By Mary O’KEEFE
Last weekend Montrose Search and Rescue was busy with several back-to-back calls.
“I can’t remember so much happening in such a [short amount] of time,” said Mike Leum, MSR member.
On Saturday, in the matter of a few hours, the team responded to three accidents, two missing hikers out of the Red Box Canyon area, three missing mountain bikers and a person who activated their locating beacon indicating they needed help.
“We were all scrambling, but we got everything resolved,” he said.
To date that brings the MSR response to 14 for the month of June, making this year at least 25% busier than last year.
“We could have our busiest year in history,” Leum said.
Leum added many of the rescue calls concern hikers and their lack of familiarity of the area in which they are hiking in.
“They are walking past signs that [read] closed trail,” he said. “And no one is filling out the hiking safety plan.”
The safety plan was developed by LASD as a way to provide information about the hiker or camper for search and rescue teams if needed. Many times a person will go hiking or camping and leave minimal or no information with family and friends. A hiker stating that he or she is on a trail in the Angeles National Forest is not enough information to help MSR find someone who is lost.
With the upcoming 4th of July weekend, Leum reminds those who want to venture out into the wilderness, or just on local trails, to “tell someone where you are going, don’t go alone and have a plan.”
And go prepared with enough water and food for the trip.
The Hiking Safety Plan can be found at http://file.lacounty.gov/lasd/cms1_163961.pdf or go to CV Sheriff’s Station at 4554 Briggs Ave. in La Crescenta.