Location: Rye, NH, USA
HOSPITALITY! I take this away form the gracious Alaskan EMS personnel. I thank you for your sharing time, experience, education and gifts. One will find no group more cordial and willing to share: Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage Fire Department, Eagle River Fire Department, Learn to Return Alaskan Natives and Native Alaskans.
The Go-Frist kids should be very proud of their accomplishments and contributions. Our future looks bright.
May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields and, Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Location: Eagle River, AK, USA
The Eagle River Fire Department, Station 11 of the City of Anchorage hosted or training for this last full day. Training included swift water and technical (low angle) rescue. We were trained in water wear one piece fleece suit, dry suit, rubber gloves and shoes that looked like mid cut hikers. We wore life jackets and helmets. The water does not run really fast, but faster than one can swim against. The problem is temperature and hypothermia at a chilly 42 º. With the face exposed, it was really a shock, but the adrenaline rush made it quickly go away. While floating downstream, it was difficult to avoid the rocks, but we learned some techniques on your back feet up and pointed downstream, point your head to the direction of desired travel. The training staff was very professional and safe. They had several back-up systems in place for those who missed the bag tossed, and no one floated to the inlet.
Our next excursion was technical rescue. We worked with the equipment (ropes, carabineer, figure eight, pulley and anchor systems
) to extricate a victim from the bottom of a steep embankment. The same equipment used for high angle rescue. The team was outstanding in their effort.
Location: Anchorage, AK, USA
The Anchorage Fire Department (Station 1, or "The Big House") hosted mud wrestling ... I mean Mud Rescue today. Enjoy the pics.
The mud is glacier silt and the equivalent to quicksand. If one is stuck just to the ankle, it is impossible to move. Several mud rescues occur each year, and there have been many deaths from drowning (the average tide is 35 feet) or hypothermia (the water temp in the summer is around 42º.
Rescuers approach the victim on plywood planks, insert a 1 ½ stainless pipe attached to a fire hose. The water can be pumped from a truck or natural supply depending on distance. The water injected around the victims legs allows the rescuer to free the victim.
This fire department has 25 dorm rooms, 4 refrigerators, 2 stoves, 2 poles (North and South) a theater seating 20 with a 20X30 screen, sound system and all the toys. Entry level pay is $44K. There are currently no openings.
Location: Anchorage, AK, USA
Mountain top rescue today, with helicopter rescue. Flattop Mountain (3510) is the most popular mountain to climb in Alaska. The last 300 meters is all rock and is hand and foot climbing. We carried our rescue gear (litter, backboard, trauma pack, rope, hard hats and more) for 3 hours to the summit. Unfortunately not all completed the climb.
We ran a back injury scenario from primary assessment to helio load. It was a very impressive sight to see the heilo land in such a small area. Hope you like the pics.
We all trained at the international company Learn to Return practicing survival skills. The pictures are of their crash cage simulating escape. These guys are unbelievable in their equipment, knowledge and experience and training skills. They train world wide and have made a number of appearances on The Discovery Channel and others.
Location: Kenai, AK, USA
Spent the night at a native fishing camp in Kenai sleeping on the shore of the Cook Inlet after a 4 hour drive from Anchorage. Air temp was 48º with a "brisk" wind and the water temp was about 39º. No one went swimming.
At the water's edge, all pcipants added soil and water from there home areas (Myrtle Beach, Chichago, Chile and Alaska) into a native bowl. I brought sand from Rye Beach and water from the Atlantic Ocean. The water I collected was actually a wave I captured when Susan and were at the beach before left, but it was stable by the time I got to Kenai.
Surfers were gathering south of Potter Marsh for the incomming tide. Tide changes through the narrow inlet create a tidal wave 4 to 6 feet high that they can ride in the fridged water for almost 2 miles -- if they don't fall.
Tomorrow we perform a mountain top rescue (Flattop Mountain) where a rescue helicopter is scheduled to land at 7:00 PM our time. I am hoping to get some good photos (if I can make the hike).
Depart Rye, NH 3:55 AM arrive Anchorage Alaska 7:15 PM (EST ANC 3:15 PM)
Beautiful day mostly sunny, some clouds 68º.
Anchorage is pretty flat and the city is sprawling with the tallest building about 17 stories. The Alaskan mountain range is in the east and several hold snow in the highest elevations.
The EMT and Rescue training facility at ACC is modern spacious and well equipped. They have a large steel frame model of a car with the front seats and a steering wheel to practice extrication. All the rescue equipment is state of the art.
Today is orientation, with most participants arriving except for the Chicago troop. Cristian arrived from Chile last night.
We check in at UAA tonight.
I hope to have photos tonight.
My best to all.
Location: Rye, NH, USA
I have set up this site in an effort to provide updated information about the Alaska trip. I leave Rye at 4:00 AM Saturday, July 28, 2007, fly to Vagas then Anchorage arriving 3:15 PM (their time). I stay with a host family the first night, camp out Monday then at the University of Alaska, Anchorage dorm.
Very excited here, and I hope you get to check out this adventure.