Saturday, July 31, 2010

Slough Creek Carry-Out

I have gotten a bit behind on my blogs, so I am going to try to catch up with a few posts today.
More often than not, we have people who injure themselves in the backcountry. About a three weeks ago, we got a call that somone had cut their foot at Slough Creek, so a bunch of us went in with the wheeled litter and carried him out. We met a black bear just as we were coming out of the trail head. Pictures above.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Striping Ranger Dooley's Truck

Last Friday, Ranger Dooley and I were able to stripe his truck. What I mean by that is Law enforcement Ranger vehicles have to be marked with a green stripe as well as U.S. Park Ranger on the sides and back of the vehicle. We call this striping a vehicle. Dooley's truck had not been striped yet so with the right materials we were able to do it. We had to wash the car first before putting on the adhesive green stripes and lettering. It took almost a total of 4-5 hours, but the end result looked pretty good for non-professional stripers.
There is a new album posted below of Dooley's Truck Striping.

Fairy Falls

So I forgot to mention in the last post: when I was hazing the bear with Brady and Amy, I tripped over a rock and broke my camera. Luckily I still have my camera phone, but real pictures might not be up for a while.

On my day off last Thursday, I took a hike in the backcountry to Fairy Falls.

This was a gorgeous fall near the Midway geyser basin about 2.8 miles into the backcountry. (picture above) The falls are 197 ft in height, and halfway down the fall, the water hits a rock that causes it to cascade into a small pool enclosed by rock. The water then drains as Fairy Creek. Fairy falls is now a "must see" on my list if you are going to Yellowstone.

Bear Hazing at Slough

Here in the park, we have a plethora of bears. The bears do many things: graze, run, stand by the side of the road, and come into developed areas. When they do come into developed areas, the park has policies of hazing the bears out. Now the hazing occurs for a few reasons. First is visitor safety. Bears can be unpredictable, and the rangers try to decrease that risk to visitors by keeping bears out of the campgrounds and the lodging. Second is for the bears' safety. There are always people who are going to speed in parking lots or driveways, and cars do hit bears in the park. Also, when a bear comes into a developed area, sometimes the visitors can get a bit over-enthusiastic and crowd the bear. This causes stress for the animal, which can cause it to act in adverse ways.
So yesterday morning, I am on my way back to the station from two bear jams in Lamar Valley, when I head into Slough Creek to check if the campground is full. Suddenly on the radio, dispatch calls about an injured bear in the Slough Creek campground. So I head in to make sure the campers are safe and all the food is put away. I get there and there is a bear about 5 yards from a campsite with an obvious injury to his right front leg. The bear had been scared off by the people in the site and he headed down towards the Creek and out of sight. This is about the time when Brady got there. He and I hiked down the trail at the creek, trying to find if the bear was coming back or if he was still headed downstream, but we didn't see anything so we turned around.
A bear management ranger named Amy came to investigate the situation. By that time, the bear had come back. Amy shot 4 cracker rounds (exploding noisemakers) in the bear's direction, and it took off.
Hopefully this bear won't cause any problems in the future.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Here's a picture of me

So I kinda broke my camera recently while hazing a bear. And i hadn't gotten pictures of myself in my uniform yet. But yesterday we took staff photos, so ill post one of those on this post.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Another day off

On Thursday, I had a great day off. Brady, Amanda, Arlo, Tango, and I went on a hike up Pine Creek Trail in the Gallatin Natl Forest. The first part of it was kinda hard. It was all uphill, so there was basically no warm-up for the hike. It was a pretty hike, not really one of my favorites though that I've been on. Unfortunately once we got to the second creek crossing, I had a huge blister on the back of my right heel. Which forced us to turn back. I feel really bad about that part.
We then went down to bear creek and let Arlo, (and Brady), get their feet wet for a while. After that we had a lunch of ice cream and nectarines in Gardiner. We then headed down to Arch Park next to the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner. We all lay down in the freshly cut grass for a couple hours, the dogs playing once and a while.
For dinner, John M joined us at the Raven grill. The Raven is the best place to eat in Gardiner. The steak there is to die for and they've got some other pretty good meat dishes as well. This dinner was treated to us by Gil and Sharon who were campground hosts at the Tower Falls campground until during one big thunderstorm, their camper was crushed by two fallen trees. So thanks to them for the great meal.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More Busy and a Helicopter

I guess saying in my last post that everything has died down here was speaking too soon. Last night I was called out on another medical. We were called to Yancy's hole, a backcountry BBQ area, for someone who had been thrown from a horse with reported respiratory arrest. Usually with respiratory arrest, after a few minutes of it, the heart stops as well. So Colette put me in charge of the Automated External Defibrillator(AED) and CPR compressions if they were needed. Luckily they weren't needed because the patient had regained consciousness. On the way to the scene, Brady did some awesome driving and fast technical maneuvering of the ambulance. During the transport, I was in the back with two park medics, Colette and a paramedic from Canyon named Amy. It was interesting to watch them put in the IVs and pain medications. Amy had this fancy machine which measured pulse, did an EKG, Blood pressure, respirations, and SpO2 all at the same time! We transported to Mammoth where we met the trauma helicopter. By the time this was almost done and the patient was loaded in the helicopter, it was already dark out.
One of the rangers from Mammoth was there as well. She was the one who had directed the helicopter in. Someone brought up about how the pilot would have to use night vision goggles. I mentioned how that sounded cool because I had always wanted to try night vision goggles. So without me asking or anything, she reached into her rig and pulled out a pair and said I would be able to use them to watch the helicopter take off. Which was awesome by the way. Those night vision goggles really do work well!
As the helicopter started taking off about 30 feet from me, the wind from it really started picking up. It got really strong, probably around 40mph! I watched it take off into the pitch black of night....well, not pitch black for me, I had night vision goggles.
Really exciting night overall. Brady and I got back to the station and we both found tacos made for us in our fridges by Amanda, which was really cool of her because we were hungry!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Somewhat of an update

Well, I knew this would happen eventually. The activities are really picking up here. We've had numerous emergencies over the past week and a half, which means lots of overtime for me. I just got a call from my dad, and both he and my mom have been wondering what's going on because I haven't called them in a while.
I've certainly been getting my fair share of EMT experience. We've had head trauma, acute abdomen pain, motorcycle accidents. It's crazy. Word to the wise. If you get carsick easily, becoming an EMT might not be for you. Those ambulances really rock on these curvy roads.
So for the past 3 days or so, there has been this carcass on the side of the Lamar river in Lamar Valley. At the peak of the carcass, there were 3 grizzly bears, four wolves, and thirty ravens all trying to get a bit. It's been our biggest jam around this area for a while. Last night I was on the jam. The three grizzlies were there, with the biggest one on the carcass and the two smaller ones hanging around and hoping for a turn. Also the Alpha female of the Silver pack was there as well. And boy was she gorgeous! I think that was the closest I'd seen a wolf my whole time here. She was also quite fat. It seems she had been eating pretty well the last few days.
Fourth of July was fun. The northeast entrance rangers had their annual 4th of July potluck. I brought soybean and chicken salad. But some of the other dishes there were amazing. If everyone here wasn't a ranger, they would probably be great chefs. After dinner we all headed out to Cooke City to watch the fireworks. The fireworks that the city put on were pretty cool, but so were the ones being shot off in the street. And in the backyards of two different houses. And only a couple fireworks shot off sideways and exploded near cars. So I suppose you could call it a pretty successful 4th of July since no one got hurt.
Afterwards a bunch of us went to the Miner, a bar in Cooke City. Being the only one under 21, I got to be the designated driver, but before we drove back at midnight, some of the folks played pool.
We have a rocky mountain bluebird nesting above our ambulance bay.
That's mostly it. My days off haven't been too exciting because I've been working and getting overtime during them.
My hat came in last week! Like most things, I haven't had time to take pictures yet, but I should get some time tomorrow afternoon and maybe I can get one of the rangers to get a few shots of me.

Myself in my uniform from a couple of years ago. I wear normal clothes to the office now.