The team has been having a busy few weeks. We’re in the middle of an annual wilderness medical responder course, kicking off the spring season with swift water training, regular Tuesday evening training, and 2 searches.
SARDay 15: Wilderness First Aid: Medical Conditions.
Most first aid courses focus on injuries such as abrasions, contusions, broken bones, hyper and hypothermia etc. Since we’re called to respond to people with preexisting medical conditions we require training on the management of some of them. These include heart diseases, kidney disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. SAR members need to be able to recognize the conditions, and provide the correct care for these.
SARDay 16: Search at Buntzen Lake.
The team was called to respond for a hiker who had sprained her ankle on the LakeView Trail. The team assisted the Buntzen Wardens in accessing the subject and transporting her to the parking lot.
SARDay 17: First Aid: Spinal Immobilization.
A review for most members on the gear and techniques for spinal immobilization. When to treat for spinal injury and how to rule it out.
SARDay 18, 19, 20: Swift Water Rescue course.
The team, in conjunction with the JI and Rescue Canada are taking a Swiftwater Rescue course in Chilliwack, BC. As with most weekend courses, this one involves a classroom session on the Friday evening followed by two full days on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s course often includes and evening session in the classroom.
And now some disclosure. I am not in fact attending each and every one of these events. In fact you can see that it’s pretty difficult. In the past when I’ve been unemployed I maintained a 100% attendance at all training and tasks for months at a time, especially when I was undertaking the Mountain Rescue program 5 years ago. After being a SAR member for many years I now have most of the certificates and courses that I need, and leave openings in courses available for newer SAR members (specific refresher courses are offered which I take).
The goal of this exercise is to show the level of dedication and training of the team in general and the time commitment of the individuals involved. It is possible for a member to take all of this training and to attend all of the searches, but it’s more likely that a member would attend 80% of regular training, 50% of extended (weekend) courses, and 50% of searches.
To facilitate full disclosure and to add the correct dates and document the hours involved I’m publishing a spreadsheet with all of the data including my attendance. Dates of future training events are entered, and as they happen hours and attendance are updated. The spreadsheet can also serve as an index of the SARDay articles. As always, let me know what you think in the comments below.