September 15, 2010 0

What To Do In An Emergency Whilst Walking

By in Notes to Team, Pre-trek Notes

What To Do In An Emergency Whilst Walking
Walking and trekking are enjoyable past-times with proven benefits for your health. There is, however, a small risk of accident and injury associated with walking even on relatively easy ground. An inadvertant trip can lead to a stumble, which could entrain a broken bone or head injury. Walkers need to be aware of these risks and accept them, and be responsible for their own actions. It is for this reason that everyone should know the basics of what to do in the event of an accident.
If there is an accident, follow these basic rules.
Assess the injury and prevent a further accident
Do not risk your life to access the person if they have fallen to a dangerous spot. If you cannot get to them, descend directly to get help. If access is possible, make sure that you and the injured person are not at risk of a further fall or if possible are not in the line of falling stones. Assess the person’s injury. Judge whether they can move by themselves, whether there appears to be anything broken etc.
Undertaking a first aid course is the best way of being able to treat injuries with a degree of certainty. In any case there are a few basic principles that will help. If there is excessive bleeding apply pressure with clothing to the cut. Do not remove any objects embedded in an injury. If the injury is serious, for example badly cut head or arm, make sure the person is lying or sitting down. Movement will only aggravate the bleeding. If there are serious head injuries keep the head immobilised as movement could lead to complications. The injured person is likely to suffer shock which can lead to them becoming cold. Make sure they are adequately covered and have water to drink.
Assess your location
If the person cannot be moved you will need to tell the emergency services where they can find the injured person. Use your detailed walking map to assess your exact location and grid reference number. Make a note of any features such as hills, trees, fences, cliffs etc that will help locate the injured person or may present a danger to the emergency services.
Getting help
How easy it is to get help will depend on where you are. Remember to turn off your phone whilst walking so that you do not run out of batteries when you need it. When you contact emergency services, report the nature of the accident, the nature of the injuries, whether they are alone and the grid reference where they are situated.
Bright clothing is good for attracting attention. If the situation warrants leave someone to care for the injured person if possible and the other can go and get help. However, make sure the person left behind and going for help has adequate resources (clothing, food and water).

We plan to carry a BSNL Number which will be circulated to all shortly apart from the local emergency numbers.
Attracting help
If you are trying to attract the attention of the emergency services, then you should know the signals which indicates that you need help. The international mountain distress signals are six blasts on a whistle and flashes with a torch after dark spaced evenly for one minute followed by a minute’s pause. Repeat as necessary. The response is three signals per minute followed by a minutes’s pause. If you are signaling to an incoming helicopter – then raising both hands above the head in a V indicates that help’s required. One arm raised upwards and the other down by the body indicates that help is not required.
(Disclaimers: From the big world of web – with insertions/edits by me)

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