Electrocutions, car accidents, drownings, cardiac arrest and a chainsaw accident: the Huntington Palisades looked like a massive catastrophe site on December 10 – but that was by design.
Troop 223 held a disaster preparedness event. This long-held tradition involves realistic scenes that include crashed cars and volunteers undergoing makeup, so the injuries appear realistic.
Then, it was up to the 80 boys and 45 girls to use First Aid and lifesaving training to help the “survivors.” The Scout had been practicing for several months at regular Troop meetings in simulated events.
At 2 p.m. patrols walked to one of 12 locations. Each patrol went through the same four simulated accident scenes (although not in the same location).
In addition to the simulated drowning and two-car crash, there was an overturned barbeque resulting in third-degree burns and a car hitting a bicyclist.
Local Rich Wilken initially was in “shock” but then went into “cardiac arrest” and Scouts worked to “revive” him.
The patrols spent about 20 minutes at each scene. “They did not know the accidents or injuries in advance,” said Andy Hubsch, who is Senior Leadership for Assistant Scoutmasters. “They needed to be prepared to deal with whatever they encountered.”
Hubsch said Scouts use a “Check, Call, Care,” protocol: check for hazards – to prevent additional victims, call 911 and then administer care.
After performing First Aid, the young Scouts spent about five minutes afterwards for a brief reflection, about how they did and how they might have done better. Then, they walked to the next accident site.
Senior Scouts, who had led the Troop meeting instruction and practice, were at the event leading the reflections and scoring. The Seniors used walkie-talkies to report the scores to the Command Post, located at the intersection of Pampas Ricas and Chapala, which was then recorded on a Big Board.
The boys’ event was a close contest, but ultimately, it was won by the Seminoles Patrol led by Ryan Ruud. The girls’ event was won by the Phoenix Patrol, led by Liza Lowe.
“We were grateful to Palisades Senior Lead Office Brian Espin and LAFD Station 69, who helped us by ‘responding to 911 calls’ and sharing their knowledge and experience with our Scouts,” Hubsch said. “Their presence, along with the professional entertainment industry make-up artists, helped tremendously to add realism to our event, which greatly contributed to its success.”
This event was done in 2019 – pre-pandemic but is generally held every two to three years.
If there are any fifth or sixth graders, boys or girls, who are interested in participating in Scouts, contact Greg Frost (boys) firstname.lastname@example.org and Larry Kirven (girls) email@example.com.