Medical Supplies, Training and Volunteering
The South Skyline Areas has two unique medical needs. First, given the distance from hospitals, residents need to have sufficient first aid skills to handle their immediate situation until professional help can come, which can take up to 45 minutes. Second, in a large scale disaster, first responders will be overwhelmed and we depend on neighborhoods and the community to help itself as much as possible during the first hours and potentially days. SSEPO addresses the first through first aid training, and the later through caches of medical supplies and training volunteers in their use. We are guided in this area by Dr. Rich Lee, our Medical Director. He is a long-time resident of South Skyline, who has assisted in numerous mountain medical rescues.
First Aid Training
SSEPO maintains three caches of medical supplies in the South Skyline area. During a major emergency event or disaster, medical personnel are requested to go to one of these three medical stations as soon as they have ensured that their family and neighborhood are safe. We do regular drills to practice activating and using these supplies, check the calendar.
1. We have two fixed caches, one is at the MROSD Skyline Field Office (Ranger Station) located at Skyline and Page Mill / Alpine Rd, the other resides at the Las Cumbres Community Center. The MROSD cache is inventoried by and can be activated by CalFire/La Honda Fire.
2. Rich has converted a former Red Cross Trailer into a highly mobile medical trailer, outfitted with extensive communication and medical facilities:
Especially after a major emergency, we would need volunteers to help organize immediate response. In our drills we practice having neighbors come to our key medical caches and set up triage/treatment areas. This is understood to be entirely supplemental to professional efforts, and makes sense only in a case when the professional resources are overwhelmed and cannot support us right away. This is purely a stopgap response, not a substitute for calling 911!
To make this practical, we are always looking for more volunteers with interests and skills in helping out in both medical emergencies and unmet community health needs. Professional medical training and licenses are helpful, but not necessary. Some of our best ideas and efforts in projects and training sessions have come from accountants, software engineers and construction workers, to name a few. If you are willing, or even curious, we would like to know what your background and interests are in healthcare or just simply staying healthy. It would also help to know which neighborhood community you are in, what special skills, equipment and supplies you may be willing to bring with you in times of need, and of course, how to contact you. What’s in it for you is a better understanding of how you and your community can work together to help each other. More specifically, you will get to know and work with people you can really count on when things go bad and at the same time become pleasantly aware of how much your particular knowledge and experience are appreciated. Aside from that, you are sure to come away with more useful knowledge, a greater sense of self-sufficiency and the priceless sense of confidence, purpose and satisfaction when you do something unexpected and extraordinary.
Ask not, what your South Skyline community can do for you…
This may be an overused paraphrase of those famous words by JFK, but for anyone with experience, interest or passion in health and health care, it is still a noble question to ask yourself what you can do for your community.
If interested, please contact Dr. Rich Lee. For all things health or medically related, let Rich know what you might have to share and how to contact you. Unless otherwise stated, all information will be kept confidential. Please include on the subject line of your e-mail “South Skyline Health/Medical” so it doesn’t get lost or filtered out.