You are part of a search and rescue team looking for survivors a day after a devastating wildfire passed through your town. It's been raining non-stop for the past 12 hours making your task more difficult. Mud slides have closed a number of roads slowing evacuation and exacerbating the entire situation.
As you walk the shoreline of one of the nearby lakes, you see someone waving in an attempt to attract your attention from an island roughly half a mile from shore. Borrowing an aluminum rowboat from one of the burned-out cabins, you and your partner row to the island. Once there, you are confronted by a 32-year-old mother who is wet, shivering, and seeking help for her six-year-old daughter, Jolene. Jolene is huddled in a leaky, make-shift shelter, swathed in a wet blanket. She responds to your questions with short, mumbled phrases. Her mother, Trish, reports that they fled the fire by swimming to the island yesterday, that both she and Jolene are uninjured, and that they have had no food since early yesterday. Trish said she had to swim with Jolene most of the way. The water temperature is in the mid-60s F. It's now 4:30 pm and the rain is not letting up. You are in communication with Incident Command via satellite phone.
What is wrong with Jolene and what should you do? Click here to find out.
Don't know where to begin or what to do? Take one of our wilderness medicine courses. Guides and expedition leaders should consider taking our Wilderness First Responder course.
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