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Fishery Ecology, Diet, & Zooplanton Program

Residents at Little Port Walter Marine Station Receive Emergency Trauma Training

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Figure 6 (left). Personnel of Little Port Walter Marine Station completed the State of Alaska’s Emergency Trauma Technician training. Picture above: Angela and Scott Feldmann practice pediatric immobilizing and transport with their daughter Lillian.  Figure 7 (right). Tommy Abbas splints Theresa Abbas’s arm. Photos by Scott Fergusson.

Little Port Walter Marine Station (LPW) is an isolated research facility located on southeast Baranof Island, 52 miles southeast of Sitka, Alaska, and 110 miles south of Juneau. Two permanent employees are stationed at LPW. They, along with their families, live year round at LPW and are joined by as many as 20 researchers and support staff between May and October. The geography, weather, and vast distance between LPW and the closest medical facility make the logistics of emergency medical services a formidable challenge. Making an accurate initial assessment of degree of injury or illness and providing sustained stabilized care to the patient until transport are the two primary concerns when dealing with a medical emergency at LPW. It can take up to several days for a patient at LPW to get to advanced medical care.

To shorten the time between injury and medical care, all adult personnel of LPW completed the State of Alaska’s Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) training. The ETT training is a 44-hour course that was originally designed to provide emergency medical training for people living in remote or rural areas of Alaska. The role of an ETT is to provide first response, initial assessment and basic medical care, prepare patients for transport, and pass the patient on to a more highly trained care provider. Topics covered in the training included provider and patient well being, lifting and moving patients, advanced airway techniques, adult and infant CPR/AED (cardiopulmonary resuscitation/automatic external defibrillator), patient assessment, scene safety, trauma and medical emergencies, pediatric emergencies, environmental emergencies, and oxygen administration (Figs. 6 and 7). The course was taught by Captain Scott Fergusson of Capital City Fire/Rescue and was held at LPW 27-31 December 2010.

By Angela Feldmann


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