This week at Davis, tour the medical facilities, see expeditioners complete extreme fire training, the band plays on and Casey challenges Davis in the KBA Cup.

Medical facilities at Davis

The medical facility at Davis is very comprehensive. One of the various roles of the station doctor is to maintain the facility and keep the various bits of equipment ready for use.

There is a dental suite, an operating theatre — complete with scrub up room, a treatment room, a two bed ward, a doctors’ office,  a medical store, a laboratory, and a medical plant room — not for the green variety, but one that houses all the pumps and electrics that run the piped medical gases, suction and dental equipment.

At times it seems the doctor can be in direct competition with the chefs by encouraging people to maintain an ideal body mass index (BMI*) even if that means resisting the culinary delights served three times daily! 

*The scales in the foyer of the medical facility are freely available to all for off the record self monitoring.

Fire drill

Last week I highlighted the continual training that takes place on station. This week our fire chief orchestrated a fire drill in the sleeping quarters. The drill was to represent the rescue of a trapped expeditioner in their bedroom whilst the building was on fire. Naturally, if the building was on fire it would be filled with smoke and the electrical power would be off, so how does he compensate for these factors? Simple: let’s put blackout tape on the breathing apparatus masks so the wearer can’t see a thing. This made the fire drill very lifelike and tested the skills of the fire team who were successful in rescuing the fair damsel in distress.

Just for the record

What a big week (or three) it has been here at Davis. We had our own new wave/rock/grunge band playing on Xmas Eve. We were visited by Russians, armed with good intentions including Vodka. Nick/Vlad sang House of the Rising Sun in Russian! We had a Xmas feast. On New Years’ Eve we had the Blue Oyster Bar disco. There was also a quiet room for the older folk to sit and muse and muse. Bingo anyone? 

I know we covered Xmas last week but some more photos came to hand and the station record would not be complete without them being published in This Week at Davis.

Santa gave out presents to those who had behaved and those that didn’t!

While it was great for us to share Xmas with our friends here, Xmas is a time when the absence of family and friends from home is keenly felt. The phones were busy as we tried to shorten the distance home. Hopefully we did.

We also had a number of field trips and training programs going on.

Survival training involves sleeping inside a plastic “ bivvy” and sleeping bag with the sun shining all night and occasional snow showers on the face. Happily for me, I passed. 

The builders and maintenance crew have been very busy and made great progress on various projects. The roof is up on the waste management centre, the heli hangar has framework, walls, and almost a floor and the old concrete floor in the workshop is about to replaced. Maintenance continues to the other buildings and engineering systems that keep the station running.  Yesterday’s hole in the ground is starting to look like a hangar for helicopters and yesterday’s workshop floor is now looking like a hole in the ground. Even the boffins (scientists) and helicopter crew are getting in on the maintenance, assisting with repairing the spaghetti cabling for the radar.

The clock is ticking and half of me is thinking ahead to my return in March while I also want to explore this strange place with the limited time left to me. The snow around the buildings turned to slush in December and now to dust. As the sea ice vapourises, we will be able to do some boating around the icebergs. Time is moving on and Storeman Rhys has put the summer people on notice to prepare for RTA. There is movement at the station!

Bill.P, BOM 

KBA Challenge Cup

The KBA Cup took part last Sunday between Casey and Davis stations. It was a friendly challenge, the trophy going to the station that skied, walked, ran or cycled the most kilometres (capped at 10km’s per person).

Casey went in with an advantage having 94 people on station compared with only 61 at Davis. But the expeditioners at Davis showed they were not shy at stepping up to the plate when it comes to a challenge with 37 people getting involved. Although Casey was hampered by a short course due to melt conditions it did not slow down the array of people including scientist, trade, support and also the aircrews.

Final tally was Davis 358km and Casey 266km. Although the Cup, which is a model replica of the Twin Otter, may now be getting ‘Davis’ engraved onto it, the true winner was everyone who — during their personal time — got out for some exercise in memory of the crew from the fatal accident last year. 

A big thanks to Gavin.M for arranging the event and getting the expeditioners involved. Gavin was at Casey last year and Davis this year.

Maybe next year Casey, maybe next year…