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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 391

Trail assistance group train for medical emergencies at Fort Ord public lands

“The trained American possesses qualities that are almost unique. Because of his initiative and resourcefulness, his adaptability to change and his readiness to resort to expedient, he becomes, when he has attained a proficiency in all the normal techniques of battle, a most formidable soldier.”
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Those characteristics of initiative, resourcefulness and adaptability to change have carried over at the former Fort Ord even as it has made the transition from military to civilian management.

In place of military training by soldiers, on July 11 members of the Bicycle Equestrian Trail Assistance group (BETA) conducted training to deal with medical emergencies on the Fort Ord Public Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

A simulated victim surrounded by rescue personnel lies between a fallen bike in the foreground and a waiting helicopter in the background
Rescue workers surround the simulated victim of a bicycle accident

Fifteen members of the BETA joined with the BLM, Salinas Rural Fire Department and Cal Star 5 to perform a mock casualty training exercise.  The moulage training involved CPR manikins being placed along the trails that BETA members patrol.  Once located, BETA members helped direct Salinas Rural EMS crews to the scenes via radio.  Each victim had specific medical conditions that needed to be addressed and communicated to advanced medical personnel. (text continues below)

Eric Morgan, BLM’s Fort Ord Manager, was pleased with the training and explained that visitors to the Fort Ord Public Lands are fortunate that BETA volunteers are out there to help assist them if they become injured. “Being injured in the outdoors can be extremely dangerous when medical response efforts are slowed,” he said. “BETA can help with these medical responses and shorten response times.”

The BLM and BETA have a 12-year long partnership on the Fort Ord Public Lands, where BETA members occasionally assist county EMS operations while out on the BLM trails.  BETA members are all trained in First Aid and CPR; a few BETA members have advanced medical training.  BETA members wear bright orange uniforms and patrol Fort Ord trail systems on foot, horse and mountain bike.  For more information about BETA, see their website at: www.ftordbeta.org.

Rescue workers and volunteers set up for the exercise
BETA volunteers set up equipment for the rescue exercise (above and below)
BETA members in orange vests and jackets sketch out their plans around a map on the ground

A member of the Salinas Rural Fire Department directs a Cal Star helicopter to a simulated victim
A firefighter directs a helicopter to a landing near the simulated victim, lying on a stretcher on the ground

The helicopter pilot stands by as a medical nurse from Cal Star evaluates the simulated victim be
A helicopter pilot stands by as nurses surround the simulated victim

- Dave Christy, BLM Central California District, 7/09

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 391


Last updated: 07-15-2009