6 – Self Rescues

Self Rescues

The 6th of an 8 part weekly series on handling and preparing for problems.

Of course not all incidents or emergencies require evacuation from the scene of everyone.

Sometimes you can carry out a self-rescue to stabilise the situation, treat the problem and then carry on with the trip.Plan 7

A person who has fallen into a river for example, could be rescued by the group, dried out and any minor injuries treated and then carry on as before, just more carefully.

This is why it is generally up to the leaders or guides to make the decision to call for help. They will have the training and experience to make this decision as to whether the group can cope on their own or not. Obviously if something has happened that prevents people from continuing the trip, and the group is not strong enough physically or mentally to evacuate on their own, they will need outside help.

A few points to keep in mind if self-rescuing:

  • Sometimes larger parties (5+) can evacuate their own injured if they are strong enough and the injuries permit it
  • Sometimes patients will only need to be moved short distances (e.g. away from rivers)
  • Someone, usually the leader needs to assign roles and tasks
  • Watch group members for signs of fatigue, exhaustion, dehydration, hypothermia or excessive stress

In the next Blog we will look at ‘What if I lose the group‘…

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Andrew Friedemann

Author: Andrew Friedemann

Andrew holds qualifications in South Africa, Australia and the UK as an Outdoor Recreation Instructor and qualified Mountain Guide and Instructor. Passionate about developing the Adventure Industry in South Africa to make it safer and provide opportunities to a younger generation of adventurers. Represented South Africa on the World Mountaineering Federations (UIAA) International Training Standards Commission for 10 years and has administered the South African Mountaineering Development & Training Trust. A qualified Wilderness EMT and Emergency Care Practitioner. Qualified as an Skills Development Practitioner, he has been intimately involved in the development of Adventure based qualifications particularly with regard the quality management of adventure qualifications. Founder of Adventure Qualifications Network, he was instrumental in the development of National Vocational qualifications for the adventure industry in South Africa, but also worked closely with Australia where he attained the Cert IV in Outdoor Recreation Instruction. Currently resident in the Scottish Highlands - UK, with his wife, Michelle, they travel to many areas of the world gaining information and skills. A keen adventurer, Andrew has participated in mountaineering, skydiving and scuba diving among other activities.