by Dr Lesley Beaumont
Acutely aware that safety is of vital importance at Zagora, Dr Meg Miller, Dr Archondia Thanos and I undertook Remote Area First Aid training with St John’s Ambulance Australia on Monday and Tuesday 15 and 16 July 2013. This is an example of the many skills (apart from archaeological ones) that archaeologists routinely develop in the planning and undertaking of archaeological projects.
We had one Remote Area Trained First Aider, Ivana Vetta, with our team last year. Ivana will be with us again this year as a Trench Supervisor – but also available to use her first aid skills.
The reason for an additional three of us undertaking the Remote course, on top of the regular Apply First Aid course that we had all done previously, is because this year’s team is significantly larger than last year and should anything significantly adverse happen to a team member at Zagora we are at least a good hour away from either getting the injured party to qualified medical help or medical assistance arriving at the site. We therefore need to be sure that we have the skills to manage initial trauma and to maintain the casualty over an extended period until we can hand over the casualty to medical staff.
The training was done at the Bundilla Scout Camp at Winston Hills in western Sydney, and involved us learning how best to manage any injuries that might happen on site at Zagora – these range from minor conditions (such as blisters and getting something in the eye) to serious conditions (such as fractures, heat exhaustion, back and neck injuries, etc).
The team will be glad to learn that we all passed our Remote First Aid assessment at the end of the course with flying colours!