No, it's not meant as an action, but a place. That's what Larry named the area where Crystal took a spill a few weeks ago and broke her ankle in three places! Yep, we're going to have to get a marker up there on Desert Peak to mark that spot! Sorry Crystal, Larry and I have already been planning.
All kidding aside, it was a tense situation and required an air ambulance to be called in to take Crystal to Renown Hospital in Reno. The incident happened at Desert Peak on March 8th, probably 20 or so miles from our trucks and Highway 95. With her ankle broken, there was no way she was going to be able to take a bumpy ride back to the trucks. Crystal is one tough lady and handled the pain and situation as few of us could. So if we couldn't get Crystal to the trucks our only option was to call 911 and get help. Those of us with Sprint phones were not able to get a signal, but luckily Larry with his old flip phone on Verizon worked perfectly. If that didn't work, I was going to try out the SOS button on the Spot. Wanda called 911 into Fallon and explained the situation and they got in touch with Renown and put the wheels in motion for the Medevac flight. About an hour later, a helicopter arrived to get Crystal off the peak.
This incident happened when Crystal went down from the peak to "use the facilities". It wasn't a riding accident, just walking and slipping on loose rocks, something that could have happened to any of us. The first thing I noticed when approaching her was that her foot was pointing in a very unnatural direction. She said the pain wasn't too bad but she knew it was broken. It was making me sick just looking at it! Wanda and Naomi cared for applying a splint (a 2x4) and wrapped it with Saran Wrap. You heard me right, Saran Wrap. Larry just happen to have that on his machine just for an occasion such as this. It wasn't the prettiest splint, but it was strong and going to hold things in place.
Before the helicopter arrived we were speaking to dispatchers on the phone and telling them that there were power lines so the pilot was aware and stayed clear of them. The helicopter arrived with two nurses on board and they took control of the situation. They looked at the splint and left it on, saying it was good. We helped them get Crystal up the hill in the back of our Ranger and then moved her onto the stretcher and into the helicopter. It wasn't long before the helicopter was powering up and off towards Reno.
A day after the incident, I wrote the Brimmers and Harrisons and asked them what are some lessons learned that you would like to share? What items do you wish we had? As an example, I had an ice pack but it was old and didn't work. I wish I would have had a couple of newer ones. I wish I would have had a couple of road flares too. We didn't need them for the helicopter but what if it would have been dark? Larry had Saran Wrap which seemed like a great idea. I had some strong pain pills with me due to a pending root canal, but Crystal had some too, which was good. I was looking for feedback that we can share with our fellow riders should something like this happen in the future.
Wanda and Ken wrote back with the following:
"You asked if there was anything we wished we had for emergencies on our rides. The simple answer is yes! I am in the process of putting together two emergency kits for our Club. I would like to keep one of the kits and I'm hoping the Harrison's will agree to carry the other one (they did). The kit needs to be with someone who is always on the rides and between the two of us we should have it covered.
The kits I am preparing contain "heavy duty bandages, tape, gauze, Ace bandages, antibiotic ointment, sanitary pads for heavy absorption of blood loss, prescription pain medicine and various other bandages for blood loss. These kits will handle any reasonable emergency concerning blood loss until we can get medical assistance. We can also use this kit to immobilize an arm or leg if needed.
What I am most concerned about is a snake bite. All of the research says to stay calm, don't cut and suck, and seek immediate medical attention. Well the immediate medical attention could take us, in the worst case scenario, up to eight hours. That's assuming we are using SPOT for a rescue and we might be lost. We need an "Epi Pen". I am attempting to get a prescription for an Epi Pen for Porter (the dog) from our veterinarian. I absolutely would not hesitate to use that on myself if I were bitten, but I would not want to use it on anyone else. Of course, I'd use it on another dog. Someone needs to purchase a human "Epi Pen" for just such an emergency. The dog variety costs approximately $30 while the human version costs $300. By the way, there is at least one lab that creates both the human version and the animal version of pens. I think the club should take up a donation or use the dues to purchase a human Epi pen."
Thanks Wanda for preparing the two emergency first aid kits and knowing how to use them! We all hope we never need them, but we will be better prepared if we do. Some of us have been riding with the Club since 2006 when it started, and this is the only time we had to call in the cavalry. We have been fortunate and lucky.
Besides thinking what else we needed for the injury, the other thing this got me thinking about was if my insurance would cover a Medevac flight should Rose or I ever need it. After a lot of searching on Google, I found that my provider, Tricare, will cover a Medevac flight. So that helps us, but what about you? I recommend you contact your health insurance company and ask if they will cover this.
I am also looking into some type of Medevac insurance for the Club to cover all of us members. I found a company online that says they have coverage in the west. I have contacted them for more information and pricing for a Club, such as ours.
Oh, and by the way, I now have a roll of Saran Wrap under my seat, just in case. I know I'm not the only one either!
- ATVing with friends to a remote mountain top
- Breaking your ankle in three places
- Seeing the bill for that helicopter ride