Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island: Week 5

I can not believe that my time at Cumberland Island is more than halfway done! The summer is flying buy. This past week we received a variety of interesting calls. We received a call for a boat that capsized with eight people on board, east of the island. There were no injuries but the boat was floating, barley visible in the water when we arrived on scene. There were luckily some other visitors who offered the family a ride in their personal boat off the island. Other wise we can only provide them some equipment to camp out and stay the night until the ferry can take them off island. Their other option would be to charter a boat, which can be very expensive. We were able to salvage a purse and some other valuable items the next day during low tide, which we inventoried and then retuned to the family. This goes to show how dangerous boating can be, they were very lucky no one was hurt.

It frequently storms at CUIS and when it does, lightning usually strikes the island. Large storms and hurricanes are also incorporated in my Preventative Search and Rescue program. With lightning, striking the island so frequently, we need to educate visitors on safe places to be during a storm. The beach is not a safe place and I have implemented my PSAR storm plan by advising visitors to leave the beach prior to a storm. Each patrol vehicle has an AED and many of the park staff are CPR/AED certified. During a storm this past week we received a call for a brush fire on the island. Fires do occur on the island, usually in result of a lightning strike. We have a fire team and they perform controlled burns frequently. Originally we saw a plume and smelled smoke but as we got closer to the location, we didn't see any signs of fire. If a brush fire was caused by a lightning strike, the rain must have put the fire out, luckily. The days after storms are always busy dealing with downed trees on trails and at campsites. Maintenance is extremely busy, so we occasionally help clear the downed trees and also get some PT time in from swinging the axe :). I am also continuing to work on my EMT skills, my last two patient's I treated and released on my own. I'm definitely more comfortable providing care.


Ranger Lawrence and I rode in her new patrol vehicle for the St. Mary's 4th of July parade. I'm very thankful to have Ranger Lawrence as a role model and supervisor. It's great to learn from a female ranger and be taught from her perspective, being a female myself. When I grow up I want to be just like Ranger Lawrence. She has taught me a lot and lets me learn from my mistakes without judgment.  

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