Emergency Procedures for Rock Climbing

Written by natalie saar
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Emergency Procedures for Rock Climbing
Rock climbing can be dangerous so make sure you know what to do in emergencies. (rock climbing image by cherie from Fotolia.com)

When rock climbing, emergencies can arise and it is important to know what to do in those situations. There are certain steps that you should take in order to be able to help the person in distress or to get yourself out of a tight spot. Always climb with a partner so that someone can help you if need be.

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Assess the Situation

First and foremost you should stay calm. This will enable you to see the situation more objectively and find a solution. Then decide what needs to be done right away so that the people involved are safe. This means treating an injured companion. The ABC principle is very useful in these situations. A is for airway, B is for breathing and C is for circulation. Check all of these to determine if the person is in danger. If there are injuries, treat them the best that you can.

Determine a Course of Action

There are certain factors that must be taken into account when you are creating a course of action. Assess how bad the injuries of you and the people in your party are. You also need to determine if you can leave the injured person behind. Look at what the weather is like. If you are on a mountain, for example and there is a blizzard coming, you may need to wait till it is over. You will need to determine how far away the nearest town is as well. These all need to be considered so that you can come up with the fastest, most effective plan to get out.

Determine Your Location

Know where you are located. If you do find help you will need to know your exact location so you can instruct the people assisting you. Knowing your location will also help you find shelter; for example, you may use caves if thy are nearby.

Call For Help

If you have access to a mobile phone and have reception, you can call 999. This will connect you to the mountain rescue team. Provide them with all the information you have like your location, people with you, and injuries. They may ask about how the accident happened as well.

Finding Help On Foot

If you must find help on foot, make sure someone stays with the injured person. If there are any other people available then send two people for help. Take the location and injury details with you so you can report them to whoever helps you.

Use Emergency Signals

If you can not use your phone and can not go find help, there are emergency signals that you can use. First use your whistle six times if you have a whistle. If you do not, flash your flashlight, or torch, six times. Whichever of these methods you choose to use, make sure you repeat it every minute until help has arrived. This will keep you awake if you are injured and it will give you better chances at getting found.

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