Crew members from Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) station 12 (Halfmoon Bay) and station 14 (Gibsons) recently completed an advanced level of marine first aid and first responder training.
Training together is always a great opportunity for crews from both stations to compare experiences and share resources and knowledge. The volunteer crew members dedicated days of study and practice to learn the required material.
Besides classroom work, home readings and lots of acted scenarios, participants spent time out in the snow practising on the dock and aboard the station 12 fast response vessel in Sechelt Inlet.
Most RCMSAR taskings involve such situations as missing people, bad weather, mechanical failure and vessels taking on water, but medical emergencies can happen at any time and can be severe. With trained personnel on board, RCMSAR fast response vessels generally carry such equipment as AEDs, hypothermia kits, oxygen, transport devices and equipment necessary for a wide range of medical emergencies.
While first aid certification has always been a requirement for active duty crew, this new training raises crew capabilities to a higher level of assessment and first response care.
The primary job in a medical emergency is still to get the patient to advanced medical care, but as the first trained personnel on scene, better training means better initial assessment, better first medical response and better patient transport.
Final evaluation scenarios in the course included such cases as a heart attack, head and spine injuries, hypothermia, broken bones and a severed hand from a boat propeller.
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