Sunday, February 12, 2012

emergency response ~ accidents don't happen pt. 4

Previously on "Accidents Don't Happen . . . . 
  1. accidents don't happen, they are caused . . .
  2. accidents don't happen - pt 2 - learn from this!
  3. the drop heard round the world - accidents don't happen - pt. 3
PART 4 / Grande Finale - When it comes to issues like safety, first aid, accident prevention, emergency preparedness, and even plain old individual responsibility, my personal perspective comes from a history as a solo backpacker and mountaineer.  Backpacking without a partner isn't an inherently unsafe activity, but it's not an inherently safe one either.

Solo hiking is a different beast than backpacking with a group, as there's far less margin for error when heading into the wilderness alone.  Deliberately seeking remote canyons and mountain valleys, I had to know in advance what to do in case of emergency, how to react instinctively, as I often could find myself in situations where I could not count on outside assistance of any kind.  This was especially true in an age before GPS devices and satellite phones.

I think mine was the 2nd Edition 
I studied medical textbooks and tomes.  I nearly memorized Wilkerson's Medicine for Mountaineering.  I honestly believe I educated myself to a level equal to or greater than necessary to become a First Responder or EMT.  I'd lay awake at night imagining wilderness emergencies I might encounter, then devise not only one potential response, but also an alternative, just in case the primary response was unavailable or somehow untenable.

So my outlook on this topic is fairly strict, it might almost be considered extreme.  Accidents don't happen, they are caused!  And, the only really good response to most potential accidents is proper planning, careful consideration, and good judgement. It is absolutely essential to to avoid the accident altogether.

That may sound extreme, but consider the alternatives for a solo backpacker . . . If I screwed up and got hurt, the ONLY thing I could do was to treat whatever injuries had occurred, make sure I was stable, and wait.

Imagine, if you will, a broken ankle two days into a week long trip.  As long as the injury itself wasn't life threatening (no bone protruding through the skin or major blood loss) the best thing I could do was sit in agony for another week, or even longer. When my failure to complete my itinerary was noticed, the alarm would eventually be sounded, and rescue would be initiated.  As long as I had stayed on course, keeping to the itinerary posted with forest or park rangers, I'd be found and saved, eventually.

Facing such prospects, you can well imagine why I stress preventing emergencies so very strongly.  At best the alternative could be crippling agony, and a serious fuck up could likely prove to be fatal.  I might have been a bit of a risk taker in my youth, but they were always measured risks, I had no death wish.

So, lest I personally begin to sound strident and overbearing in my strong cautions about emergency preparedness, I've decided to spend the majority of the rest of this post quoting another source and author on the topic of  BDSM emergencies.

Here are what I consider to be the three main salient points when dealing with BDSM emergencies, all quoted from  Jay Wiseman's Toybag Guide to Dungeon Emergencies and Supplies.
  1. Emergencies hit with incredible, stunning force, and can seem to strip away all your resources to leave you naked and terrified in a very not-good way. Thus, it is very wise to over-prepare a bit. This is true because we tend to lose touch with how severe emergencies are. What often happens is that preparations that seem overdone to the point of bordering on paranoia turn out to be just barely adequate during an actual emergency, while lesser "more reasonable" preparations fail. 
  2. Emergencies that cause harm within seconds can basically only be dealt with by prevention. For example, substantial harm could result within seconds if a person in suspension bondage were to fall from a significant height. Intervening while they are falling is not realistically possible, and caring for the resultant harm after the fall occurs may not help too much, so while preventing harm is essentially always the best approach, preventing harm is especially important in this type of emergency. 
  3. The goal of all emergency care. One word: stabilize. The goal of all emergency care is to turn a dangerous, unstable situation into a stable, safe situation. Thus, in all emergencies, the question becomes - what needs to happen to stabilize this situation, and how can I appropriately help accomplish that? 
I could give a long discourse, write at great length, about the many ways the "suspension drop" incident was handled incorrectly.  But, to a great extent, I'd be flogging a dead horse, and I much prefer to use my whips, canes, and other "implements of instruction" on live squirming submissives.  Ya know what I mean?

With that in mind, I'll only impose one further point of my own.
  1. If someone suffers a serious fall, whether in the world of Shibari, BDSM, or anywhere else in your life, PLEASE think about one thing before you act.   REMEMBER - any potential spinal injury can be paralyzing, and when applying first aid, your responsibility is the same as a Doctor's - FIRST DO NO HARM!  As long as your victim is stable, and there's no immediate life threatening injury, please do not move them!  Instead, immediately call for, and then wait for professionals to respond.  Follow any direction given to you by emergency responders over the phone.  
Thank you for your patience, my dear reader, as I have now completed my discourse on this topic, and will now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


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