Self Rescues

The 6th of an 8 part weekly series on handling and preparing for problems.

Of course not all incidents or emergencies require evacuation from the scene of everyone.

Sometimes you can carry out a self-rescue to stabilise the situation, treat the problem and then carry on with the trip.Plan 7

A person who has fallen into a river for example, could be rescued by the group, dried out and any minor injuries treated and then carry on as before, just more carefully.

This is why it is generally up to the leaders or guides to make the decision to call for help. They will have the training and experience to make this decision as to whether the group can cope on their own or not. Obviously if something has happened that prevents people from continuing the trip, and the group is not strong enough physically or mentally to evacuate on their own, they will need outside help.

A few points to keep in mind if self-rescuing:

  • Sometimes larger parties (5+) can evacuate their own injured if they are strong enough and the injuries permit it
  • Sometimes patients will only need to be moved short distances (e.g. away from rivers)
  • Someone, usually the leader needs to assign roles and tasks
  • Watch group members for signs of fatigue, exhaustion, dehydration, hypothermia or excessive stress

In the next Blog we will look at ‘What if I lose the group‘…

Plan 6

© Published here courtesy for the Trail-Smart online training program –