Cognitive De-biasing Strategies for Critical, Time Sensitive Decision-making in Austere Environmental Emergencies

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Presenter: Andrew Munoz | MRA Webinar Series | 

What I Learned Spending 14 hours Peeing In My Wetsuit |

December 5th, 2015 saw two cavers trapped by rising flood waters on Vancouver Island, BC. Andrew Munoz was one of those cavers, tasked with extracting and reviving his nearly drowned companion. This situation is harrowing enough, but his GoPro just happened to be running and the entire ordeal was caught on film.

Having your worst moment preserved in High Def. allows for ample time for personal reflection and post-incident analysis.

Join Andrew as he breaks down the incident, play-by-play, taking you through the decision making process used by professional rescuers when seconds count. The unbelievable footage, combined with Andrew’s scathing introspection, will leave the viewers with lessons they won’t soon forget.

Andrew Munoz began his caving in 2003, working his way around the world leading tours and expeditions for the next 10 years. He left his guiding career to pursue a path as a first responder and works as a Paramedic and Industrial Fire Fighter on Vancouver Island, B.C with his wife Sarah and daughter Juniper. He has focused on the science of cognitive decision making, exploring strategies to equip rescuers with the mental tools they need to make the right decision when seconds count.

My Life on the Line: 40 Years with PMI

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Presenter: Nancy Aulenbach | Webinar |
Join us as we celebrate PMI’s 40th anniversary with the product that started it all – the PMI® Pit Rope. Since this rope was created by cavers for caving, it seems only fitting that our webinar speaker is a caver. With over 44 years of cave exploring under her belt, Nancy Aulenbach has been a fan of PMI from the very start, and is certainly a good judge of rope character! Nancy will be sharing stories of some of her favorite caving adventures around the world, and give us a look back in time when PMI changed the quality of vertical caving forever.

Above Ground Rescue VS Cave Rescue

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Presenter: Debbie Spoons | MRA Webinar Series |
Would your rescue team be effective during a cave rescue? What are your resources? Do you even need outside resources? This webinar will discuss the drastic differences between above ground rescues and underground rescues and the different resources available to you. Many rescue teams are literally caught between a rock and a hard spot when attempting to conduct a cave rescue. The techniques that we rely on above ground do not always work underground. Did you know that for every 10 minutes a person travels into a cave, it will take trained cave rescuers an hour or more to remove the person if they are not able to walk themselves? Most cave rescues take multiple hours to, many times, days to complete.

You and your team also have to deal with the stress of: total darkness, small, cramped, wet working areas, and the stress of being underground for hours at a time. Confined space training is not adequate for cave rescues. Some of the differences between above and underground rescues include: haul systems, logistics, pre-planning, communications (or lack thereof), ICS, resources, moving patient, medical considerations, and other rescuer considerations.

Debbie Spoons has been a member of Utah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue since 2010. Debbie attends hundreds of hours of classes each year in cave rescue techniques, not only as a student but also as an instructor. She is a Level 2 NCRC – (National Cave Rescue Commission) and will complete Level 3 this summer. Debbie is the NSS (National Speleological Society) Webinar Chair and is in the process of building a “Cave Safety/Cave Rescue Library”, through hosting educational webinars. You can view these webinars at

An Inside Look at Mexico’s Crystal Caves Featured on National Geographic

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Presenter: Angie Lucht | Webinar | 
National Geographic went inside one of the greatest natural marvels on the planet – a giant crystal cave described as Superman’s Fortress, with magnificent crystals up to 36 feet long and weighing 55 tons. Our presenter, Angie Lucht, was one of the four cavers/mountain rescuers on the team that went into the caves. She will talk about the boundaries of the physical limitations and new explorations while filming “Into the Lost Crystal Caves”.