All SAR members have basic first aid skills, but in addition to the basic stuff we’re often called to assist members of the team who are paramedics, nurses or doctors. We currently have 4 paramedics, 1 firefighter, 1 coast guard member, 1 nurse and 1 doctor on the team. Chances are if they respond they are going to need help.
At the most basic level we need to know the name of the equipment we’re handling.
This evening we studied the following four advanced techniques:
- Pulse Oximetry: the pulse oximiter is a pretty awesome device. With it we can tell heart rate, and how well your body is getting oxygen into the blood. This determines weather we give you oxygen therapy.
- Intubation: setting up and assisting with intubation, and placment of oropharyngeal airways. Anyone gravely injured may need assistance breathing and these are life-saving techniques.
- Intravenous therapy: there are many situations where a subject may require IV therapy. Of all of these techniques, this is the one I have seen applied in the field most often. Usually used for pain management and sedation.
- Cardiac Monitoring: the team has a few AED units, one of which can perform advanced monitoring and even provide a digital download to be provided to doctors at a hospital. Last year we were called to attend a heart attack on the Diez Vistas trail, and this device was used in that context to determine that the subject was deceased.