In Antarctica, people often wear several hats. This is because it’s cold in Antarctica. Also, there are more roles than people. In the winter at Pole, everyone will be involved in one of four emergency response teams in addition to their normal job.
Two of the central emergency response teams are the trauma team and the fire team, some of us in the Pole winterover crew have been training for those in Denver over the last couple weeks.
Starting the after our psych evals, we spent three days in “trauma training”, which was essentially a WMI wilderness first aid course with some modifications to better suit the South Pole. For me, most of the material was a refresher as I’ve been through some more thorough WMI courses before, but it was certainly good practice and lots of fun!
We did CPR on dummies, listened to lectures, loaded real people on litters and toted them around the motel, splinted imaginary broken bones, practiced hooking people up to oxygen, patched up plenty makeup wounds, and one “hypothermia patient” got his soaking wet clothes all yanked off.
WMI instructors seem to like fake, but often realistic looking, blood and guts. It’s certainly fun to play with; I especially liked watching the responses of other motel guests when we were doing our scenarios outside.
This week was also when most of us in the Pole winterover crew met for the first time. I think we’ve got a good group started, based on the half(ish) of the 40-person population that was at trauma and fire training. I’m looking forward to getting down to Pole and meeting the rest of the crew!