Although rare within the Colorado Mountain Club, backcountry incidents are stressful and confusing, and the wrong activities can potentially compound to make a bad situation even worse. For those who have always wanted a means to review, practice, and improve the skills needed to successfully manage the initial aspects of an unforeseen incident, the CMC now offers the Backcountry Incident Management Seminar.
This all day event will take place on September 14th (a Tuesday) with students simultaneously rotating through four stations, with each station emphasizing one aspect (one role) typically required to manage and mitigate the consequences of a backcountry incident. These roles consist of a First Aid Team, a Go-for-Help Team (aka the Help Team), a Spend-the-Night team (aka the Bivvy Team), and an Incident Manager (IM) Team. The IM Team will coordinate the actions and activities of the other three roles. As a review from our Wilderness First Aid (WFA) class:
- The First Aid Team will assess the nature of the victim’s injuries, consult with the IM Team to confirm the accident site is safe (if not coordinate resources to relocate the victim), perform primary and secondary physical checks, then document vitals for the Help Team.
- The Help team will work with the IM Team to develop a plan to contact help, whether that is by phone, SPOT, or hiking back to the trailhead. Using the information from the First Aid Team, the Help Team will share with S&R the nature of the incident/injuries and offer advice on the assistance deemed necessary.
- In the event of a prolonged incident, the Bivvy Team will coordinate with the IM Team to develop a plan to establish shelter, fire, water, and the ability to locally signal for help. Whether the stay is several hours or overnight, the Bivvy Team will make efforts to keep the victim and other group participants warm, dry, and safe.
- The IM serves as the glue and the coordination point for all the other roles; this role is the essence of the BIM seminar. In addition to keeping all the moving parts headed in the right direction, the IM will need to monitor the over all care and feeding of those involved (trip participants and perhaps spectators). With input from all the teams, the IM will need to make timely decisions, initiate activities, and utilize resources even when desired information is unavailable.
The BIM seminar in intended to dovetail into the WFA curriculum. Typically, the WFA course would place 80% emphasis on the diagnosis and application of first aid, and 20% on incident management. The new BIM Seminar will consist of 20% first aid and 80% on the incident management activities.
Course enrollment fee will be $20. Additional information (field day logistics and homework) will be provided to students accepted into the course. Priority will be given to CMC trip leaders. Enrollment is limited to eight students per session.
Seminar prerequisite: Successful completion of a recent Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course.
If interested, email Rich.McAdams@hotmail.com