Lifesaving MB and discussion
CHUCK BRAMLET (chuckb@AZTEC.ASU.EDU)
Sun, 4 Feb 1996 00:11:21 -0700
Sorry about the Subject line. I couldn't remember the SL of the thread,
and have been having a bit of problem with my ISP the last day or two.
This post was written yesterday, to post last night. Then I couldn't
get any response from the ISP except a "timeout". But last night's
digest didn't cover this particular ground, at least IMHO.
The recent discussion about the requirements for BSA lifeguard vs. Red
Cross lifeguard, and the advantages and disadvantages of each, brings
about this post.
Sadly, I detect a bit of a "confrontational" attitude in the responses.
One thing that we must _all_ remember is that the ARC, and BSA, and almost
every other program, is constantly reviewing the training methods and
cirriculum. New things are added, old things are dropped. Some things
are changed that shouldn't be, but generally the corrections are for the
better. If something is dropped that shouldn't have been, then it is
likely to be corrected in the next revision.
As a matter of illustration, how many of you "old timers" remember being
taught "Back press, arm lift" artificial respiration as the recommended
method? How about the "cut and suck" method of treating rattlesnake
bite? Were either of those something that should have been _kept_?
I can agree with Chris that the methods for teaching lifesaving needed
changing. I never did see the value of making a lifesaving MB
candidate go thru the "acid" test of trying to rescue a rational adult
(or older Scout) pulling every trick in the book to make it hard for
him. I still remember the cross-chest carry and a few other methods for
swimming rescue. But, I also know "reach-throw-row-go" for lifesaving
procedures. The "go" of RTRG, like the cross chest carry and other
methods for swimming rescue taught in the past, should be kept for
_last_resort_. And if you _have_ to go, there is always the "shirt tail
rescue" if the victim is consious.
The _important_ thing to remember, IMHO, is _how_ to do whatever type of
rescue is needed. And, _when_ to use which method. As has been said, it
is not something that you can reason at the time. When the skills are needed,
you must know _how_ to react almost instinctively to the particular
situation. When doing _any_ activity around water, you should, _before_
you start, take a mental inventory of the tools available for rescues,
and how they could be used.
There is not a whole heck of a lot of rescue equipment on a river raft.
But, jumping in to save the victim _could_ result in _two_ drownings,
not one. That is the risk that you take, and should consider in
advance. Could a lifering have been used? I don't know. I wasn't
there. It _should_, however, be available if needed. Also, nothing was
said about a "PFD". (Personal Floatation Device: lifejacket, for you
non-water types.) _All_ the raft operators in this state, AFAIK, must
provide each "customer" with a PFD that fits. And see that they _use_
it. Is that right, Chris?
As a past member of the Coast Guard, I know of too many accidents that
resulted in a drowning, where the drowning would not have happened if the
PFD was _on_ the victim instead of _in_ the storage locker under the bow.
Sure, a PFD may be uncomfortable, and interfere with the tan, but so
is/does six feet of dirt. :(
Tubing the river is a popular spring and summer activity around here,
yet _every_ year people die because they are out in the river, on the
tube, with more thought for their tan or having fun, than for their personal
safety. Sorry. This was not meant to be a sermon on the PFD.
If you know what equipment is available in advance, then when someone
gets in trouble in the water, you will know _where_ that boat hook is to
reach to them, or where the lifering is to throw out to them, rather
than having to risk yourself by trying a swimming rescue that _you_ may have
forgotten how to do safely and correctly.
I would take issue with only _one_ statment that Chris made. That being,
I would find it _very_ hard to imagine using the tube to rescue an
Now, can we please stop arguing about how many angels can stand on the
head of a pin? ;)
Chuck Bramlet, ASM Troop 323
Thunderbird District, Grand Canyon Council, Phoenix, Az.
I "used to be" an Antelope! (and a good ol' Antelope, too...) WEM-10-95
Please E-mail any replies to: >> email@example.com <<
"The main thing is to keep the main thing the Main Thing." --
Covey Leadership Center
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City