Erin Genereux, FNP-BC
Garrett Genereux, WEMT
While death in the backcountry is pretty rare, accidents happen. If the unthinkable occurs and you’re left with the seemingly impossible task of telling the rest of the group or those at home that their friend or loved one has died, the way you deliver the information will affect how it is received. While there is no perfect way to say someone has been severely injured or died, there is language you should avoid. Consider using these talking points:
When notifying or treating expedition members in the field following the delivery of another member's injury or death:
As Kenneth Iserson2 writes, “No one likes to deliver the news of a sudden, unexpected death to others; it is an emotional blow, precipitating life crises and forever altering their world.” The surviving victim(s) just wants the person telling them the news to show that they care. To show empathy that someone that they loved and cared for has died. If you do your best, you will accomplish what is necessary.
Our public YouTube channel has educational and reference videos for many of the skills taught during our courses. Check it out!