Orland Park Boy Scout Troop 383 patrol leader Jack Barrett uses a neckerchief to immobilize the arm of “victim” Danny Carroll during mock first-aid response during the troop’s spring break hike. | Supplied photo
Updated: June 13, 2013 5:33PM
Members of Orland Park Boy Scout Troop 383 gathered over spring break to enjoy a troop hike along the trails at Swallow Cliff near Palos Heights.
“Those of us who didn’t go away for spring break wanted to get together for a hike, to get outside,” senior patrol leader Tim Klotz said. “We’ve camped during every season and always have a good time when we get together.”
Equipped with walking sticks, water and the troop’s first-aid kit, the Scouts followed the trails into Swallow Cliff unaware that the Scoutmaster had planned a mock emergency that would require them to employ first-aid skills learned by some at last summer’s Scout camp.
“The boys like to hike, explore different areas and get outside whenever they can,” said Scoutmaster Gerry Klotz, an Orland Fire Protection District lieutenant. “This time, we made it a little more interesting and didn’t tell them that we were throwing an emergency into the mix.”
Hikers included Scouts, leaders, some parents and siblings and Webelos I Scout Danny Carroll, son of assistant Scoutmaster Mike Carroll.
“When we reached the pond, we turned around because Danny was sitting on the ground, saying he twisted his ankle and hurt his arm,” assistant senior patrol leader Bob Burns said. “We stopped what we were doing and took care of him, making sure someone stayed with him to keep him calm while the rest of us made a stretcher to get him back to the parking lot.”
Jack Barrett, patrol leader, tended to the “victim,” keeping him calm and letting him know the Scouts could help him.
“This was a good exercise for all of us because we’ve been told what to do but never got to actually do it,” Barrett said. “I used a neckerchief to stabilize Danny’s arm and we put a ‘Sam splint’ on his ankle so it didn’t move while we transported him.”
Once the makeshift stretcher was ready, the Scouts worked together to transfer Danny from the ground to the stretcher to transport him back to the parking lot.
“It was pretty cool, to do something like this even if it was pretend,” Scout Christopher Pearson said.
“I was glad to be a part of the teamwork. We worked pretty fast once we knew what was going on. I hope we do that good in a real emergency,” Scout Jake Monnett said.
The Scouts carried the stretcher almost a third of a mile to the parking area, rotating positions to evenly distribute the weight as they took turns talking to the “victim” to keep him calm.
“I think we did a pretty good job,” assistant senior patrol leader Will Davis said.
Davis is completing the emergency preparedness merit badge.
“The most important things in a situation like this are to remain calm, keep the victim calm and work together, which is exactly what we did,” Davis said.