11 December, 1996

The second day of snow school was spent learning safety drills for hypothermia, frost bite, and emergency situations. The drills rely heavily on communication and team work. We practice rescue techniques for situations in which someone was lost and visibility was reduced. For this drill we utilized ropes and flags to mark our location and to search for the "victim". Then we practiced our safety techniques for hypothermia, which is a lowering of the body's core temperature. This lowering can cause someone to become incoherent and confused and can lead to a coma and death. The best treatment is to get the individual out of the cold environment and offer them warm drinks. First symptoms of hypthermia include uncontrolled shivering and disorientation (called "a bad case of the stupids") by our safety instructor. If the person doesn't respond to these treatments or is unconscious you also remove them to a warmer environment and make a "human burrito" out of them using blankets, sleeping bags and hot water bottles.

We also learned how to operate field radios and called Scott Base and the South Pole. The final activity was a simulated plane crash in which we had to set-up an emergency field camp, including the stove, tents, and making radio contact with a field station.

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