Archive for November 2012

Are You Prepared for a “Day Hike”?

While a terrific bunch of folks from Venture Outdoors met in Frick Park with instructors from True North last weekend to learn the basics of dealing with wilderness emergencies, a man in Orgeon started out on a day-hike.  Unlike the VO group, however, this lone hiker apparently wasn’t as concerned about the possibility of unforeseen dangers, or being prepared for them.  At one point, to stay warm, he actually lit his hat and backpack on fire! Earlier in the day, the hiker had set out along a trail (apparently with no map) near the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon that he once followed seven years earlier.  Dressed only in jeans, a cotton tee-shirt, and a windbreaker jacket, he realized by 5:00 pm that he was lost.  Not knowing the time of sunset, he was surprised by the onset of darkness and he had no flashlight.  At 5:40 pm he contacted […]

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Improvisation: The Lifeblood of Survival

This past summer on an EMS call, a paramedic taught me a simple, but important, lesson.  We needed to move a patient from her bed to our stretcher, which we had momentarily left in the foyer, for transport to the hospital.  However, since her bedroom was so tightly packed with furniture, and hallway access to it was also too tight and limited, we weren’t able to bring the stretcher the rest of the way to her bedside.  I assumed, then, I would need to make a run to the ambulance to grab another piece of equipment that is specifically engineered to be used in such instances.  However, the medic simply asked me to grab a sheet off the stretcher.  A sheet?  What good, I thought, could a sheet possibly do us now?  When I handed it to him, he unfolded the sheet next to her, and gently helped her slide […]

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