The weekend I found out my fiance was a lying … insert expletive here… I had friends coming from California on their way to Washington. We had planned to go camping at Crater Lake. Thank heavens for them as I don’t think I would have made it through that weekend without those 2 girlfriends.
On Our Way
For the uninformed, Crater Lake is one of the most beautiful locations in all of Oregon, and a must see for anyone:
Crater Lake is a caldera lake located in the south-central region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. The lake partly fills a nearly 2,148-foot (655 m) deep caldera that was formed around 7,700 (± 150) years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. There are no rivers flowing into or out of the lake; the evaporation is compensated for by rain and snowfall at a rate such that the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years.
It is located in Klamath County, approximately 60 miles (97 km) northwest of the county seat of Klamath Falls, and about 80 miles (130 km) northeast of the city of Medford. Thanks to Wikipedia
Camping At Diamond Lake
One of the best spots to camp while visiting Crater Lake is Diamond Lake, about a 20min drive away and almost as stunning. Just watch out for those giant, man eating mosquitoes, they are brutal.
Saving a Life
On our last day we decided to drive round the rim of the crater to where the snow line would cut us off. We very nearly had decided to head back but a last minute decision ended up being an important one.
As we came around a blind corner we saw bicycle lying along the middle line and someone on their side lying across our lane. I stopped the car and for what seemed an eternity just stared… Then the adrenalin started pumping and all those first aid, advanced wilderness first aid, CPR and such classes came rushing back.
While I checked on the injured woman, about 60yrs old, Alex called 911 and her sister slowed traffic. The woman was unconscious and unresponsive, she was bleeding from her nose and mouth and I could hear it gurgling, so I dared not turn her on her back, afraid she may aspirate the blood into her lungs.
As I was doing my preliminary sweep of injuries another woman came running up to help. Just then our patient became semi conscious and tried to move, it took both of us to keep her from moving. Eventually we had no choice as she was in pain and, controlling her head because of possible neck/spine injury, we let her roll onto her back. She was verbally responsive (V on the AVPU scale) but still had no idea who or where or what. A few others came to help, some holding a blanket to block the sun, some giving a pillow in case she needed it for her head, another bringing the car medical kit so I could treat some of the more superficial wounds. Often a person will freak out at the superficial and it makes it difficult to asses the more serious ones. I cleaned and bandaged some abbrasions on her knees and some more serious ones on her fingertips of her right hand.
Just then a van pulled up and we realised it was her husband. He came running over and we were able to ascertain more information. I asked permission to check for bleeding or blood pooling under her short and they said yes. I didn’t see any visible signs but she seemed to be in a lot of pain on her left side.
Right then the first EMT arrived, he looked like he was barely out of EMT school… you almost wanted to pinch his cheek. I gave him the run down and he looked at me hopefully saying “are you an EMT?”. I explained that I had first aid training. Explaining that I didn’t want to move her because I was worried about spinal injury and didn’t have a neck brace, he excitedly pulled one out and gave it to me. I hate these things as there are so many different kinds and none of them ever seem to be the one we train on. But we got it on and I moved to control her head for the rest of the time. The EMT, still looking a little lost, took my que to take her blood pressure and check her vitals.
Just then MR. EMT arrived. You could tell this guy had been in the emergency services all his life, with his strong physique and chiseled jaw, I almost expected him to strike a pose and have a cape flying behind him. Both the baby EMT and I gave him a run down of events. He came over to me and asked if I was an EMT… maybe there is a thought there… I said no but had first aid training. He asked if I was comfortable holding her head for the remainder and I said yes.
From the time we found her to the time she was taken away in the ambulance it was almost an hour. It felt strangely exhilarating to be involved and to be the first responder there to help. I always wondered if my training would ever come in handy.
We were all pumped up leaving Crater Lake and stopped at a diner so I could get a soda as I suddenly felt very parched. It proved to me that no matter what I had gone through or would go through with my now ex… I was way stronger than that!
2 weeks later the lady and her husband called, she still had no memory of the event but wanted to thank me. Her injuries included:
A fractured left orbital
2 fractured vertebrae in the neck
1 fractured vertebrae mid back
left fractured collar bone
I was glad we were there to help!