Search and rescue, emergency services focus of event
Area Boy Scouts learned about search and rescue during an Oct. 1-2 Fall Camporee at Twin Lakes Camp in Waupaca.
Hosted by Waupaca Boy Scouts Troop 643, emergency services personnel taught the youths about incident command systems, search and rescue equipment, communications, first aid and the use of trained dogs in tracking victims.
Among the presenters were Deputy Nick Traeger who has a K9 unit with the Waupaca County Sherriff’s Office; Steve Fenske, deputy director Waupaca County Hazardous Incident Response Team, and his wife Deb Fenske; Eric Halverson, deputy director Waupaca County Emergency Management; Ken Vergauwen and Scott Niemuth with the Waupaca Fire District; and Annalesha Shaw from Gold Cross Ambulance Service.
Troop 607 Scoutmaster Chris Martel from Oshkosh taught the boys map and compass reading.
The boys spent the morning learning with the emergency service personnel, then set out into the woods to put what they learned to work.
In the afternoon, several boys volunteered to be victim in the mock disaster. The scenario was that a tornado came through camp and some boys were unaccounted for and the remaining scouts had to implement the ICS and organize search teams.
“The victims had fun being made up with fake injuries by Deb and Steve Fenske,” according to Troop 643 Scoutmaster Rob Karski, “The victims were then sent to specific locations around camp with several adults to guide them and then waited for help to arrive.”
Three older scouts were chosen to fill the positions of Incident commander, operations, and safety officers. They were guided by Halverson and Steve Fenske in the Mobile Command Post and ran the entire scenario.
Each of the five search teams was assigned a division chief to lead them in the search efforts. These positions were also Boy Scouts.
After the victims were found each team had to radio back to the IC and advise them of the number of victims, types of injuries, evacuation procedures, and apply appropriate first aid. After the scenarios ended each group debriefed and talked about their experience both the positives and negatives.
“I feel as a Scoutmaster that the boys now have firsthand knowledge what to do if they come across an incident where someone is lost and possibly injured,” Karski said.
They day ended with a first-aid relay race where the boys had to put a stretcher together using two poles and blanket/tarp and carry a victim across the Athletic Field, switch positions with another scout and use a one-man carry to the get the victim back across the athletic field, and then switch positions again and use a two-man carry to get the victim back across the finish line.
The evening brought us all to our Saturday night campfire where the boys sang songs and performed skits by the light of the two campfires. There were approximately 108 youth and 51 adults at the Camporee this weekend.
Waupaca area boys who are age 10 or older, or have completed the fifth grade, can join Boy Scouts. For more information, call Karski at 920-244-7409. Troop 643 meets at St Mary’s Catholic Church at 6 p.m. Sundays.