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About ITRS

John Dill of Yosemite Search and Rescue originally conceived of the idea for a symposium dedicated exclusively to technical rescue, where ideas, practices and experiences could be shared in the spirit of advancing rescue methodology.

To bring this idea to fruition, an organization was sought to sponsor the symposium and back it financially. At the time, Steve Hudson of Pigeon Mountain Industries was a member of the NASAR Board of Directors and was instrumental in NASAR (National Association for Search And Rescue) becoming the first sponsor of NATRS (North American Technical Rescue Symposium).

In 1998, NASAR opted to discontinue its sponsorship of NATRS. Steve Hudson then contacted Jim Frank, founder of CMC Rescue, and suggested that PMI and CMC Rescue become sponsors, to which both parties agreed. The name of the symposium was changed to the International Technical Rescue Symposium (ITRS) and was held in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1999.

Today, ITRS is proudly co-hosted by CMC and PMI. The annual symposium is open to anyone who registers – up to 150 presenters/attendees. Those who attend represent a broad spectrum of the technical rescue community including fire, mountain, cave, urban, industrial and swiftwater rescue. Presenters share their own research, testing, and field experience for the benefit of all to consider and apply, and the symposium size provides an ideal setting for active discussion and learning.


Best Presentations

2016 Winners

Most Practical Presentation – Kirk Mauthner

Best New Research – Mike Forbes and Matt Hunt

Most Enjoyable Presentation – Andrew Munoz

Most Thought-Provoking Presentation – Chris Feder

Best Paper Provided –  Tom Evans and Sarah Truebe

Steve Hudson Award (most votes overall) – Kirk Mauthner

 

2015 Winners

Most Practical Presentation – Tom Evans / Sarah Truebe – A Review of Webbing Anchor Research

Best New Research – John Morton – What if Trees Had Ratings in kN? Tree Anchor “Ratings” Based on Wind Loading

Most Enjoyable Presentation – Majid Sabetzadeh – Search and Rescue in the Middle East

Most Thought-Provoking Presentation – Richard Delaney – Rescue Tripod Instability

Best Paper Provided – Mike Forbes – The Sharp End of the Edge

Steve Hudson Award (most votes overall) – John Morton – What if Trees Had Ratings in kN? Tree Anchor “Ratings” Based on Wind Loading

 

2014 Winners

Most Practical Presentation – Roger and Amanada Mortimer – Specific Teaching Practices to Increase Learning in SAR Training

Best New Research – DJ Walker and Russell McCullar – Slow Pull Testing of Progress Capture Devices

Most Enjoyable Presentation – Mike Gibbs – Rigging for Rescue

Most Thought-Provoking Presentation – Kirk Mauthner – Moving Beyond 10:1 SSSF

Best Paper Provided – Tom Evans – Empirical Breaking Strengths of Single Prussiks of 4 Diameters on 11mm Static Rope

Steve Hudson Award (most votes overall) – Kirk Mauthner – Moving Beyond 10:1 SSSF

 

2013 Winners

Most Practical Presentation – Roger and Amanda Mortimer – Improving SAR Training

Best New Research – Cory Jackson – The Alpine Near-Miss Survey

Most Enjoyable Presentation – Allen Padgett and William “Buddy” Lane – A Complex Technical Rescue

Most Thought-Provoking Presentation – March Beverly and Stephen Attaway– Trackline Forces, Truth and Lore

Best Paper Provided – March Beverly and Stephen Attaway– Trackline Forces, Truth and Lore

Best Overall Presentation – March Beverly and Stephen Attaway– Trackline Forces, Truth and Lore

 

2012 Winners

Most Practical Presentation – Jeremy Metz – Scrub Oaks – Viable Anchor Source

Best New Research – Mike Gibbs – Multi-Point Anchor Systems

Most Enjoyable Presentation – John Dill – How Long Did Amelia Last?

Most Thought-Provoking Presentation – Kevin Dennis – Compatibility: Your Connection

Best Paper Provided – Matt Jacobs – It’s 2 am

Best Overall Presentation – Mike Gibbs – Multi-Point Anchor Systems

 

2011 Winners

Most Practical Presentation – Garin Wallace – Carabiner Rigging for Dummies

Best New Research – Michael Callahan – Extended Care Medical Technologies

Most Enjoyable Presentation – Ken Phillips – IKAR 2011 – Air Rescue Report

Most Thought-Provoking Presentations – Billy Masterson and Cloud – The Device That Saved Us

Best Paper Provided – Roger Mortimer – Suspension Trauma Revisited

Best Overall Presentations – Roger Mortimer – Suspension Trauma Revisited

 

2010 Winners

Most Practical Presentation – Rick Weber- How to Determine Tree Strength & Build Tree Anchors

Best New Research – Lang, Borowski, Onorato – The Impact of Controlled Conditioning on Prusik Loop Strength

Most Enjoyable Presentation – Kelly M. Byrne – The Defenestration Sensation

Most Thought-Provoking Presentations – Jeremy Metz – Lessons Learned from Aurora Fire Dept. High Angle Rope Training Accident

Best Paper Provided – Shelia Huss – Liability in Search and Rescue

Best Overall Presentations – Kelly M. Byrne – The Defenestration Sensation

 

2009 Winners

Most Practical Presentation –Jeremy Metz Crew Resource Management

Best New Research – Richard Farnham, Tim Holden, Bill May Utility of Rescue Randy

Most Enjoyable Presentation – IKAR Team 2009 IKAR Congress

Most Thought-Provoking Presentations – Garin Wallace High Cycle Fatigue Tests

Best Paper Provided – Philip Spinelli & David C Pylman Drop Testing for Viability

Best Overall Presentations – Mike Gibbs Parallel Plaquettes

 

2008 Winners

Best Overall Presentations – Beverly and Attaway – Ice Climbing Anchor System

Most Practical Presentation –Eady –NFPA – 1006 Technical Rescuer

Best New Research -Childs – EPRI – Rope Dielectric Test

Most Enjoyable Presentation – Red Mtn. School Bus FTX – Rooker & Miller

Most Thought-Provoking Presentations – Smith – 3-D Rigging

Best Paper Provided – Beverly and Attaway – Ice Climbing Anchor System

 

2007 Winners

Most Practical Presentation – Mike Gibbs

Best New Research – Mike Gibbs

Most Enjoyable Presentation – Mike Gibbs

Most Thought-Provoking Presentations – Jim Moss

Best Paper Provided – Charles Shimanski

Best Overall Presentations – Mike Gibbs

 

2006 Winners

Best Overall Presentations – Mike Gibbs

Most Practical Presentation – Mike Gibbs

Best New Research – Mark Beverly

Most Enjoyable Presentation – Ken Laidlaw

Most Thought-Provoking Presentations – Tom Myer

Best Paper Provided – Mike Gibbs

 

2005 Winners

Best Overall Presentations – Charley Shimanski – Situational Awareness

Most Practical Presentation – Mike Gibbs – Shock Loading of Lanyards

Best New Research -Multi-Point Anchor Systems – Beverly, Attaway, Scherzinger & Miller

Most Enjoyable Presentation – Glacier Travel – Low Stretch – Blain Smith

Most Thought-Provoking Presentations – NFPA Standards – Jim Kovach

Best Paper Provided – Multi-Point Anchor Systems – Beverly, Attaway, Scherzinger & Miller

 

2004 Winners

Best Overall Presentations – Mark Denvir

Most Practical Presentation – Mark Denvir

Best New Research – Mike Gibbs

Most Enjoyable Presentation – John McKently and Bruce Parker

Most Thought-Provoking Presentations – Tom Finch

Best Paper Provided – Eric Johnson

 

2003 Winners

Best Overall Presentations –

Most Practical Presentation –

Best New Research –

Most Enjoyable Presentation –

Most Thought-Provoking Presentations –

Best Paper Provided –

Not sure who got what but the checks were to: Jim Kovach, Mike Gibbs, Grant Pratley, Jeff Issac (2) and Peter Popall

 

2002 Winners

Best Overall Presentations –

Most Practical Presentation –

Best New Research –

Most Enjoyable Presentation –

Most Thought-Provoking Presentations –

Best Paper Provided –

Not sure who got what but the checks were to: Charley Shimanski, Art Fortini, Jeff Issac, Phillip Bishop and Steve Attaway


ITRS / NATRS History

  1. 1985 NATRS – Fort Collins, CO – 1st NATRS symposium
  2. 1986 NATRS – Fort Collins, CO
  3. 1987 NATRS – Fort Collins, CO
  4. 1988 NATRS – Fort Collins, CO
  5. 1989 NATRS – Portland, OR
  6. 1990 NATRS – Salt Lake City, UT
  7. 1991 NATRS­ – Albuquerque, NM
  8. 1992 NATRS – Estes Park, CO
  9. 1993 NATRS – Snowbird, UT
  10. 1994 NATRS – Phoenix, AZ
  11. 1995 NATRS – Kelowna, BC
  12. 1996 NATRS – Las Vegas, NV
  13. 1997 NATRS – Long Beach, CA
  14. 1998 NATRS – Charlotte, NC
  15. 1999 ITRS – Fort Collins, CO – 1st ITRS symposium
  16. 2000 ITRS – Tucson, AZ
  17. 2001 ITRS – Denver, CO
  18. 2002 ITRS – Denver, CO
  19. 2003 ITRS – Salt Lake City, UT
  20. 2004 ITRS – Albuquerque, NM
  21. 2005 ITRS – Fort Collins, CO
  22. 2006 ITRS – Denver, CO
  23. 2007 ITRS – Denver, CO
  24. 2008 ITRS – Albuquerque, NM
  25. 2009 ITRS – Pueblo, CO
  26. 2010 ITRS – Denver, CO – Steve Hudson rec’d “Lifetime Contribution Award”
  27. 2011 ITRS – Fort Collins, CO
  28. 2012 ITRS – Seattle, WA – John Dill & Tom Vines rec’d “Lifetime Contribution Award”
  29. 2013 ITRS – Albuquerque, NM
  30. 2014 ITRS – Denver, CO
  31. 2015 ITRS – Portland, OR – Jim Frank rec’d “Lifetime Contribution Award”
  32. 2016 ITRS – Albuquerque, NM – John McKently & Loui McCurley rec’d “Lifetime Contribution Award”
  33. 2017 ITRS – Denver, CO (scheduled)