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  • Heather Murray

Parents Preventing Childhood Drownings presents Sunday Survival Stories: How Long?

Every Sunday, we will share a story of a non-fatal drowning, discuss where things went wrong, and give some pointers on how to prevent it from happening to the people you love. Thankfully, these stories have happy endings for those involved, but sadly, we lose too many people to drowning every year. We hope examining these real-life stories help put the dangers of water into perspective and help you introduce various principles of water safety to your family!

Today’s story once again highlights the use of CPR to prevent a drowning from becoming fatal, but it also raises more safety questions. Like just how long would it take rescue services to reach you if an emergency were to happen?

There is no doubt that the coincidence of Craig Vollweiter walking along the trail and knowing CPR saved this man’s life. What if he had not been there- at the right place, at the right time? This is just the start of questions that you should ask yourself when you are out adventuring.

Even if you don’t plan on being in the water, sometimes things happen and we un-expectantly find ourselves in a water emergency (like this man potentially hitting his head and then falling into the stream). We should always be aware of our surroundings and how far away help is, especially out in nature. We expect when we go to a pool that the lifeguards all know CPR and that there will be more than one lifeguard available to help us and call for help, but what about when you are out on your own? Before you head out, ask yourself:

-How many people in my group know CPR/first aid? (never enter water alone!)

-If only one other person knows CPR, what will happen if the emergency involves both of us being hurt or separated?

-Will I be able to call for help if needed? Are there phones available where I am going, and do cell phones have service in the area?

-Can I describe where I am to dispatchers? Hiking in the woods or swimming in a lake can encompass a large area. The more detailed you can be about where you are the quicker help can find you.

-Is my location easily reachable? How will rescue services reach you? Can vehicles make their way to your area? How will this affect the amount of time before help arrives?

Hopefully asking these questions before you leave will make you more aware of the area you will be in and help you prepare for an emergency more accurately if one does occur. Don’t wait for an accident to happen to start preparing.

Know before you go, how long will it take help to arrive? Have fun, be safe, and prepare for emergencies during an adventure!

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