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Here is a brief summary of early history of the International Technical Rescue Symposium:

The germ of the idea for the Symposium actually came from John Dill.  One day during a phone conversation, John suggested that what was needed was a forum exclusively devoted to technical rescue in which rescue people could freely exchange ideas and experiences. It was quite an inspiration, I thought, and so I subsequently discussed the idea with other persons.

What was needed, of course, was a way to make this idea into a practical reality. Also needed was an organization to sponsor the Symposium and back it financially. About that time, Steve Hudson was a member of the NASAR Board of Directors, and he was instrumental in NASAR being the first sponsor of the Symposium. Steve was also important in that he had practical experience in dealing with hotels and other such businesses involved with conferences.

Actually, the very first symposium was planned for Santa Cruz (CA), but a low number of pre-registrations caused that first planned one to be cancelled before it was held.

The first actual Symposium took place the next year at CSU in Fort Collins.  At the time, Rick Perkins was on the NASAR board and active in that organization, so he provided a critical link to Fort Collins, the Sheriff’s Department, Larimer County, and local support. Also, in his NASAR role, Rick was an active supporter of the Symposium.


Best Presentations

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. 1984 NATRS California – canceled
  2. 1985 NATRS Fort Collins CSU
  3. 1986 NATRS Fort Collins CSU
  4. 1987 NATRS Fort Collins Marriott
  5. 1988 NATRS Fort Collins Marriott
  6. 1989 NATRS Portland
  7. 1990 NATRS Salt Lake City Quality Inn – City Center was the sixth
  8. 1991 NATRS Albuquerque
  9. 1992 NATRS YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado
  10. 1993 NATRS Snowbird, Utah
  11. 1994 NATRS Doubletree Suites Hotel Phoenix, AZ
  12. 1995 NATRS Kelowna, BC with SAR Scene
  13. 1996 NATRS Las Vegas
  14. 1997 NATRS Long Beach, California
  15. 1998 NATRS Charlotte Marriott
  16. 1999 ITRS Ft. Collins Marriott
  17. 2000 ITRS Tucson Inn Suites
  18. 2001 ITRS Denver Marriott West
  19. 2002 ITRS Denver Marriott West
  20. 2003 ITRS Salt Lake City Marriott
  21. 2004 ITRS Albuquerque Marriott
  22. 2005 ITRS Fort Collins Marriott
  23. 2006 ITRS Denver Marriott West
  24. 2007 ITRS Denver Marriott West
  25. 2008 ITRS Albuquerque Marriott
  26. 2009 ITRS Pueblo Colorado Marriott & Convention Center
  27. 2010 ITRS Denver Marriott West – Steve E. Hudson rec’d 1st Lifetime Contribution Award
  28. 2011 ITRS Fort Collins Marriott
  29. 2012 ITRS Seattle Renaissance – John Dill & Tom Vines rec’d Lifetime Contribution Awards
  30. 2013 ITRS Albuquerque Marriott
  31. 2014 ITRS Denver Marriott West
  32. 2015 ITRS Portland Red Lion Hotel on the River