Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Getting Chilly

It's August. All of us here can feel the end of the season creeping up on us. One of our rangers and one of our volunteers have already left us. The nights are starting to get below freezing again, and the bears are becoming more and more scarce. Not necessarily because its close to winter, but because their food source is now in the higher forested elevation, so there are less bears being seen by the road and by people. Therefore, with less bear jams, I must find other things to do with my time on the job.

We still have been getting a lot of medical runs. In fact, we recently had a Search and Rescue (SAR) in which I was the main provider and first to find the patient. We got a call from Dispatch that there was a lady who fell down a cliff on one of the steepest trails in the park and was bleeding from the nose and mouth. Now when we get these calls, we can't always be sure that they are completely accurate because the person calling could be stressed and panic-like so that they might not give an accurate description. However, we do have to go with what we're given. John M headed out there first to try to get more information from the reporting party and Sara and I grabbed the ambulance. When we got to the trailhead, we found out the patient was about 1.5 miles up the steep trail and then down a steep hill rather than a cliff. We grabbed the backboard, jump kit, and headblocks bag and started heading out. I carried in the jump kit, which by the way is VERY HEAVY! We carry oxygen bottles in our jump kits and those things weigh a lot!
I was the first provider to reach the patient after about a half hour of trying to scramble up the trail with a jump kit, and then back down the VERY steep hill which was dangerous in going down with that much weight on my back. I radioed back to John with the patient information and started doing the assessment. I had to put a c-collar around her neck to stabilize it because she had fallen such a long ways. The next person to arrive was Joe, a paramedic from Mammoth, I let him take over the assessment so he could get an IV in the patient and I took over at the head. The rescue team finally arrived with the wheeled liter so we could get her up the hill to the helicopter. Second helicopter arrived with ropes and other equipment so we could get the wheeled litter up safely. It took about 9 of us working together at the top of the hill and on the litter to get all the way up the hill just because of the steepness of it. Everything went on without a hitch, and I get to put on my resume that I was the main provider of a major SAR.
We had another motorcycle accident on the 23rd. The whole incident and transport took about 6 hours. Quite tiring.


Post a Comment

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