February 10, 2005
Mud rescue first aid training for Burnham-On-Sea hovercraft crew
Burnham-On-Sea’s hovercraft crew has been rehearsing how to help casualties trapped in mud along the coasts of Somerset.
Keith Gough, St John’s Ambulance Divisional Manager for the Highbridge and Burnham region, visited the station to give the team expert advice on how to help patients with on-the-spot lifesaving techniques, including CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation).
“The common problems experienced by people trapped in mud or sand for an extended time are hypothermia and a sudden drop in blood pressure,” he said.
“Prompt, professional treatment is therefore essential. The pressure of the sand or mud on the body means that the heart will pump less to compensate.”
He added: “When released from the sand or mud, or recovered from long emersion in water, casualties should be kept in the prone position as long as possible.
“Once the pressure of the mud is removed, the heart is still working at reduced pressure and the patient may experience a sudden drop in blood pressure which can cause cardiac arrest.”
First aid is therefore one of the main subjects covered during an extensive, ongoing training programme given to all crew members of Burnham’s rescue hovercraft service.
It comes as BARB, the group that runs the hovercraft, is preparing for another busy year of call-outs, having helped and rescued more than 50 people in 2004.