Basic First Aid tips for an emergency in a secluded areaJun 20, 2014
If you live or are recreating in a rural or secluded area, it could take an ambulance 30 minutes or longer to arrive. Robert Veilleux, the EMS Director at Teton Valley Ambulance, says that knowing basic first aid could save a life or a limb while you wait for an ambulance. He tells you some basic ways to deal with trauma, bleeding and shock in case of an emergency.
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Interviewer: In more rural areas sometimes to get help people have to travel a long distance. It could be critical that maybe you know a few things you can do until people get there. We're talking to Robert Vellieux, EMS director at T Todd Valley ambulance who works with the T Todd Valley medical center. How are you doing today?
Robert: Good. Doing good.
Interviewer: Good. So is that true in a lot of cases if somebody in a more rural area calls it might be a few minutes or more before you get there.
Robert: Yeah. It can be up to 20 minutes in some of our remote locations of our county. We cover 425 square miles.
Interviewer: Wow. So what's the furthest distance you might drive for somebody?
Robert: Right at 35 miles.
Interviewer: 35 miles?
Interviewer: And how long would it take you to get 35 miles?
Robert: Usually around 30 minutes.
Interviewer: 30 minutes, all right.
Robert: Maximum summer time, good roads.
Interviewer: What are some of the reasons people might call?
Robert: We have a variety of things we get called for. There are a lot of things we get calls for like four wheeler accidents, horseback riders falling off their horses so we get trauma calls, medical calls. We get the cardiac, shortness of breath. Difficulty breathing.
Interviewer: Sure. If I happen to be with one of those people that has, let's start with trauma, is there something I should know since help might not be there for another 20 minutes. Is there something I can do to help prepare the person for when you arrive?
Robert: We're really advocating to getting people first aid trained and getting people's medications, allergy, medications those kind of things if they're still conscious. Those are the kinds of things that can help us in our treatment plants for these patients. Gather as much information. Stop some bleeding with some good first aid.
Interviewer: So ask the person what they're allergic to? Maybe previous medical conditions?
Interviewer: Anything else you'd want to know? Information that would be helpful? Like, maybe what happened? Is that helpful?
Robert: Yeah, if usually the people didn't witness it they try to find out what happened to this person like if they're a bystander and they come up on. Yeah. Try to get an idea of what happened.
Interviewer: Let's talk about basic first aid for a little bit. What does that entail basically? What is basic first aid in your opinion?
Robert: Basic first aid is just learning the basics. People start losing blood, it's losing fluid out of their pumping system so if you can stop that it can save a life.
Robert: Just basic stopping bleeding can save a life.
Interviewer: What are some other skills that would be helpful to have?
Robert: Knowing how to treat for shock. Keep the patient warm, legs elevated slightly. Keep their airway opened. If they're vomiting turn them on their side in a left lateral position.
Interviewer: So like a four wheeler accident would somebody be in shock after something like that?
Robert: Yeah, there's different types of shocks. There's neurogenic shock from spinal injury or you can have if they're bleeding traumatically internally or externally they can have hypokalemic shock.
Interviewer: So keeping them warm is about the best thing you can do there.
Interviewer: What are some other basic first aid things that somebody should have?
Robert: I think CPR and learn how to use an AED. One of our paramedics is working with the Idaho AED initiative.
Interviewer: What is an AED?
Robert: It's an automatic external defibrillator?
Interviewer: Like so when I go to stores sometimes I see those now?
Robert: Yeah and some public places they have them so what we're trying to do is give the local places that have them and give some education for their employees.
Interviewer: In the area here are there some basic first aid classes that somebody could take?
Robert: Yeah we're working on a program right now to get set up and do a one year scheduling of these classes and we're going to get them out to the public.
Interviewer: And when do you think that's going to start?
Robert: I'm hoping to start it in January.
Interviewer: All right. So pretty soon you're coming up on that. What kind of time commitment are you looking at for that?
Robert: Usually for the basic first aid and CPR course you're talking about 8 hours.
Interviewer: Okay not very much commitment at all that could save a life. Any final thoughts on our discussion today?
Robert: No. I think it's been great. I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you.
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