Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Grim Subjects & Hope

Tuesday I fiddled around waiting for a silent phone to ring.

It stayed silent.

During our Citizens Emergency Response Team class, we discussed grim subjects: field treatment for severe burns, amputations, impaled objects, blast injuries from suicide bomber actions, Bird Flu, eye wounds, setting up a treatment area and a morgue, etc.

We learned how to begin an Incident Command System in which the first person on the scene takes charge using the principle that you start where you stand. The goal is to do as much good for as many people as possible knowing that time is your enemy.

The best we can do in a widespread disaster is to give victims their best shot at surviving till professional help arrives—however long that may taks.

Disaster conditions seldom disappear in one loud flash, they may go on for months on end.

Thinking in terms of my interest in history, I compare what we are being trained to do for widespread disaster victims with the medical techniques Florence Nightingale found the first day she arrived on the Crimean battlefront. In fact, I wonder if we don’t even revert to Civil War medicine in order to cope with modern disasters.

It looks overwhelming.

I remember an old cartoon from the 1950s or early ‘60s when Civil Defense against nuclear attack ran high in everyone’s mind and installing home fallout shelters was in vogue.

The cartoon shows an elderly couple shopping for a fallout shelter in a showroom where various models at various prices were on display.

The salesman is asking them, “Just how big a bomb do you want to survive”?

Our class makes me think of that cartoon.

The more we train, the more inadequate I feel.

In the prospect of widespread disaster, if I survive I’m confronted with the fact that while I will be able to do little, at least I can possibly do something.

That’s something.

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posted by John Cowart @ 10:55 AM


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