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News.bytes Extra, issue 463

BLM field offices prepare for dunes OHV season with emergency training

Personnel from the BLM's El Centro and Bakersfield Field Offices jointly participated in emergency training and exercises in preparation for the winter off-highway vehicle (OHV) season.  (text continues below)

a ranger tends to a simulated victim lying on a sand dune

Personnel from the Bakersfield Field Offices’ Midway Fire Station traveled to El Centro to instruct a nationally registered Emergency Medical Responder course (previously known as First Responder course) for El Centro law enforcement, recreation, and force account staff.  This course taught modern and proper emergency medical (EMS) assessment and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions -- including cardiac, respiratory, and traumatic emergencies.  After completion of the 48-hour course, the students became eligible to take the National Registry written examination for National certification as an Emergency Medical Responder.

“This course will provide important basics for personnel who provide EMS for public safety in the Imperial Sand Dunes and Superstition Mountain Recreation Areas,” said Brian Puckett, Engineer/Paramedic from Bakersfield Field Office. (text continues below)

a helicopter lands near pickup trucks in the sand

The course culminated in a simulated mass casualty incident in the Imperial Sand Dunes, conducted among multiple agencies.  The students had to locate and navigate to their patients, then assess, treat, package and prepare them for transport on either an awaiting helicopter or a ground ambulance.

El Centro recreation personnel taught off-highway vehicle operations and sand dune driving basics for visiting Bakersfield and other El Centro Field Office staff.  These courses included preventative maintenance and vehicle upkeep; dune topography and characteristics; and safe vehicle operations in both standard 4x4 vehicles and specially-modified sand rails -- the preferred method of transportation across the sand dunes. Students had to successfully navigate several cone courses and underwent supervised field driving to become familiarized with the nuances and special techniques for transitioning across the sand.

“It’s important for our emergency responders to know how to safely and properly operate a motor vehicle in the dunes, for us to respond to emergencies and provide the level of public safety that we do,” said Neil Hamada, Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Manager.

These latest training sessions have continued the relationship between the Bakersfield and El Centro Field Offices.

“It’s great to see the level of cooperation between both field offices and districts,” said Margaret Goodro, El Centro Field Office Manager.  “We would like to continue to strengthen the relationship.”

“This relationship helps provide vital training and exposure for both offices’ staff that may not have been possible without such cooperation,” said David Brinsfield, Bakersfield Field Office Fire Management Officer.  “It helps develop better all-around staff.”

people stand next to or sit in four sand rails at the base of a sand dune

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 463 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.

Last updated: 01-11-2011