Patient Pick-Off's

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The weather looked like this as the Mountain Rescue Team drove to Red Rock for training this morning:

It was raining in the Valley and snowing in the mountains, but just like a real rescue, the team wore appropriate clothing and carried what they needed to spend a day in unpredictable weather such as this.

For today's training, the team practiced patient pick-off's.

A patient pick-off is a technique that is used often by our team.  We get numerous call-outs a year with reports of people who find themselves stuck on the side of a steep cliff for one reason or another.  Whether they've injured themselves or not, it is our responsibility to get a Rescuer to them and get the Patient out of their predicament as soon as possible.

In order to accomplish a patient pick-off, a Rescuer is sent over the edge with an extra harness and helmet.    They are lowered to the Patient, make contact, and as soon as they are able to do so, the Rescuer places the harness on the Patient.  Once the harness is in place, the Patient is securely attached to the system and a medical assessment is immediately performed.  The Rescuer and Patient are raised or lowered from there, depending on the situation.

Although this task seems straight-forward, it takes practice attaching a harness to a Patient mid-face.  Each Mountain Rescue Volunteer practiced this technique today.  Luckily for us, the rain subsided and it turned into a gorgeous, sunny day at Red Rock.  Here are pictures of the team in action: