Back Country Medical Response Team Trains on Rapid River
August 26, 2009
The NorthStar Back Country Medical Response Team responds to calls involving sick or injured patients in the remote parts of its 2,800 square-mile response area. “Calls range from the injured hiker on Littler Bigelow to the dehydrated hiker on the Appalachian Trail,” said Mike Senecal, NorthStar operations manager. “Requests for service are low ranging from five to 15 requests a year, but the calls require a tremendous amount of resources and training to complete—the resources needed quickly exceed the capabilities of any one entity.” NorthStar works closely with all area fire departments, the Warden Service, and Franklin Search and Rescue to respond to wilderness rescue calls.
Members of Franklin Search and Rescue joined NorthStar to take part in the training. The training consisted of several important topics: Map & Compass instructed by Peter Boucher WEMT-P; GPS Navigation instructed by Mark Rousseau, WEMT-B, from the Maine Forest Service; Rope Rescue and Patient Care by Dennis Kerrigan, WEMT-P, and Mike Senecal, WEMT-P; Caring for Patients in the Remote Setting by Becky Morin, WEMT-P, RN; and Basic Swift Water Rescue Skills by Dennis Kerrigan WEMT-P.
On the final day, students were challenged to use their skills to gain access and treat two patients on a section of the Rapid River using all the skills reviewed during the training. Like clockwork, the team quickly developed a plan to locate the patients, provide medical care, and evacuate the patients from the area. The team accomplished the task in approximately one hour.
Special thanks goes out to Aldro French and the Friends of Forest Lodge for their generous donation; Shelby Rousseau for making it happen; Noah Rousseau for being a patient; Rangeley Lake Heritage and Trust for continued support; Franklin Search and Rescue for their dedication; and all the instructors and the rescuers who sacrificed two days for training.
For more information or if you would like the NorthStar Back Country Team to make a presentation for your group, contact Mike Senecal at 779-2400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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