Cave rescue from a childs POV

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Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Grandpa Caver » Apr 6, 2011 7:03 pm

My grotto has accompanied a couple scout troops on annual trips for several years. I've been thinking of adding a short tutorial on caving safety to thier experience. My premise is: You and a couple of your frinds go caving with your dad and dad gets injured. Just what should a child do?

I started thinking of this seeing so many non--caver parents taking too many kids into a well known and locally popular cave. I'm suprized there hasn't been an incident. I just think it would be a good thing to introduce them to some basic guidelines in a worse case senario along with some basic caving first aid.

I'd like to hear you thoughts on this.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby amaddox » Apr 6, 2011 8:58 pm

Interesting.. I was talking to a couple Scouts last weekend. We talked briefly about first aid. They were a little rusty on what to do. I explained to them that in most scenarios it's the adults who get hurt or have a heart attack. What would you do???
I think it's a great topic to review with any kids. How would you get out, call for help, administer first aid?
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby nathanroser » Apr 6, 2011 9:56 pm

I'd say in the case of taking young children into a cave there should be more than one adult or older teenager who has caving experience who would be able to administer first aid or go out of the cave to call for help.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Grandpa Caver » Apr 7, 2011 6:28 am

I agree; unfortunatly that isn't always the case. I always give the kids a pre-trip talk on caving safely and basic dos and don'ts. I'd just like to take the lesson a step further; to raise thier awareness of just how serious even a minor incident can become in a caving enviorment.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby JR-Orion » Apr 7, 2011 9:18 am

Sounds like a great idea to me. It's good, helpful info, and yeah, it adds some weight to the seriousness of what goes on down there.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby nathanroser » Apr 7, 2011 10:26 am

My very first wild caving trip was to Whiting's Neck in WV, I was 11 years old and besides the adult leaders no one was any older than 12 or 13 on that trip. I returned there years later with my friends and it seemed tougher than I remember with a few slippery mud slopes, a few squeezes and chimneying over some pits. I would still call it a novice cave though since 11 year olds can handle it. I find usually that people who already are into other things like hiking and rock climbing will do just fine their first time caving if they don't mind being underground and are properly prepared.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Grandpa Caver » Apr 7, 2011 5:07 pm

Here is what I'm concidering. On my next trip with the scouts we could stage an "incident" while in the cave. Perhaps with one of thier adult leaders laying unconcious after a fall. They could then be taught how to assess the patients condition, make him as comfortable as possible and apply basic first aid. Now without adult supervision, they would need to assess thier own situation. Take stock of thier resources, food, water, batteries etc. and decide wether to stay put and await rescue or make an effort to exit the cave and seek help.

That's the outline of what I have in mind. The odds of this situation actually occuring are probably very low but my aim, beyond the learning experience, is to make them think about it. To raise thier awareness and thier confidence. The experience could also apply to a simple fishing trip with dad or a family hike in the woods.

I do plan to have a couple folks more qualified than myself help with the first aid bit but I would like to know if anyone here on the DB might have any advise, suggestions or ideas that might enhance the exersize? I believe I will need to keep it short or risk losing the kids attention.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby cavedoc » Apr 12, 2011 12:23 pm

That sounds like an excellent exercise. One other thing to consider during the "incident" is leadership issues. If the adult goes down, who's in charge? In Scouting you have a leadership structure in place with the boys already, which is good. This is a great opportunity to add to the leadership training for those boys. But it's worthwhile doing the exercise of "what if there is no patrol leader (or other appropriate title, maybe things have changed since I was a Scout)? How will you make decisions? Who will make decisions?" There are plenty of reasonable answers to those questions that will depend on the situation but they are good to discuss before problems happen.

I was at a medical continuing education function last week in which a wilderness med scenario was a boy scout troop whose leader got hit by lightning along with several Scouts. The leader was out for a while as was a Scout. Based on a real incident. 14 boys, only one adult. So it can happen. Best to take two adults, especially with a group of that size. they chose to send two older Scouts towards the trailhead to look for help while the rest stayed. Seems like a pretty reasonable response to that situation.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby amaddox » Apr 12, 2011 4:15 pm

cavedoc wrote:That sounds like an excellent exercise. One other thing to consider during the "incident" is leadership issues. If the adult goes down, who's in charge? In Scouting you have a leadership structure in place with the boys already, which is good. This is a great opportunity to add to the leadership training for those boys. But it's worthwhile doing the exercise of "what if there is no patrol leader (or other appropriate title, maybe things have changed since I was a Scout)? How will you make decisions? Who will make decisions?" There are plenty of reasonable answers to those questions that will depend on the situation but they are good to discuss before problems happen.

I was at a medical continuing education function last week in which a wilderness med scenario was a boy scout troop whose leader got hit by lightning along with several Scouts. The leader was out for a while as was a Scout. Based on a real incident. 14 boys, only one adult. So it can happen. Best to take two adults, especially with a group of that size. they chose to send two older Scouts towards the trailhead to look for help while the rest stayed. Seems like a pretty reasonable response to that situation.

In a Scout situation there will probably be at least 2 adults, but there are other organizations that don't require 2 deep leadership. Also, both adults could be down in a lightening situation like that.

I think everybody has been contributing good ideas.
I try to talk more on the "how to prevent" end, but it's a good topic for discussion especially on a Scouting trip.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Grandpa Caver » Apr 12, 2011 4:51 pm

Thanks Roger. That's exactly the kind of advise I was hoping to get. I still have several months to get all my ducks in a row on this but I will be speaking to the troops scoutmaster soon and would like to be armed with more than just a vague plan when I talk to him. Still plenty of time; any more ideas, anyone?

There is one thing that has been tickling the back of my mind. Given the serious nature of this exercise with a group of minors; are there any "particular" legal issues I should concider?
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby amaddox » Apr 12, 2011 5:28 pm

Grandpa Caver wrote:Thanks Roger. That's exactly the kind of advise I was hoping to get. I still have several months to get all my ducks in a row on this but I will be speaking to the troops scoutmaster soon and would like to be armed with more than just a vague plan when I talk to him. Still plenty of time; any more ideas, anyone?

There is one thing that has been tickling the back of my mind. Given the serious nature of this exercise with a group of minors; are there any "particular" legal issues I should concider?

There is information on http://www.caves.org/youth that deal with that. There's also the BSA caving page as well that has links to the BSA caving guidelines. Anyone taking Scouts caving should aware of these.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby caveflower » Apr 12, 2011 6:20 pm

Grandpa if you need help with this let me know. I can do what ever you need. I think its a great ideal btw.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Grandpa Caver » Apr 12, 2011 6:32 pm

Yes thanks. While I am aware of the BSA regs and NSS guidelines and I try to keep up with occasional changes: now would surely be a good time to re-read them. Maybe I'm being overly cautious but I was wondering if there might be some seemingly minor detail such as what I name the event (or should it be named?) that might be concidered.

I've done enough youth group trips, caving projects and events to know I tend to worry a bit too much about such things. I have learned however; the devil is in the details.
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby Grandpa Caver » Apr 12, 2011 6:35 pm

caveflower wrote:Grandpa if you need help with this let me know. I can do what ever you need. I think its a great ideal btw.


Don't worry Brenda. You are definately on my list of "go to" people!
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Re: Cave rescue from a childs POV

Postby amaddox » Apr 12, 2011 6:42 pm

Grandpa Caver wrote:Yes thanks. While I am aware of the BSA regs and NSS guidelines and I try to keep up with occasional changes: now would surely be a good time to re-read them. Maybe I'm being overly cautious but I was wondering if there might be some seemingly minor detail such as what I name the event (or should it be named?) that might be concidered.

I've done enough youth group trips, caving projects and events to know I tend to worry a bit too much about such things. I have learned however; the devil is in the details.

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