Monday, September 23, 2019
Interview with Tealcie Annibles (Tealcie Resident) of SL Regional Search and Rescue.
By Bixyl Shuftan
Recently, Gemma Cleanslate wrote about an exercise of the Second Life Regional Search And Rescue group. They are led by Tealcie Annibles (Tealcie Resident). I recently met up with her at their headquarters in Euryalus. Of the radio stream, besides music there were occasional "weather reports" describing sim lag and other glitches.
I asked Tealcie about how she first found out about Second Life. She told me, "Back in about 2006ish, I heard the buzz and came to have a look. I had a terrible connection and ancient computer and of the nine or so days I was involved I spent maybe 45 minutes in world and the rest trying to get in. It was horrid. I forgot all about it until December of 2017. I was in a store doing some Christmas shopping and two young ladies were in the checkout ahead of me and one said 'I don't know how you do it I still can't even find my left shoe.' And the other laughed and replied, 'Well That's Second Life.'" That got me interested and I came for round two, fell in love and stayed." She had come back because of a casual conversation about it in real life.
Tealcie went back to the Search and Rescue group, "All this time since coming mainland the SLR-SAR group has floated along. It's just a few people having fun." She had founded the group herself, "I just wanted a way to enjoy the things I love with other people flying, boating, climbing, exploring. I figured create a group and hopefully attract like-minded folks." Since the group's start, "We have hovered around thirty members with varied participation. I try to create fun events and time them so everyone around the real-life globe can attend at a decent hour. I usually bite the bullet with the 2 AM SLT slot on Sunday morning which works out to about 8 PM down under. So everyone around the clock can attend and still get to bed for work Monday. It really depends on the scale of the diasater being staged."
I asked which exercise was the most challenging to set up. She answered, "Most challenging? The 757 had (an) airliner, oil platform, and underwater elements. It was fairly intense in detail. This last build, I had great help from Lale who rocked the train tracks and tunnels and did a great job dangling the cars. This upcoming disaster will be pretty intense as well."
I asked how long does it take to plan an exercise and set one up? Tealcie answered, "Planning is usually just a five minute brainstorming. Dasha came up with the train wreck we saw last month and it was penciled out in minutes. The build has to be done in two days as the regions are a three day rental. I generally terraform and rough it out Friday evening then do the build Saturday night after work. We encourage the public to attend and I think one of the best ways to watch the event is to jump into a victim position and cam around while hamming it up awaiting rescue. Watch, Participate and have fun."
"And there is so much to learn along the way that doesn't involve flying. The EMS gear in Second Life is phenomenal. Also you need to swim, climb, be injured, scuba, drive, and operate equipment. First responding is one of the more intense pursuits in SL. Fortunately we are blessed with creators who 'get it' and build amazing gear and vehicles. ... I have several builders I contract with and I am slowly bringing responder gear to the community filling niches where gear is needed. That's not at all easy since there is already so much here. But as I find things missing, I get my builders working on the items. Like our operational Jaws of life-esque cutter and pry tools. They are designed to aid in roleplay at extraction scenes."
As the interview drew to a close, I asked Tealcie what else she had to say. She answered, "I'd like to see the community grow. And I hope my no tag required events promoting pride in whatever group you represent, helps along those lines. There are still some groups who demand you belong to no other groups to belong to theirs. It seems exclusionary. I say I don't care what group or groups you belong to you don't have to join mine to play. Jump right in. Represent whoever and have fun. I got that philosophy from SLIAFF and the way they run their mutual aid responses. Numerous agencies respond and work with a common purpose. I am trying to spread that wisdom across the entire first responder community. I wish I could take credit for the idealism but I'm just repeating what I have learned here from people with double-digit SL ages who learned themselves through trial and error.
And with that, the interview came to a close. A few days later on Sunday September 22, the SL Regional Search And Rescue was one of the two groups that took part in a large exercise in Iridium. And this was a disaster of epic scale, an ocean liner that collided with an oil rig resulting in fires and the potential of a massive explosion. Tealcie tool part as one of the injured. But the rescuers were well equipped. Despite a mishap or two due to lag, the exercise went well. Cleanup was soon after, so what was left were screenshots and memories to talk about with one another and friends. And of course they would soon be planning for the next disaster.