Spring Focus: Paddling Safety

  By: Stephanie Lareau, MD

With warmer weather and spring showers, this is a popular time of the year to get out on the water. Several BoD members (Stephanie, Randy, Mary Lou and Ben) had the opportunity to take a ACA Level 3 Water Safety and Rescue Course Instructor course from April 11-14th in Roanoke, Virginia. The first two days encompassed the SWR L3 curriculum, culminating in a night time scenario in which three intoxicated boaters managed to fall from a boat. One was able to self rescue and only required reassurance. Another suffered foot entrapment and required the team to wade out to him, creating an upstream
eddy in order to get his foot out. From our field assessment it seemed he likely suffered a lower extremity fracture. The final victim was caught in a strainer across a strong current. Using a rescue swimmer and a tether the team was able to extricate the patient and provide appropriate care, including re-warming.

On the third day while paddling Balcony Falls on the James river we worked to together to teach a mock L3 course to each others. On the final day we practiced kayak paddling skill to teach beginners to be on the water safely and practiced skills to un-pin boats.

If you are interested in learning more about SWR please contact us (Stephanie@appwildmed.org) and we can help set up a course for your group.

As a medical person this is a great opportunity to learn very useful skills to stay safe and manage unforeseen river accidents.


Upcoming Events: Go Fest

Go Fest is an epic annual outdoor festival with live music, beer trucks, food trucks, outdoor vendors, bike demos, air dogs, scavenger hunts, bike races and running races. Multiple organizations have the opportunity to "table" at the event. ACWM has participated since the events inception, answering questions about wilderness medicine, sharing information about upcoming courses and doing short demos on hypothermia wraps, first aid kits and basic splinting. We encourage everyone to come check it out and volunteer to man the table. Onsite camping is available.

Event organizers say "The Go Outside Festival, presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is an annual event to encourage healthy, active outside recreation. By combining the things outdoor enthusiasts love - camping, music, gear, races, and demos, and a beautiful outdoor setting – GO Fest is a celebration of everything outdoors. Roanoke GO Fest is a partnership between the nonprofit Roanoke Outside Foundation and the City of Roanoke Department of Parks and Recreation. Watch pro BMX stunt shows, learn to fly fish, demo a mountain bike, test your balance on a slackline, try out some climbing shoes, learn some wilderness first aid, test your balance on a SUP, crawl into your tent, enjoy a craft beer or two, listen to killer music, then wake up the next morning and try something new. Ride a big wheel, learn how to fix your outdoor gear, enter the Wild Gear Chase, watch the lumberjack show, watch the ultimate air dogs, build a custom headlamp, chill out in an ENO hammock, play around of disc golf, enjoy a beer or two while listen to music, crawl into your tent, then wake up the next morning and try something new."

Dates: October 14-16, 2017
Location: Roanoke, VA
Southern Appalachian Publications
Upcoming Event


Advisory Council Engagement

Have an idea for a center project? Want to lead a workshop? Want to lecture to students?

We continue to look to publicize those in the Southern Appalachians publishing on wilderness medicine topics.  Please send us information on publications for inclusion here!
Ziegler, Carol, Vincent Morelli, and Omotayo Fawibe. "Climate Change and Underserved Communities." Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice 44.1 (2017): 171-184.
Chaaya, Gerard, Juan J. Jaller-Char, and Sayed K. Ali. "Beyond the bull's eye: recognizing Lyme disease." Journal of Family Practice 65.6 (2016): 373-380..

Want to host a center social event? Want to add to our website?
We have tons of talented and accomplished advisory council members and we want to tap your potential and expertise. Become more involved in the center! Let us know your visions and how you’d like to become more involved. michael@appwildmed.org