In Manzanita Park mayhem erupted last Wednesday, October 10, around 7 p.m. Someone hollered, “Bear!” and then shots rang out, followed by man screams. The man, trying to defend himself from the bear, shot himself in the foot and accidentally shot his companion hunter. Meanwhile, two other hunters fell out of a tree, one sustaining a spinal and head injury, and the other impaling herself on a branch.
The bedlam was part of a Bainbridge Island Emergency Medical Responder nighttime exercise. The “victims” were BIEMR graduates feigning realistic injuries, complete with moulage, the term for the art of applying makeup and prosthetics to simulate injuries. The responders who soon flooded into the dark woods to help included other graduates as well as students currently enrolled in the City of Bainbridge Island-sponsored Wilderness First Responder training program.
A BHS student filmed the proceedings for training purposes, and Remote Medical International instructors Adrienne Boland and Lauren Ledford observed and critiqued the responders. RMI is the training provider for the WFR course.
The responders took vitals, stabilized the patients, and prepared them for transport out of the woods. Whenever the responders made mistakes, Ledford and Boland talked them through the proper procedure.
At the conclusion of the exercise at about 8:30 p.m., the instructors called time, and everyone trundled back out of the woods for a debrief and cleanup. Several participants walked the trails to make sure no trash was left behind. About 30 people participated in the event.
The training was just one of many such opportunities afforded members of the BIEMR team for skill maintenance and practice. The BIEMRs are required to attend at least two such exercises per year as well as participate in at least two community events, providing first aid if needed. Manzanita Park Mayhem was so popular, the BIEMR team will likely offer the event again.
Photos by Christina Aitchison and Sarah Lane.