Cave rescue from a childs POV

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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Grandpa Caver » Apr 12, 2011 7:14 pm

[/quote]I"d like to hear about some of these trips sometime. I really get a kick out of them.[/quote]

I'd love to trade stories and yes I have a few to share. I usually make Kentuckys KOR and Indianas Capers is always a must do. I'm not hard to find, see ya there?
Brian Leavell
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby cavedoc » Apr 12, 2011 10:50 pm

Grandpa Caver wrote: any more ideas, anyone?


So besides your exercise of staging a scenario you could do a number of table top scenarios beforehand or in the cave (Tactical Excercies Without Troops" TEWTs). Run each of them with a different older boy in the hot seat. Offer potential solutions as needed.

Who's in charge if the leader goes down? How do you decide that if there is no clear secondary leader?

The water's rising! Now what? Darn those freak thunderstorms. The weather report was clear. Of course we checked. Didn't we?

The leader has been bonked in the head with a rock and can't lead. Will you wait for help? (You did tell someone where you were going, right?). Will you send someone out for help? One? Two? Who? Who will stay. What supplies to you have? What can you do with them. What supplies stay with the patient and which supplies go out (if someone is going out)?

Flesh eating aliens have invaded the cave, chased you around and eaten the scout master. You're lost. Now what? Split up? (Nip that one in the bud). Stay put? Look to get back out? Create weapons and attack the aliens?

Scoutmaster falls and breaks an ankle. Still can lead. Scouts splint it. Self evacuation? Call for help? Both simultaneously? If calling for help, who will go? One ? Two? What if it's the knee? What if his neck hurts real bad? How would someone call for help anyway? Radios? Cell phones? Is there coverage or not? (good chance to talk about coverage issues, elevation, repeaters, etc). Will someone have to drive? Where are the keys? Is there someone else who can safely/legally drive if needed in this emergency? (This might be a good one to put the scoutmaster in the hot seat after the boys have had to experience it).
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby NZcaver » Apr 13, 2011 1:40 am

Great discussion, especially with input from Roger and his multiple alien personalities... :tonguecheek:

Brian, you mentioned Scouts so I'm assuming they receive some type of first aid/CPR training for merit badges or general skills? As I understand, if they are pre-teens CPR can be a tricky issue because they often lack the strength to maintain effective compressions. (Not to say many adult laypersons are much more effective.) I suggest you find somebody to teach or refresh first aid/CPR skills to the Scouts using material within BSA guidelines. Do this in a local indoor (or outdoor) setting, in preparation for your special caving trip.

I like Roger's TEWT suggestion. I suggest you stage your actual incident as a "walkthrough" (where you and the kids talk about what's going on and discuss your actions), rather than a faster-paced "mock" exercise. Leave that for NCRC! The basics will be fairly standard first aid practice, although in setting which is more isolated than usual. Scene safety, assess/maintain critical systems, go for help. And some basic treatment/stabilization options for minor to moderate injuries. Environmental considerations (cold, damp, dirty) should be mitigated to avoid secondary issues like hypothermia - for the patient and everybody else. If the person doesn't have enough mobility to make their own way out of the cave, going for help and waiting is probably the most prudent option.

PS I did a Google search and found some Scouting Web First Aid links. Have you seen these?
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Jon » Aug 24, 2011 2:40 am

Wow, good ideas but here's a twist. Often there is a 'leader' kid in the group that they tend to go to or depend on. Set up the situation and say that kid has to sit it out or freak out. This moves things down the food chain if you will. I was at a training session and was feeling frisky if you will. And when called on to play a part I instead played a very different part. Putting both the instructor and the group totally off guard. I refused to get out of character (unreasonable and hysterical) until someone neutralized the situation. At first the instructor and the group were at a total loss and then the instructor saw a great opportunity to really get some training in. The trick was to not appear to be play acting and to "roll over' or "calm down" too easily, but to seem to really be continually on the edge of wigging out. Sometimes it isn't the injured person but the freaked out friend that causes the problem. Anyway when training gets too routine, throw in a curve ball, but be sure the curve ball can handle someone in training over-reacting. With scouts or youth groups the first year is straight after that about anything goes ...... just to keep em on their toes. By the way if you are on a payroll it might be a good idea to clear the unexpected freak out before actually doing it. I got away with it (barely) because the instructor, my boss, was a friend. Your mileage and continued employment may vary. I hate to say it but the looks on the faces of those who had been to more than one training session where everything was solved with one or two textbook responses was ..... priceless. Then there was my boss who thought she'd get a textbook acting job from me....!
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby amaddox » Aug 24, 2011 7:00 am

Jon wrote:Wow, good ideas but here's a twist. Often there is a 'leader' kid in the group that they tend to go to or depend on. Set up the situation and say that kid has to sit it out or freak out. This moves things down the food chain if you will. I was at a training session and was feeling frisky if you will. And when called on to play a part I instead played a very different part. Putting both the instructor and the group totally off guard. I refused to get out of character (unreasonable and hysterical) until someone neutralized the situation. At first the instructor and the group were at a total loss and then the instructor saw a great opportunity to really get some training in. The trick was to not appear to be play acting and to "roll over' or "calm down" too easily, but to seem to really be continually on the edge of wigging out. Sometimes it isn't the injured person but the freaked out friend that causes the problem. Anyway when training gets too routine, throw in a curve ball, but be sure the curve ball can handle someone in training over-reacting. With scouts or youth groups the first year is straight after that about anything goes ...... just to keep em on their toes. By the way if you are on a payroll it might be a good idea to clear the unexpected freak out before actually doing it. I got away with it (barely) because the instructor, my boss, was a friend. Your mileage and continued employment may vary. I hate to say it but the looks on the faces of those who had been to more than one training session where everything was solved with one or two textbook responses was ..... priceless. Then there was my boss who thought she'd get a textbook acting job from me....!

I like this.. Great idea... HHHHMMMMM...... Now to put this to use..
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Grandpa Caver » Aug 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Our trip is now about a month away. As Jansen suggested we are keeping it simple. Here is what we have planned...
On our way out of the cave a few of us will get ahead of the group and stage the incident. One of thier leaders will have fallen. He will be unconcious with a possible broken leg. Basically, he will be incapacated and can't be transported. When the scouts arrive on the scene thay will be given the premise that the victim was thier only adult leader. From that point on the rest of us will only observe, answer questions and give advise when needed.

Prior to the exersize, the Troop Leader will have given the kids a refresher course in wilderness survival and basic first aid with an emphasis on skills they will need including hypothermia prevention. The exersize will be tailored to this particular cave. There are several nearby homes where they can seek help. To simply sit and wait will not be an option.
In short; they will have to assess the victims injuries and make him as confortable as possible. Assess thier own resources food, water, lights ect. They will then need to choose a leader and split up with some staying with the patient and some going for help. The exiting scouts will be allowed to find thier route out on thier own, at least far enough to ensure success.

We have an NCRC trained first responder and former instructor to serve as "technical advisor". We discussed including "twists" such as Jon mentioned but decided, at least this time, the KISS approach would be best. I hope to see variations on the exercise become a regular part of our scout trips. A detailed trip report will be posted asap.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Jon » Aug 26, 2011 2:22 am

Young boys and only one adult....hmmmmm ..... ever read Lord of the Flies? :yikes: :yikes: :yikes: :yikes:
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Stridergdm » Oct 18, 2011 4:40 pm

Good topic.

I haven't done it in cave with my kids yet, but outdoors hiking I have. I think when they were 6 and 9, took them up a trail and said "Ok, now you're lost. What do you do?" More a lost-child scenario than anything else. BUT, it got them thinking about staying put. Staying warm. Being findable. Not panicking.

I do a lot of leading (above and below ground) with my local college outing club. And on the freshman trips I'll do a "ok, someone just broke their ankle, what do you do?" type questions. Gets people thinking.

I think it's important to really get kids thinking about what they can and can't do. Ok, you're 85 lbs, your scout leader is 185 lbs. You probably can't carry them out. So now what?

Sometimes, simply knowing, you can do SOMETHING is a huge help in keeping the panic away.

But also knowing that the limited stuff you can do may make all the difference. "Ok, your scout master is in a diabetic coma, what are the dangers? What can you do?" Even if it's as simple as "treat him for hypothermia and keep yourselves warm" it may make the difference between a moderately difficult rescue of one scout master and a full-scale rescue of a leader and 5 kids.

With my oldest, he carries a cave pack at all times. Even on our "simple" caving trips. Heck, last caving trip we did, there were 4 NCRC instructors and one other adult. Yet, I made him carry his pack. He's been doing is since age 9 or so. The idea is to get him used to the idea that he's partly responsible for his own safety and well-being. (as well as the side effect of slowing him down a bit. ;-)

I'll be making my daughter carry her own in the near future for the same reasons. (They already carry emergency packs when hiking for similar reasons.)

My kids also know I'll take their friends caving, but at least one of their friends parents have to come along. And I won't exceed a 2 kids to 1 adult ratio. Obviously as the kids get older that'll change.

But overall, I think the stuff here is a great idea. In a couple of years, I'll probably have my oldest tag after me on an OCR (more as an observer than a participant) to learn even more.
Cavers rescue cavers!
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