VK0EK – March 6 – April 20, 2016

In this composite picture, members of the Explorers Club are rescuing a stand-in victim of an accident. Expedition Leader Bob Schmieder stands by at right with the team to lift and carry the stand-in victim.
Nov. 1, 2015. As part of the preparation for the stay on Heard Island, many members of the team are getting training in wilderness first response, rescue, and first aid.

Last month Adam Brown took a First Aid /AED-CPR course in connection with his US Merchant Marine officer’s recertification.  The course takes about 4 hours. The civilian equivalent of thsi course is available through the Red Cross. Ken Karr recently completed a two and a half day course in wilderness first aid. Gavin Marshall is a current member of  Vertical Access and Wilderness rescue teams in New South Wales. He holds a Remote Area First Aid qualification. Standard Requirement, renewed 12 months ago.  He looks toward a refresher within the next 6 months. Fred Belton took a NOLS Wilderness First Aid course. Next weekend Vadym Iliev will attend a two day course of emergency medicine organised by Kiev Fire Department. Other team members will be taking similar training over the four months between now and the expedition.

Our training is partially motivated by the plans for certain members of the team to explore the rugged territory on the slopes of the volcano Big Ben. In so doing, they will be entering areas that are currently undocumented, but which are known from satellite images to have undergone major changes in the past decade. For example, near Spit Bay, the largest glacier on the island has retreated a mile in the past 40 years, leaving a new and unexplored lake, as well as newly created underground rivers. What they will encounter in 2016 is largely unknown, and may present predictable hazards.

In preparing for this expedition we have built into the plans the following:

  • Wilderness training and first aid of the team participants
  • Extensive previous Antarctic experience of the ship’s crew
  • Previous Antarctic expeditions by some of the team members
  • The team doctor (specialty: Emergency Room)
  • Availability of medical consultation online through the satellite connection.

These arrangements should provide resources to eliminate and/or handle almost any medical emergency during the stay on Heard Island.

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