Going For Help

If possible, send two climbers out together for help—partly for safety and partly because two people can do a better job of obtaining aid. Be sure they have a clear understanding of the party's situation and requirements so they will know exactly what aid to seek. They should take with them a list of the names and phone numbers of everyone in the party, a completed accident report form, and a map that pinpoints the accident site. Fill out an accident report form (fig. 17-1) for each injured person, with one copy going out with the messengers and the other being kept by the party leader.

Messengers need to carry enough gear to handle their own emergencies but not so much that they cannot move swiftly. However, the certainty, not the swiftness, of getting the message out is the most important consideration. The messengers must travel in a safe manner. The victim and other members of the party are relying solely on them, assuming authorities will get the word and that help will soon be on its way. The messengers should mark the route to help in finding the way back.

The messengers have several vital responsibilities once they get out of the wilderness. First of all, they contact the appropriate local authorities, such as the county sheriff or park personnel. They ask them to help in a rescue, or to relay the need for help to the local Mountain Rescue organization. If evacuation will take place over technical terrain, the authorities must know this so they will dispatch rescuers with the proper training.

The messengers' job is not ended at this point. They must make certain that messages are sent at once, accurately, and that they reach their destination. Often the organization of a rescue depends upon a chain of communication, messages relayed from person to person via telephone and radio, until finally a rescue leader is reached. Along the way, vital information may be ignored by non-mountaineers who do not understand the words they are asked to convey. The messengers should talk directly with a trusted fellow climber so that the line of communication is not broken. If the messengers can't speak personally to the rescue leader, they must be insistent with intermediaries—perhaps to the point of being obnoxious—to assure that a garbled message does not result in a tragic rescue failure.

The messengers then wail by the telephone at a meeting point, where they will get together with the rescue party. The messengers turn the accident report, map, and list of names over to the rescue leader and assist in devising a rescue plan. Unless

Fig. 17-1. Accident report form

© The Mountaineers START HERE_

FIRST AID REPORT FORM

FINDINGS

Airway, Breathing, Circulation

INITIAL RAPID CHECK (Chest Wounds, Severe Bleeding)

ASK WHAT HAPPENED:

ASK WHERE IT HURTS:

TAKE PULSE & RESPIRATIONS

PULSE

RESPIRATIONS

HEAD: Scalp—Wounds

Ears. Nose — Fluid Eyes — Pupils Jaw — Stability Mouth — Wounds

HEAD: Scalp—Wounds

Ears. Nose — Fluid Eyes — Pupils Jaw — Stability Mouth — Wounds

NECK: Wounds, Deformity CHEST: Movement. Symmetry ABDOMEN:" Wounds. Rigidity P E LV I S: Stability

EXTREMITIES: Wounds. Deformity

Sensation & Movement Pulses Below Injury

BACK: Wounds, Deformity

SKIN: Color

Temperature Moistness

STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

RMN (Localion I

LOOK FOR MEDICAL ID TAG

ALLERGIES

FIRST AID GIVEN

! TIME OF INCIDENT

DATE

AM

PM

□ CREVASSE □ AVALANCHE □ ILLNESS EXCESSIVE C HEAT □ COLD

RESCUE REQUEST

Fill Out One Form Per Victim

NATURE OF INCIDENT

□ CREVASSE □ AVALANCHE □ ILLNESS EXCESSIVE C HEAT □ COLD

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT

INJURIES

(List Most Severe First)

FIRST AID GIVEN

STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS:

RAIN (Location):

C RECORD: Time

Pulse

Respiration VICTIM'S NAME

ADDRESS

VICTIM'S NAME

.AGE

NOTIFY (Name)

COMPLETED BY-

TIME

RELATIONSHIP

PHONE

iri J

Record TIME

BR Rate

EATHS Character

PI Rate

JLSE Character

PULSES BELOW INJURY

PUPILS

CONSCIOUSNESS

OTHER

Deep, Shallow, Noisy, Labored

Strong, Weak, Regular, Irregular

Strong

Weak

Absent

Equal Size, React To Light, Round

Color Temperature Moistness

Alert,

Confused,

Unresponsive

Pain, Anxiety, Thirst, Etc.

TEAR HER!. -KEEP iHIS SECTION WITH THE VICTIM DETACH HERE ~SENOOCTW/TtTREQUFSTTORA/D

TEAR HER!. -KEEP iHIS SECTION WITH THE VICTIM DETACH HERE ~SENOOCTW/TtTREQUFSTTORA/D

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Z z u they are injured or extremely fatigued, they lead the rescuers back to the climbing party.

The messengers also have the job of seeing that information gets to relatives of people in the climbing party. Because of the urgency of seeking aid and the need to keep phone lines available, this job may have to await arrival of the rescue leader, who probably has had considerable experience in working with concerned relatives and with the news media.

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