BMSAR is one of only 2 Volunteer Search and Rescue Teams in Massachusetts that are attached to the Massachusetts State Police Special Emergency Response Team.
This attachment is a high value for BMSAR
Members are provided with the training that they need to be deployed into any situation. Full team training's are held once a month. Typically the 3rd Sunday. Some special training's are held on other weekends during the month.
Our community is full of people who want to help. We work to help the people providing services with the people who need them. Come connect with people in new ways.
Missions end on positive notes and some on negative notes. The ones that end positive sometimes take you on a special journey...
BMSAR members receive patient extrication training from certified member David Katzenstein.
BMSAR utilizes computer programs to generate mapping for training's as well as actual missions.
I moved from Boston to the Berkshires in 2016 to get away from the city and enjoy access to outdoors, so joining the BMSAR team seemed like a great fit with my love of hiking, fishing and camping activities when I have time. I have been a member of the Dalton Fire Dept as a firefighter / EMT for several years and I always enjoy the training and missions that included lost hikers or urban searches. I also instruct CPR and First Aid, as well as different levels of EMT continuing education and initial EMT training. BMSAR ties all of that together in a way that lets me be of service to our community
Growing up, I knew that I wanted to be part of emergency. From joining the Adams Forest Wardens as a junior warden at age 15, to not having enough of forest fires, and adding myself into the Adams Fire Dept. After 28 years as a Forest Warden working with a great team, and being part of the Alert Hose Co family for 6 years, I decided that I wanted to do something different. i joined the Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue Team. I was a member for 3 years, then was asked to take over as President of the team. Now 9 years later, I'm still the president of this great family. I love everyone on this team as well as the other agencies that we work with..
I had worked at Springfield College as IT Director for 15 years. When I retired in 2011, my goal was to find something that was Human Helping, Active/Outdoors, had a Medical Component, and could include working with my K9. My first objective was to get medical training. I went back to school and trained to become an Emergency Medical Technician. Then I trained in Disaster Response and Wilderness Medical support.
I applied to BMSAR and learned to be a Ground Pounder. I then brought my K9 into the SAR training program. Now I Co-Lead the BMSAR team and my K9 Lima is trained to find live people as well as Human Remains. Being involved with BMSAR has satisfied all my retirement goals and enriched my life. I’m now working for and with a great team of dedicated people and helping those who are lost find their way.
I'am 30 years old, AEMT certified. 12 years experience in EMS and large incident management. I was an Eagle scout. I love the outdoors. I think SAR work is a great balance of both worlds. I enjoy being able to give back to the community. .
Simply put, I love to be outdoors. I am an avid hiker, backpacker and camper. I joined BMSAR upon moving to the Berkshires in 2017 in hopes of being able to give back to my community doing something that I love. I am so proud to be a part of a team of such caring and dedicated individuals.
In my everyday life, I am a licensed funeral director and embalmer with Devanny-Condron Funeral Home in Pittsfield. Before moving to the Berkshires, I worked in Worcester not only as a funeral director, but also as a contractor for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. That experience gave me extensive training and understanding when it comes to the proper handling of decedents from all kinds of situations.
My husband Korey and I are the proud fur-parents to two rescue dogs, Clayton and Luna, and we have also made a home for many rescue cats over the years.
In keeping with my love of the outdoors, I am currently working towards earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science.
BMSAR K9 trainer Jim with K9 Cooper
BMSAR Vice President and K9 Trainer Mike with K9 Lima
BMSAR Member Diane Talavera Training with Remmington for HRD Detection!
Garmin is a very reliable technology that we utilize
BMSAR team members are rarely farther apart than a few miles. BAOFENG 5 watt and 8 watt radios work well for a low cost budget.
Removing a person from the woods or transporting them from one location to another, is now much more efficient because of this equipment.
BMSAR has started to explore the uses of an aerial drone. This is the model that we have, and we can take photo's and video.
Some people use this to find fish, we on the other hand use it to locate people or evidence.
Working along with the single wheel stokes mule, extricating a patient from the forest is alot more efficient, making the transition from the single wheel to the atv transport to an awaiting ambulance.
HINSDALE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A volunteer search and rescue team, along with state and local police, continue to search in Hinsdale for a mother who has been missing more than a month.
The Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue Team will be out searching an area of woods for missing mother Jackie Coutinho.
Investigators have been searching for Coutinho in Hinsdale and alongside them is the Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue Team.
"We have been involved in this for about 18 days now and we tried to concentrate on maybe a half a mile around the house and as we haven’t found anything, we are branching out farther and farther. At this point, we are about two miles, a little more than two miles, away from the house," said search and rescue team president Michael Comeau.
In May, Coutinho vanished from her sister's backyard and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Comeau told Western Mass News that it is all volunteer-based. About 18 people are putting their boots to the ground in hopes of finding Coutinho.
BMSAR members along with search teams from other parts of the state, came out with us to look at some areas, that were of interest in a decade old murder Case.
NORTH ADAMS — "From the beginning, we suspected foul play," Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless said Friday, "and we have considered Joanne Ringer's husband, Chad Reidy, as the sole suspect."
Capeless delivered that assessment Friday morning during a news conference about Ringer, 39, who has been missing since March 2. Reidy, her husband, was found dead at the couple's Clarksburg home April 7.
"Reidy's apparent suicide," Capeless continued, "has not changed that view."
The statement at Northern Berkshire District Court marked a significant development in the case of the missing woman, which police now acknowledge they consider a potential homicide.
WASHINGTON, Mass. —
Massachusetts State Police assisted the Washington Police Department, along with the Berkshire Mountain Search & Rescue Team, on Saturday in the search for a missing elderly man.
The man, identified by police only as an 86-year-old with Alzheimer's disease was found by police at 11:35 a.m. Sunday less than a mile from his home.
With the help of a State Police helicopter, searchers located the man in a thickly wooded area about one third of a mile from his house.
The man was treated for dehydration and exposure, and is expected to be transported by ambulance to an area hospital.
GREAT BARRINGTON — A boy who got lost in Fountain Pond State Park was found safe Thursday evening after an intensive six-hour search of the area.
Rescuers descended on the park about 12:15 p.m. to begin searching the three miles of trails for the 13-year-old boy, who has autism. He was found on the top of a ridge around 7 p.m.
"He was perfectly fine," Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger told the Eagle. He said the boy was found "well off the trail."
The park was packed with over 75 officials from multiple agencies, who worked together and with the child's parents, their friends and his teacher. The boy had been hiking with a group when he went missing.
Fountain Pond State Park is a 250-acre park along Route 7 between Berkshire South Regional Community Center and Monument Mountain.
While state police helicopters hovered above, about two dozen searchers at a time combed the woods, along with personnel from the town police and fire departments, state police and other units. Several ATVs and police K-9 units were used in the search.
"This was a tremendous team effort that involved dozens of rescuers from many of our neighboring and partner agencies,” said Police Chief William Walsh in a prepared statement. “I am very pleased that so many resources could muster in a short time, resulting in the successful rescue of this young boy." The investigation involves law enforcement with numerous state and local agencies including Massachusetts State Police Detectives and the Berkshire Mountain Search & Rescue Team.
MOUNT WASHINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A missing hiker in Mount Washington has been found Sunday morning after a five-hour search.
Massachusetts State Police spokesman Dave Procopio told 22News around 8:10 p.m. police received a call from a man reporting that his 54-year-old wife was four hours late in returning from her hike around Plaintain Road.
Massachusetts State Police patrols from State Police-Lee and the Troop B Community Action Team, MSP K-9 units, and a helicopter from the MSP Air Wing began a search and rescue mission with help from Berkshire Mountain Rescue volunteers. .
August 6, 2017 by DIANE VALDEN
MT. WASHINGTON, MA—A Ghent man was killed when he slipped off a rock near Bash Bish Falls Friday night, July 28,
His body was located two days later, but cannot be recovered, according to authorities.
Aiden Campion-Pratt, 21, of Ghent was swimming with another person at a place north of the main falls. Other waterfalls cascade through the area, which was described as a gorge with 100-foot sheer rock drop-offs on either side and pools of water along the way.
Though there are trails north of the main falls, swimming is not permitted in the creek.
Mr. Campion-Pratt slipped off a rock and fell in at about 7:30 p.m.
The young man’s companion was able to tell rescuers where the “point of last contact” occurred according to Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett, who said he led the rescue team the initial night.
The sheriff said rescue teams and divers from the Copake and Hudson fire departments searched the waters coming from above and below and converging on the location where Mr. Campion-Pratt was last seen.
Sheriff’s Office diver Deputy Heath Benansky was lowered into one of the pools by means of a system of ropes rigged up by the Egremont Fire Department’s Low Angle Rescue Team.
He said the terrain up there is reminiscent of that on Mount Everest, with steep rock cliffs, crevices and ravines.
The sheriff said other rescuers searched surrounding terrain in case Mr. Campion-Pratt had made it out of the water and was able to circle around.
“After 24 hours of heroic efforts rescue personnel on the scene located the body by means of an underwater camera” at about 12:30 Sunday afternoon, “but eventually came to the reluctant decision that because of the location retrieval would not be possible,” according to a press release from Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless.
Mr. Campion-Pratt’s body cannot be recovered not because of the water, but because of the dangerous terrain, said the sheriff, who estimated that more than 100 responders were involved in the search for Mr. Campion-Pratt, including helicopter pilots, firefighters, rescue squad personnel and divers.
“Every one of them put their lives on the line,” said the sheriff, adding “it was heartbreaking not to be able to bring him back to his family.”
“Obviously everyone involved is heartsick in the ultimate outcome,” DA Capeless said in the release. “These were great efforts, under difficult and dangerous conditions, that should be recognized, and I want to extend my personal thanks to the many agencies that worked together tirelessly. Special thanks goes to the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation personnel, the office of Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett and Berkshire County Sheriff Tomas Bowler for their leadership and determined efforts. So many agencies came together to work to one end that unfortunately could not happen.”
Those involved in the search and rescue effort included members of the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department, Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office, the Pittsfield Fire Department, the Egremont Fire Department, the Southern Berkshire Ambulance squad, Berkshire Mountain Search & Rescue Team, state troopers assigned to the Lee barracks, the New York State Police, the
Copake Fire Department, the Columbia County Fire Coordinator, the Berkshire County Fire Coordinator and Fastracs Excavating of Red Hook.MOUNT WASHINGTON, Mass.
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Bill and Sean donated their time and built for our team an ATV patient transport. Utilizing this pc of equipment has made extractions most efficient and safe.