Mount Diablo Challenge Medical Detail Recap

Mount Diablo Challenge

On October 6th, 2013, CoCoSAR provided medical support for the Mount Diablo Challenge. This was the annual bike ride up Mt. Diablo, an 11.2 mile timed bike ride, starting at Athenian School in Danville and climbing up Southgate Road 3,249 feet to the summit of Mount Diablo. Approximately 1,000 cycling enthusiasts competed. 

More than 25 CoCoSAR team members staffed 6 medical stations located on Mt Diablo.

EMR In Action, ctd.

Team member Will McCammon had a recent medical experience:

I was on my way to a Sunday afternoon shift at the County Fair when I came upon a single-car accident on Highway 4. The car had flipped over and the lone occupant was lying on the side of the road surrounded by a small group of people.  As I didn’t see any first responders on scene, I pulled over to see if I could help. 

A big thank you goes to the EMR training staff for constantly stressing the basics because as I got to the subject, I had my gloves on, was asking if 9-1-1 had been called (it had) and was looking for mechanisms of injury (MOI). While the car was an obvious MOI, I wasn’t sure if the subject had been thrown from the car, had gotten out on his own, or was helped out by bystanders.  

The subject was groaning (ABCs – check) but wasn’t responsive to verbal commands (A&O = 0) and only responded to painful stimuli. Bystanders indicated that he only spoke Spanish and they had pulled him from the car. My first thought was C-spine issues and that he should have been left where he was.

As I was thinking this, an off-duty EMT arrived and asked if he could hold C-spine, which I had him do. A second off-duty EMT (who spoke Spanish) was right behind him and attempted to communicate with the subject (get him to stay conscious and stop moving).  During the few moments before the ambulance and fire personnel arrived on scene, we took vitals (high pulse and rapid respirations) and ascertained that he was injured both on his right side and pelvic area.  

As soon as fire and ambulance responders arrived, everything kicked into high gear. They grabbed C-spine and quickly moved into assessing the patient. Within one or two minutes, they were setting up the patient packaging gear and I found myself applying the skills we train on so often. The only variation with our training was the use of Velcro with the cheese blocks and not tape (I am a convert!) and the need to maintain one leg at a 90-degree angle on the board due to injuries.

Although I wasn‘t tracking our time, I believe the total packaging time was around five minutes. This says something about constant training! The subject was loaded into the ambulance and I was able to head off to the County Fair for the rest of my day.

Reflecting on my first medical experience taught me several valuable lessons:

·       Always be as prepared as possible by having BSI and basic equipment such as a CPR mask readily available – I was heading to the County Fair, so I was geared up.  I can’t count on that in a future event unless I plan for it.

·       A big thanks to the EMR training team and their training process – BSI, scene safety, calling for help, ABCs, etc. rapidly came to mind. What wasn’t so easy was when the process didn’t follow our standard scenarios (patient speaks English and is awake, etc.). I need to mentally rehearse and practice thinking outside the easy patient assessment routines and prep for when the process breaks down. This includes ascertaining available help and skills with bystanders. (I was fortunate an EMT was on-hand to hold C-spine.)

·       Practice, practice, practice – My day job does not provide me with any training in the medical arena, so it’s up to me to develop the skills to feel comfortable and prepared if and when the need arises.

Summer Is Here

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By Nancy Hart

Our summer Search and Rescue missions can bring us into some long hot days. It's important to know the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses for ourselves, for our subjects, and for our teammates. I know this well now after my experience at this year's County Fair. It was in the upper 90s on Friday and a whopping 105 degrees on Saturday. Even with sunscreen, I was sunburned on Friday. My body's cooling system just couldn't keep up on Saturday with the burn and the even higher temperatures. Although I drank plenty of water and wore sunscreen, I still succumbed to heat exhaustion by late Saturday. And like the subject in Diane Blue's scenario at last month's full team training, I tried to keep going!  Thanks to a teammate who kept insisting I had too much sun, I finally signed out and spent the next two days nursing a headache and staying indoors. Be safe out there!

Heat Illnesses To Be On The Watch For

Heat edema (and it starts)
Heat causes blood vessels to dilate (open up) and as the body is starting to have trouble with using salt to sweat out, fluid will pool in the hands and legs. Ever get those puffy fingers when running or hiking?

Heat exhaustion (milder initial stage)
Move into an air-conditioned environment and don’t go back out into the sun for at least a day or two or the condition will return and possibly be worse!
• profusely sweating
• rapid weak pulse
• rapid breathing (just can’t “catch your breath”)
• blood pressure drops when standing up (you feel dizzy)
• fatigue (you might feel a little “out of it” and “tired”)
• reddened face changes to -> pale, cool, and moist
• headache
• muscle cramping
• nausea (sometimes vomiting)

Heat stroke (next stage, can be deadly!!)
Immediately get out of the sun, in an air-conditioned room preferably, and sponge cool water on the skin. Call for an ambulance to the emergency room.
• sweating has stopped!! – skin is dry, red and hot (body’s sweating mechanism has failed)
• body temperature is up over 101 degrees F
• confusion (Can your teammate or subject remember where they are? What the plans were for the day? What day of the week it is? Their name or your name?)
• throbbing headache and nausea
• severe cramps (as if muscles are encased in cement and you can’t move)
• pulse is fast, breathing rapid, blood pressure low

CDC Facts on Heat Illness, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke
 

Save The Dates!

The SAR medical season is heating up. We need your support during a wide range of coming activities. Each of these events provides a unique opportunity to practice your medical, communication, navigation and search skills while getting to know your SAR teammates. There is also the opportunity to enjoy the festivities while being ready to help; most even include a free meal.

So mark these dates on your calendar now to be ready to sign up when spots open up. Details of each event will be released as the dates approach. Contact Bob Harrison, SAR medical sergeant, if you need more information right now.

SERT competition, Friday, June 28
The SERT competition is a competition between various law-enforcement agencies, primarily those involved with corrections. SAR members will be assigned with teams representing different agencies to lend support. Lunch will be provided along with possible shooting time at the range for all team members who participate. Contact Chris Retta to sign up now for this event.

Danville Fourth of July parade, Thursday, July 4
A hometown parade start 9 a.m. and ends at approximately 11:30 a.m. The parade currently draws 30,000 to 40,000 people, making it the largest single event in the Bay Area. SAR is there to provide medical assistance to the crowds.

Hot Summer Nights 1, Thursday, July 18
This event combines classic cars and camaraderie to create an evening of summer celebration. Downtown streets are lined with muscle cars, hot rods and vintage rides dating back to 1969 while live bands play '50s and '60s music. There are also food, drink and souvenir booths throughout, along with downtown shops and restaurants.

Hot Summer Nights 2, Thursday, August 15
A repeat performance of the event provides another opportunity to view old cars, listen to music and walk the downtown streets as described above.

El Sobrante Stroll, Sunday, September 15
This annual downtown event features a range of ethnic foods, live music from multiple bands of different styles, a variety of booths and shops along San Pablo Dam Road, a Kid Corral and a Grand Parade.

Mount Diablo Challenge, Sunday Oct. 6
This event is a 10.8-mile timed bike ride starting at Athenian School in Danville and climbing up Southgate Road 3,249 feet to the summit of Mount Diablo. One-thousand cycling enthusiasts compete in several categories. A ceremony is held at the summit with food and beverages for all. 

Lafayette Reservoir Run, Sunday Oct. 27
The Lafayette Reservoir Run is the city’s most popular “family affair,” involving kids, parents, grandparents and hundreds of serious runners from throughout the Bay Area. Over 2,000 participants compete in a 10k, 5k, or 2-mile race through the heart of the downtown, around the reservoir and back. Sprinters, walkers, the “stroller brigade” and many of Lafayette’s top four-legged residents share the streets that festive morning. 

Diablo Trail Adventure, Sunday Nov. 3
Save Mount Diablo hosts a fun series of races on the mountain: family hike, 5K, 10K, and half-marathon. The 5K, 10K and half-marathon will all begin and end at Castle Rock Park in Walnut Creek. The 50K is a point-to-point run beginning at Round Valley Regional Preserve and finishing at Castle Rock Park. It is challenging course with steep climbs, descents and creek crossings.

Who Saved Scooby Doo?

Search and rescue is not limited to just humans. Jack Peabody and Dennis Lane rendered aid to a 70-plus-pound Samoyed at the Diablo Trails Challenge on April 20. 

An elderly woman hiked out on the Old Finley trail. She approached Jack and Dennis, and stated that she needed help with her 11-year-old Samoyed dog. He was unable to move and she hoped they could help. Without hesitation, they grabbed a tarp, water and a fanny pack. They hiked roughly a mile or more to their four-legged subject. 

Fellow team members were a bit surprised to see them both return sans the dog. In short, the dog was too big and heavy to carry with just a tarp. However, being resourceful CoCoSAR members, they grabbed a stokes carrier, plus backboard, then requested transport aid from an event coordinator. In no time at all the pair had the dog back at the medical station, resting comfortably. When the owner came by with her car, Jack and Dennis helped the woman place the dog carefully in her car. 

A large thank you card was sent to 50 Glacier with a present. CoCoSAR was thanked for its rescue of Scooby Doo. Jack and Dennis were later identified as the “kind and compassionate” members that had rendered assistance. 

Shhh! Don’t tell them that the present was a delicious box of See’s candy. Somehow the box was consumed at the May 1 Command Staff and team meetings. 

When you see Jack and Dennis, be sure to compliment them on their actions. Others of us may have to also thank them for the chocolate treats.

 

Medical Detail: Diablo Trails Challenge

CoCoSAR started off its 2013 medical detail season today with the Diablo Trails Challenge (DTC). Next to the June County Fair , the DTC is the largest event CoCoSAR has to support and is a good way for team members to exercise first-aid skills.

The race consists of a 50K, a half-marathon, a 10K and a 5K run on Mt. Diablo. The 5K, 10K and half-marathon all began and ended at Castle Rock Park in Walnut Creek. The 50K was a point-to-point run beginning at Round Valley Regional Preserve and finishing at Castle Rock Park. All course distances are challenging with steep climbs, descents and creek crossings. 

Start times were 0700 for the 50K, 0900 for the half marathon, 0920 for the 10K and 0940 for the 5K. CoCoSAR teams manned the course before the first started gun went off and until all runners crossed the finish line. The last 50k runner finished in ~10.5 hrs. at approximately 1730 hrs. 

CoCoSAR team members provided medical support (and encouragement) for runners by staffing seven first-aid stations. Members of the bike team also patrolled part of the route to offer aid if needed. Teams treated lots of scrapes, bumps and bruises, handed out many ice packs and took care of a few blisters. Four runners required more advanced, hands-on medical attention.

Congratulations to all runners, with a special shout out to four of our own CoCoSAR team members who competed today: Chris Coelho, John Venturino, Andy Csepely and Alan Mathews.

SAR Word of the Day

101352Sphyg·mo·ma·nom·e·ter
noun /ˌsfigmōməˈnämitər/ 
sphygmomanometers, plural

An instrument for measuring blood pressure, typically consisting of an inflatable rubber cuff that is applied to the arm and connected to a column of mercury next to a graduated scale, enabling the determination of systolic and diastolic blood pressure by increasing and gradually releasing the pressure in the cuff.