DofE 4.3: change of weather and an emergency.

Rain from before dawn. 13°C, easing through the day.

A slightly slower start becaue of the rain. It fell upon me to breif and set all the groups off. All 72 kids. It was an hour and a half before all groups were underway. Hat time flew flr me and gave a temporary repite from my throaty cold that arose overnight. The rest of tne team packed a d took the maquee down around us.

A call for help: over the radio, we got a call for help, somebody was injured from group 3. Chris and I set off once we got the grid reference. After some searching around, we found them. The grid reference was slightly out but 2 of the girls stood on our path to meke it easy.

I got there first. The casualty was sat on the edge of a gravel path, cold and in pain from a fall that twisted her knee. I’m so glad the recent first aid course was of such high quality. It was obvious that apart from her knee and losing body heat quickly, there were no serious injuries. Priority was then to get her warm. Out came carry mats, a sleeping bag and my bothy bag. Another girl got inside with the casualty and the warmth gradually built up. Meanwhile, Chris radioed to get colleagues to phone for an ambulance. I fixed a tie to hold her feet together, including the one that was at a funny angle. There was very little else I could do, she had to guide me on what is comfortable but couldnt have any painkiller.

It took quite a while for the ambulamce to arrive but the First Responders were quicker. They gave Y some gas-air painkiller and she had the giggles. With 3 staff and 2 medics, I decided to move out to make myself useful elsewhere. There were 3 groups unaccounted for to the east. I set off but missed the fiasco of the ambulances getting stuck in the gravel.

Apparently, the Forest Rangers were not impressed with the ambulances but they were with our first aid response. We found one group and the other two completed by themselves. That took about 3 miles of walking on an empty stomach.

I’ve paid a personal price for this day. Although I didn’t get cold at any point, I now have a heavy head-cold. Its not made any easier by incremental tiredness and giving my food away to kids who raised the call for help. They were so brilliant, they deserved a better reward than a smokey-cheese sandwich.

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