Scouts in rescue, Cape Cod
Wendie Howland (WAHowland@AOL.COM)
Mon, 9 Feb 1998 10:04:24 EST
Just returned from the Cape Cod and Islands Arctic Challenge/Klondike Derby
weekend. Thought you should see this piece from the Cape Cod Times of Sunday,
SCOUTS TEST MOTTO, SAVE LIVES
"Be Prepared" Worked for Teens in Mashpee Emergency
by Gwen Friss, staff writer
YARMOUTH- For more than a century, the Boy Scouts have been drilling boys on
how to work as a team, how to handle an emergency, how to "be prepared."
On Friday night, Scoutmaster Steve Purcell saw firsthand how well it's
Purcell was driving his teenage son and three other members of Mashpee Troop
36 to survival training (Arctic Challenge.. a.b.) when they came on a horrific
car crash. One of the Scouts called 911 while the troop leader went to
A dazed woman was huddled by her car on Route 28. Thirty feet into the woods,
a man was lying face-down in a pool of blood.
Purcell, trained as an emergency medical technician, yelled for his son,
Steven, to keep the woman conscious and still. The other Scouts- Mike Cook,
16, Paul Trask, 15, and Stuart Paaschke, 14-- helped roll the man over so he
wouldn't choke on his own blood before rescuers arrived. Cook and Paaschke
held the struggling man while Purcell bandaged his torn face.
"They were awesome," Purcell said. "I think the thing that impresed me the
most was they didn't hesitate when I asked them to do something."
Luzia Baron, 53, of Hyannis, remained in stable condition yesterday at Cape
Cod Hospital. Peter F. Accolla, 34, of Ocala, Florida, was in critical
condition at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
"It's helpful when people who know how to do the right thing stop and help.
Unfortunately, most people don't know and don't stop," said Mashpee fire chief
George Baker. (an Eagle Scout..a.b.)
Baker said help from the well-trained Scouts and the fact that Mashpee rescue
workers were able to stabilize Accolla quickly for a helicopter flight to
Boston likely saved his life that night.
Trask's father, Rick, who is a call firefighter for Mashpee, said, "It's a
credit to the troop that they had this training in place. You never know if
the kids are picking up on this stuff, but apparently they were."
After the Mashpee and Cotuit fire departments arrived, Purcell drove the
Scouts to Camp Greenough in Yarmouth. They took a break from the shelter they
were building yesterday to talk about Friday's crash.
"It wasn't really scary for me until it was over," Cook said, noting the
crash was nothing like he would expect, having seen television and newspaper
reports of accidents. "It's not edited. You see everything as it's happening,
and you're right in the middle of it."
The younger Purcell said the accident scene felt almost surreal because a car
radio was still blasting in the woods. As he knelt next to the injured woman,
he could smell gas and hear the van behind him hissing. He worried it might
"I was asking her name, if she remembered what happened," he said. "There's
all these questions you're supposed to ask somebody with a head injury, but
after a while it's instinct. You don't really have to think about what's
The teenagers said they felt good that five years of first aid training canme
through when they needed it. Troop performance, the quartet still has to take
-and pass- this weeken'd's first aid test.
(The article was on the front page of the Cape Cod Times, and was accompanied
by a picture of the four Scouts. It was a followup to the original one in the
Saturday paper, which prominently noted the Scouts' actions but noted that
they had left before news photographers and reporters arrived on the scene.
The reporter and photog came down to camp the next day to locate, identify,
and interview them. The staff read the Saturday article to the assembled
Scouts and Scouters at Saturday breakfast and the boys were recognized by all
present in camp, including many parents and boys who arrived Sunday for the
Klondike, at the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon, with a standing
I was not one of the people who helped train Troop 36. But as someone who
teaches the First Aid MB I was proud of the fact that Scouting played a
pivotal part in their competence at this scene. This is an important example
to show people that Boy Scouts prepare young people for the "real world."
Kudos to Troop 36, SM Purcell, and Paul, Mike, Stu, and Steve.
ASM T44 Pocasset MA
Cape Cod & Islands Council
Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety
I useta be an Eagle...
'...We're our counselor's greatest fans,
But we're getting out of Gilwell while we can!'
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City