EMT Class: The End

Tomorrow is our last day of EMT class. We passed the final. I’ve been checked off on all my skills. Forrest only has medical assessment to be checked off tomorrow. This is the biggest relief ever. Especially when we start to see forecasts like this:

Looks like class is ending just in time so we can be outside in the afternoons now and not sitting in class. (This lovely weather should also do wonders for snow melting!)

I really enjoyed class for the most part. As we moved into the skill section, it really slowed down and sometimes that 3 hours can realllly drag when 20+ people are working through assessments with only two instructors. I learned a ton  though (yay! learning!) and in the end the driving was probably worth it. You should probably check with my handsome chauffeur on that account though.

Saturday is the practical examination through the State of Idaho and sometime next week we should be taking our National Registry examination. So close!

I slid down a fire pole!

Yup. I slid down a firepole. Multiple times. The tones went off, the EMTs headed down the pole so I did too. It was awesome.

As part of our EMT course, we are required to do two ride-a-longs with the Coeur D’Alene Fire Department. Forrest and I asked our instructor to schedule us on the same days (Forrest at one station and me at another) so we could ride together…and then the instructor even scheduled us for one weekend so we got to ride on back to back days.

I really enjoyed riding along. It was nice to have some emergency response experience as it really helped me to actually process what was happening rather than being overwhelmed. The EMTs and medics were all really awesome to me. I got to take blood pressures and lend a hand wherever I could.

It was great to get a taste for a larger size department (Coeur D’Alene’s population is about 45,000) and have a stream of calls coming in. It was even better to remember that I am good in an emergency situation. In “real life” I’m not the most observant person in the world and don’t always see the little things I can do that would be helpful (I’ve tried to help Forrest a million times and just wind up frustrating us both) but somehow in the emergency setting I see little ways that I can help. I can process the scene happening in front of me and can be a pair of hands that open packages for medics, hold IV bags, help family members move their coffee table out of the way, and start oxygen flowing.

We got back home last night really tired but I was really proud of myself.

Back to class tonight…keep on learning!

P.S. Did I mention I slid down a fire pole? SO COOL.

Bad Blogger

I’m still alive. I haven’t been home too much and when I am I’m trying to study for class or just relax so I’ve been a really remiss blogger.

Next week I’ll have updates on vehicles (we’ve got a new one…and it’s already on the sales block), adventures (cabin snowshoing), wedding planning (yup, that’s happening around here these days), and progress in class (because that’s the biggest of our adventures right now.

Avalanche Safety Course

Saturday, Forrest and I had the opportunity to attend an avalanche safety course at the Smelterville Ranger Station. The course was taught by a couple of rangers who are in charge of going out to measure snow conditions for part of the Idaho Panhandle and Western Montana regional avalanche danger forecast. The free course included a morning classroom session and an afternoon field session. What an awesome public service!

Turns out we practically had a private class. Chris & Katie, new friends of ours who have a vacation house in Mullan, were the only other people there! (Free people, FREE class!) Avalanche danger was high and it was raining and gross making the class the place to be (or so we judged).

We talked about the avalanche triangle and what it means when avalanche danger is “high.” We discussed a few cases where it really boiled down to human judgement error. What really got me was the documentary called “A Dozen More Turns” (it can be watched here); it told the story of a group that did so many things right knowing avalanche danger was high and then pushed the limits just a little bit and caused a major slide. I thought, and I think almost all four of us were thinking, that the one little mistake is something we could all do.

Avalanche triangle
Avalanche triangle

After an awesome Pizza Palace lunch, we headed up to Lookout Pass to learn some practical tests for the snow and to do some practice with the avalanche beacons.

We need a couple of these…

In the end, we both learned a lot. I’m really glad we went; hopefully this will help us be safer in snow adventures in the future.

Be safe…don’t start stuff like this… Yikes.