Life-saving Agent Grateful to Conscientious Canadians
Nanaimo, B.C. – Ken Welte loves to laugh and experience life to the fullest, which perhaps is why he’s so grateful for Canadians who are helping to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a volunteer with the Ladysmith Ground Search and Rescue and St. John’s Ambulance, Ken has helped to rescue lost and injured hikers and frequently volunteers as a First Aid attendant. Now he hopes the public will return the favour to healthcare workers and first responders by continuing to disinfect surfaces, wash their hands, maintain social distancing and avoid unnecessary risks.
“Search and Rescue has pivoted to virtual meetings and our policy was rewritten; there is social distancing protocol and we put masks and face shields on causalities. There is very little care in the field—it is basically a package-and-go scenario. We cannot safely provide CPR in the field for people who have collapsed suddenly.”
Nature lovers should have the equipment, experience, and skills to stay safe otherwise they now put themselves and responders at greater risk.
There has been one win in the COVID-19 fight: some lost hikers have become more resourceful. “You hear that ER visits are way down and something similar is happening with hikers. People who are lost in the woods seem to be stopping and thinking about how to become ‘unlost’,” he says with a laugh.
Ken completed rigorous training to join the Ladysmith Search and Rescue in 2017 and, in 2019, he began volunteering with St. John’s Ambulance both to contribute to the community and to maintain his First Aid training. “We are continuously keeping our skills practiced and honed at St. John’s Ambulance because CPR and multi-casualty scene management are perishable skills. This means when I am out in the field with Search and Rescue my Medical First Responder training is second nature.”
As a volunteer with St. John’s Ambulance, this Sutton REALTOR® would regularly volunteer at public events such as Port Theatre performances. Since those events were put on hold in March, Ken and his wife have remained close to home in what he calls ‘PP – Pandemic Projects’ mode. Ken has painted much of the house and the couple has a friendly competition to see who can be the better chef.
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