Just As I Thought

This is not M*A*S*H

Yesterday I began training for CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), which is a group of citizens trained to respond in the event of disaster or attack. After a course overview, the first class was on Emergency Medical Operations. The first part: triage. It’s a sort of a scary, creepy thing: the idea that I might one day be required to systematically prioritize casualties after a disaster. The scariest thing is that you do NOT perform any treatment – you spend less than a minute per victim, assessing their condition and moving on to the next. It calls for brutal choices. For instance, if someone is not breathing, you try twice to open the airway – if it doesn’t work, they are marked with a black ribbon (at least, here in Arlington County) and you move on.
I hope this is training that I will never have to use.

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