This week at the station
This week at Macquarie Island: 16 May 2014
The station crew on Antarctic stations need to provide emergency response teams to attend several different types of emergency situations. One of these is search and rescue (SAR) emergencies.
On Macquarie Island, possible SAR emergency situations include rescuing an injured person from a vertical or near vertical slope. This means our SAR team must be trained in the technical aspects of setting up a vertical raise or lower system for a stretcher, and this week our field training officer Ian has been training six of our winter expeditioners in this technique. Initial training was carried out in the comfort of our library and green store, and then culminated in a rescue scenario on North Head.
Senior Bureau of Meteorology weather observer Keon tells the story of his group's field training last week:
Late last week, field training officer (FTO) Ian took Greg, Pete and Keon on their first adventure into the vastness of Macca and its 'five star' huts. The first morning saw Greg sweating it out up Doctors Track, yet after our first break and a barley sugar he turned it around and was powering like a well drilled soldier along Island Lake Track. We all made it to Bauer Bay hut in fine form, however one person did have wet feet. Overnight, a bit of snoring made things a challenge but we all woke up early to beat the wind the next day.
In the morning we headed for Flat Creek and made good time. Greg had a nice spill early on then Keon absolutely ate it at the marsh later in the day, much to Greg's delight! The day progressed and even SES professional Pete had a spill. I think we all had a giggle there, but FTO Ian came out dry as a bone. I think 'Twinkle Toes Ian' has the rare ability to walk over lakes without getting wet - we were confused by this but ploughed on anyway. Pete lead the way down to the 'UFO' googie hut at Brothers Point' Just before getting there Keon had another spill, this time the wind nailed him right in front of the entire crew - everyone had a good laugh here.
After a bit more snoring and some rest in the 'UFO', the final day lead us along the beach with a delightful walk back to station. Thanks to all involved here!