Thursday, March 8, 2012

Always be Prepared !

In a real life winter survival emergency you must always be prepared.  Whether it's being prepared to build a shelter, start a fire, provide first aid, procure and purify water or collect materials.

But one often overlooked task that you must be absolutely prepared to complete is the emergency travel, removal or rescue of a casualty.  The whole purpose of learning these knowledge, skills and abilities in a controlled atmosphere is to create a mental task list so that if you ever find yourself in a true survival emergency that you won't hesitate, won't panic and won't sit idle while daylight rushes by.

As part of any survival emergency you must be prepared to signal your need for rescue and just as importantly you must find a location within your setting that provides you the best clear line of site for that rescue.  If you're lucky enough to signal rescue you must be capable in a quick manner to transport injured causalities as well as vital supplies.

As part of the course we built in a casualty transportation and smoke signal portion.  However, unlike all of the other skills necessary we tasked the teams with determining how they were going to transport their identified casualty.  We chose not to show them or teach them the "right" way to construct a stretcher to transport the casualty.  Over the 28 hrs in the bush the teams learned to be flexible and to think outside of the box while constructing their shelter, water purification area, bedding area, fire wood area and general camp area.  It is amazing to see what people do when you remove the control and instruction.

Team 2 was provided 5 minutes to prepare to move their casualty approx. 200 metres out to a trail known to have snowmobile and vehicular traffic.  Rather than wait and attempt to construct a specific stretcher they utilized what already existed at their camp.  They simple took their shelter door and re-inforced it making it capable and ready to transport their casualty.

People must remember that simple tasks become extremely difficult after 24-28 hrs of extreme bush work, minimal food and temperatures that keep the bravest inside the comfort of their homes.  So the survivor must be efficient and effective in everything they do.

Below are a few pictures of Team 2 moving their casualty out to the rescue location.  Note that a foot path had been created over the two days while constructing their survival camp.  However one poor sap was going to get stuck walking off the trail.  The depth of the bush snow was extreme for this type of movement making it exhausting.  Another task much more difficult than it looks like.

Dusty and Steve-O prepping to hoist Austin.
Austin was truly nervous while being carried
 underneath the mistletoe !!
An exhausting task requiring strong men to put
casualty down to rest.
3 members struggling through the snow.
A great shot of the sun coming up while Dusty is
 forced to pull his weight while walking through snow
above his knees.
Note the casualty carrying the vital tools to construct a
smoke signal. Cutting tools and fire starting materials.

Great job by both teams of transporting their casualties to the rescue zone.  A task that cannot be overlooked when in a true survival emergency.

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