When considering field work, especially in the Arctic, being prepared can prevent a bad experience from getting worse. Attending Arctic Field Training (AFT) and Wilderness First Aid (WFA) in March really opened my eyes to this idea. Even though I’ve assisted with field work before, it’s always been in locations where medical help would be quick to arrive. When getting ready to work in the Arctic, the fact that medical assistance may be many hours or days away must be considered.
With Kevin Pettway from Polar Field Services and Todd Miner from University of Colorado’s School of Medicine as guides, the three day training helped to develop an awareness of special issues that can occur in the North. Through their expertise, Dina Taucher (fellow future Greenland traveler) and I were able to practice skills from lighting fires to splinting broken bones to treating hypothermia.
Taking the test at the end of the course took a lot of deep thinking through every aspect of complexity, but I’m sure that in a real situation there wouldn’t be the luxury of thinking through every detail. I’m glad that Dina and I went through the training course so that we can be ready just in case!
As you can see, a reporter from the local newspaper who is interested in the APPLES project and in the science work I am conducting at my school wrote an article about the training. This article is a follow up to the article that was also published in the local newspaper last fall.