve for the in-depth interview. The station was so intrigued and satisfied with the interview, that the Chief and the military reserve have been asked back to do a series of live 30 minute "search and rescue" segments.




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.





Congratulations to Captain Hopkins for successfully completing the Instructors Training for First Aid, CPR and Stress Management in Emergency Services.


Congratulations to the following personnel that have successfully completed High Angle/Rappelling Rope Rescue Operations Training: Captain Hopkins and members Thomas, Ravenell, M. Tartaglia, Packett,


Congratulations to the following personnel that have successfully completed First Aid / CPR Training: Sergeant Hinkley, Sergeant Kratz and members Bell, Ferron, Gopaul, Gray, MacIver, Ravenell, J.Smith, A. Tartaglia, M. Tartaglia and Thomas.


Congratulations to the following personnel that have successfully completed First Responder (HazMat) Awareness Training: Members Bell, Gingras and Mower.






Congratulations to the following personnel that have successfully completed Structural Collapse Operations Training: David A. Gingras.


Congratulations to the following personnel that have successfully completed Aircraft Crash Rescue Training: Members Gingras, Gray and M. Tartaglia.


Congratulations to Captain Hopkins for successfully completing the Air Force Search and Rescue Training Program.


Congratulations to the following new personnel that have successfully completed the Basic Search and Rescue Operations Training Program: David Gingras, Kathryn Grimshaw, Sage Kelsey, Maria MacIver, Elliot Menkowitz, Jeff Smith, Alison Tartaglia and Denny Waldman.






Did you know that the best Lyme disease treatment for early cases is inexpensive oral antibiotics, not the high priced intravenous drugs sometimes recommended? A two week treatment with Doxycycline pills costs about $10.00, compared with $3,000.00 for treatment with intravenous Ceftriaxone. But researchers found no difference in the effectiveness of the two drugs and the side effects were more common with intravenous treatment!


Did you know that bagels beat energy bars for quick energy boost during exercise? Bagels provide the same amount of carbohydrates and are less expensive!


Did you know that when hiking or camping with small children, you should attach a whistle onto their clothing so they can use it to alert should they become separated or lost? This simple tip has already saved the lives of small children!


Thanks to the New England Journal of Medicine and Strength and Conditioning publications for the above tips.




External Parasites (Flies) - Hovering and biting flies, gnats, and mosquitoes can annoy you and your equine partner. These external parasites are more than an inconvenience: they carry disease to which your horse is susceptible. Equine sleeping sickness and equine infectious anemia are but two of the serious ailments spread by biting insects.


Spraying is one method of insect control, and there are many sprays available. Most, however, are short-term solutions. Longer-term pest control methods include fly strips attached to a halter or braided into a tail. Mesh "fly masks" can also keep face flies from your horseís eyes and ears.


A few simple changes to your barn or pasture can also bring relief to your horse. Certain flies dislike shaded areas, so a dark run-in shed or heavily treed pasture can deter them. You can place fans at both ends of a barn aisle; the breeze will keep many types of barn flies away.

You can make additional changes to your horseís environment in order to diminish insect populations. Draining low-lying areas of stagnant water, removing old tires or emptying buckets reduces mosquito breeding areas. Dragging pastures breaks up manure piles that serve as breeding grounds for flies. Locating manure piles away from pasture and barn areas keeps flies at a distance; composting the manure before spreading it kills their larvae. You can also purchase and release a harmless wasp that feeds on fly larvae.


There are dietary solutions as well. A feed supplement called Equitrol stays in horse manure and prevents the hatching of any fly eggs laid there.


Regardless of the ways you choose to control external parasites, remember to read all product labels carefully and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns.


Internal Parasites (Worms) - Internal parasite control is an essential part of horse care. These parasites, generally called "worms," live in a horseís digestive tract. There are four types: ascarids, or roundworms, large and small strongyles, oxyuris, or pinworms, and gasterophilus, or bots.


Ascarids and strongyles can cause serous health problems in your horse, from a poor haircoat and weight loss to colic and death. Pinworms can drive a horse to itch, scratch, and rub its rear quarters to the point of hair loss and sores. Bots, which are actually not worms at all, but fly larvae that migrate to a horseís stomach, will complete their life cycle and grow into adult botflies if left untreated.


Deworming medications can control all of these parasites. Many come in an oral paste that you place between the horseís molars and cheek. Others come in pellets that you can mix with feed. The most common active ingredients in deworming medications are ivermectin, pyrantel, and benzimidazole. Not every medication will control all parasites. Be sure to read all labels before buying and consulting your veterinarian if you have any questions.


Deworming should typically be performed every 60 to 90 days, year round. Boticides should be administered twice yearly, usually in the fall after the first killing frost and again in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Itís a good idea to change dewormers periodically so the parasites donít build up a resistance to one medication formula.


Horses prone to becoming reinfected with worms could benefit from Strongid C. This product, a continuous dewormer that prevents worms from ever starting, is contained in an alfalfa pellet that can be fed to a horse daily.


Grooming - Whether you show your equine partner or use them for search and rescue operations, good grooming is an important part of horse ownership. Most horses enjoy the attention of regular grooming and look forward to the daily ritual. Grooming not only strengthens the bond between you and your partner, it lets you spot minor scratches, cuts, rashes or swelling before they become major problems.


Most professionals follow a four step grooming procedure that involves currying, brushing, toweling and hoof cleaning.


Currying is the most important of the four. Currying removes dead hair and dirt, massages the skin and stimulates the release of natural oils that make the coat shine. Use a round rubber currycomb. Move the rubber currycomb in a circular motion, making numerous circles over every inch of your partners coat. Put some muscle into it, as your horse will love the massage.


Brushing should be done in short, firm strokes. Start with a hard-bristle brush to remove mud, manure and other debris from your horseís coat. Follow with a medium-bristle brush to take out the dirt the currycomb brought to the surface. Then use a soft-bristle brush for facial and lower leg areas and for finishing touches.


For toweling, take a terry cloth towel and "polish" your horse as if you were polishing a car. Move the towel in a brisk, circular motion over the entire body, from head to toe, nose to tail. Use a dry cotton towel to finish, rubbing hard along the grain of the hair.








"That Others May Live"

Give your horseís hooves a thorough cleaning. A good hoof pick and a small, stiff brush are all you need. Start by picking all the dirt, stones, manure, and bedding from the sole of the hoof, use short movements with the pick, beginning at the heel and working your way to the toe. Use the brush to finish the job, making sure to flick out the leavings. You can also use the brush to clean dirt off the outside of the hoof, from the coronary band downward. You may also wish to apply a hoof dressing, top and bottom, to protect it and prevent it from drying.




To win the war on fleas for your canine partner, you must interrupt the flea life cycle and stop them in their earliest stages of development.


Program, an Insect Growth Regulator, prevents eggs from developing into adult fleas. With Program for dogs, flea prevention is a simple as heartworm prevention, all it takes is a single, monthly tablet. Program is carried in the canines blood stream and prevents flea eggs from developing even after adult fleas bite the dog.


Advantage, requires just a few drops applied to the canineís skin: between the shoulder blades of the dog. Aided by body movement, Advantage eventually spreads over the entire surface of the skin. Advantage starts killing adult fleas immediately; within 24 hours, 98 to 100% of adult fleas are dead. A single dose works for at least four weeks on dogs.


Frontline Top Spot, controls both fleas and ticks for one month or more with just one application between the dogs shoulder blades. Top Spot spreads naturally across the dogs skin and continually reapplies itself for long-term control. It remains effective after shampooing and swimming, yet it is gentle enough for puppies.


Before utilizing any of the above treatments, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.




Scientists think they have discovered why Lyme disease that menaces the eastern United States is so much less common in the California area: Lizards !


Robert Lane, a University of California, Berkeley, insect biologist, said ticks with the disease can be cleansed of the infection when they feed on the blood of the common western fence lizard.


The lizardís blood apparently contains an unidentified heat-sensitive protein that kills the Lyme disease bacteria.


The newly published findings may explain why there is less tick-borne Lyme disease in California than in northeastern states, where the debilitating illness was discovered and given its name.


Lane conducted a series of laboratory experiments using young Lyme disease-infected ticks and fence lizards. He had determined eight years ago that the lizards appeared to be immune to Lyme disease despite infestation with tick nymphs. His latest research, suggest why.


The experiments first ruled out the possibility that antibodies produced by the lizardís immune system were able to neutralize the Lyme disease bacteria. Test tube experiments found that Lyme disease bacteria bathed in lizardís blood died within one hour, while control samples grown in mouse blood lasted three days.


Researchers are now trying to determine the precise nature of the Lyme-killing protein, and whether it can lead to a treatment for the disease.


In California, only about one in every 200,000 persons is infected with Lyme disease. In Connecticut, where Lyme disease was first discovered in the rural town of Lyme, the rate is 100 times higher.





Never give any human medication to an animal unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian. According to Alison Knox, DVM who practices in Vermont, medications such as Naproxen, Ibuprofen and especially Acetaminophen can be lethal, and, there is no antidote for these drugs.




There is a new (confirmed) telephone scam that is quickly spreading across the United States. Criminals, detained in prisons, are using this scam to rip telephone customers and the phone company off.


The scam starts with a telephone call from an individual who identifies himself as an AT&T service technician who is running a test on your telephone line. The caller states that in order to complete the test you will need to touch "9,0" and then the pound sign "#" and hang up.


When someone became suspicious and contacted the telephone company, they were informed that by pushing "9,0#", you end up giving the caller access to your telephone line. This allows them to place a long distance phone call with the charges appearing on your telephone bill.


This scam has been originating from many of the local jails and prisons. AT&Tís customer service and security have confirmed that this scam is true. Any questions and/or problems can be referred to AT&Tís security division.




Cause of Death Number of Deaths

1. Disease of the heart 938,750

2. Cancer and other neoplasms 536,330

3. Cerebrovascular disease 156,500

4. Obstructive pulmonary disease 102,940

5. Accidents and adverse effects 89,960

6. Pneumonia and influenza 79,630

7. Diabetes 58,450

8. (HIV) infection 42,690

9. Suicide 30,350

10. Liver disease and cirrhosis 25,650




A fresh coat of paint could turn your house and workplace into a germ-free zone shortly. A new antibacterial paint can kill 99% of bacteria and viruses within an hour of contact, for at least four years. Hospitals will be buying tankers of this calcium-hydroxide paint to reduce the almost 2 million infections contracted in hospitals each year. It appears that it will be especially beneficial in air-conditioning ducts, which transmit airborne bacteria and allergens. The antibacterial paint should be available across the country by September 1998.




United States postal inspectors said a man calling himself "John Walker" unsuccessfully attempted an apparently too-well-known scam: he mailed 100,000 letters to restaurants across the country demanding that they reimburse him $9.20 for a fictional incident in which a waiter spilled a drink on his silk sports jacket. Inspectors found that Walker received 20 pieces of mail in reply, which would have earned him a total of $184.00, compared to his postage costs of $29,000.00.




Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson