12 February 2011

Dark responsibility

Humans are heavier than you’d sometimes think. Normally that doesn’t matter too much, as people tend to be so polite as to move their own body weight around if physical displacement is required, but there are exceptions. And if you don’t want to be faced with these it’s advisable not to join Cave Rescue. Which, by the way, is part of Mountain Rescue. Carrying a fellow cave rescuer on a stretcher out of a mine adit-infested bit of woodland gave me a taste of how many able bodies you need for transporting one disabled specimen. More than I’d have thought!

However, we are supposed to do more trying things, of course. By the time we have gotten a victim to the surface, it’s thinkable we can transfer them to a stretcher on wheels, and deliver them into the hands of professionals. We are first and foremost the ones to take care of them befóre we’ve achieved that feat. And thus I found myself underground on my free Wednesday evening, profusely sweating over a willing volunteer on a stretcher we tried to get out of Baker’s pit.

The "victim" is carefully placed on the stretcher

It’s not really easy to lift a stretcher with a full-grown male through a slippery maze that often is so tight even one single able-bodied person has to crawl, but we managed. A very good exercise! And I hope we never need these skills, but we’d better have them anyway.

I recently found out as well I have ended up on the “first call” list. If someone in Devon or Cornwall gets him- or herself into trouble underground I’ll be phoned. I can feel the responsibility on my shoulders! I’m eager to improve my first aid skills, and I figured that for the very small chance someone’s life comes to depends on me I’d better make sure I actually notice when I get a text message, so I adjusted the message tone of my phone to "very annoying".

It’s all very “good citizenship” and “big society” and the works, but Richard our lab technician provided the reality check. He said “if you then get back to the Netherlands, you can say you can do mountain rescue and cave rescue! And then they’ll ask “what is a mountain? What is a cave?””


Paul said...

can I use the piccie on the DCRO website?

Margot said...

Of course!