Communication, In the Emergency

Okay Guys,

Part of the rafting experience is the scenic riverside and views you see as you float down the water. The the pro and con of these scenic views is that you usually get to experience them because you are in an isolated part of the world. The pro side of this: It’s beautiful and you aren’t distracted from your rafting trip.  The con: you are isolated and if an emergency occurs, you can be seriously screwed.

I know this from personal experience. In early July while I was on the Nanny, I got my shoulder messed up on a customer trip. I later learn that I had torn my rotator cuff slightly. Of course I wasn’t able to guide the rest of the trip after that and we needed to get some help to guide my raft down the rest of the way and get me off river. The bad thing about this whole situation is that we had no way of contacting the outpost so they could send someone. Lucky for us the river ran along U.S. Route 74. One of the other guides were able to flag down a car so that we could use their cellphone. All of this could have been easily avoided if one of us had a walkie-talkie or a waterproof cellphone.  The customer group I had on this disastrous trip were the ones who pointed this out.

If a group of customers point this out, it does call for a bit of thought to be given on the subject.

For those of you who have smartphones you usually try to keep them away from water as much as possible. Well that is no longer a problem with awesome companies like LifeProof and Otterbox.  I personally now have a LifeProof for my iPhone. My main motivation to spend the money on this case is from the experience I discussed above.  I would definitely advise guides to invest in some for of communication like this. You don’t even have to have a smartphone. Many phone companies carry a waterproof “dumb” cellphone.  Granted, not everywhere will have cell service, but in today’s world that is becoming less and less of a problem.

So, just a word of advice from one guide to another, always be prepared in anyway possible for random emergencies on the river.

Staph: Guides #1 Enemy

A lot of people think that the biggest problem for guides are the obstacles, like rocks and dangerous rapids, that they deal with on river. When in all actuality the most dangerous thing to any guide  is a teeny tiny  group of bacteria called Staphylococcus. Or as many know it commonly, Staph.  This little bugger can take down an entire company quicker than this economy.  With the forever damp conditions that many companies endure over the summer, staph thrives and it very hard to get rid of once you get it.

If there is ever and out break at your company, here’s what I would recommend you do:

  • Get the infected person to a hospital immediately so that they can get rid of it before it becomes life threatening.
  • Clean EVERYTHING.  Bleach what you can bleach, Lysol and rugs or mattresses you can’t wash, wash all clothing that you can in hot water and dry it.
  • Wipe down every surface that you can’t bleach with Lysol wipes or some type of bacteria killing cleaning solution.
  • Make sure that you’re company knows about the infection and cleans every single boat and any gear that may come in contact with the bacteria.
  • If you get any open wounds, even minor scrapes, clean them with rubbing alcohol immediately and keep it covered. You don’t want to run the risk of possibly getting infected yourself.

All of this will definitely help if anybody ever gets staph at your company. Plus, if you follow the last step even when there is no staph evident, then there will be even less likely of a chance of you have to deal with staph.

Good Luck!