Our Field Training Officer (FTO), aka Brian’s Best Friend – 48 Hour Film Star, appears to be on a mission to complete all of our Search and Rescue Training ASAP. With the warmer weather approaching I think he wants to get all the stuff done so that we can enjoy getting boats on the water.
On Wednesday we did a stretcher retrieval exercise, which consisted of carrying our patient (a washed up fuel drum) from the southern end of West Beach near Hamspike Point back to station. After our briefing with the FTO we loaded up with the necessary gear and headed towards our patient, taking note of the best route back while carrying a stretcher. Once our patient was secure in the stretcher it was time navigate our way home. It was more than a stroll along the beach as the ellie seal harems are full of pups at the moment, so we needed a few detours to the top of the beach through the tussocks.
We organised a passing chain for the safest and most effective form of travel over that type of terrain. Sort of like “pass the parcel” with the music being “waves on the shore with an ellie seal pup chorus”. After negotiating the tussocks and some large loose pebbles scattered with slippery kelp, we arrived back to the place where we left the stretcher wheel. With the stretcher wheel attached it was more like a walk in the park back to the station. On arrival the patient received the best of care – weighed and stamped RTA (Return To Australia) where it will be given the correct treatment.