A blur

September 17, 2009   

Yesterday we finished the briefing conference and moved today onto three days of First Aid training. The last two days have blurred.

The best talk of yesterday was by an Artist who went to Antarctica it was hilarious though many people did comment there wasn’t much art actually involved. Everyone was laughing and he did get a loud round of applause and it did help to break up the massive amount of information overload that has occurred.

The morning was all about cultural discussion which was a new one for me as being self employed I have not been involved with a personell department which creates group exercises to be involved in. To be fair they were interesting and did make everyone think about how things have to be dealt with differently on a base at 67 degrees south. There were discussions about alcohol and how this effects people, cliques and the problems that occur as a result of them, dealing with a know it all in your work space etc.
After yet another tea break!! which I am going to have to learn to understand we had a very educational talk by a lady from the Foreign and Commenwealth office on the role of BAS in the politics of the Antarctic Treaty. Basically as we will be residing in the British Antarctic Territory we will be paying a reasonable BAT tax of 7% the question arises as to what they do with our taxes! One project funded by this revenue is an educational website on the continent itself at http://www.discoveringantarctica.org.uk/. There are also postage stamps for the territory so if you are lucky some of you will get a postcard with the stamp on!

We had a talk by the press office about what media projects will happen this year including a Sky News program and a BBC program. Also a talk about H1N1 and how BAS are dealing with the flu issue. I spent the afternoon at the computer lab learning how to use the BAS inventory program which is very necessary so that the correct supplies get on the ships providing relief to the bases down south.

Didn’t swim this morning as I wasn’t feeling great despite not drinking I was partying and scottish dancing till midnight! In typical British fashion there was a BBQ last night in the freezing cold and there was strawberries and cream (tasty). The BBQ was tasty with a full pig on the spit and also steak and chicken to choose from.

We had a great day of first aid training which is the most in depth I have had so far.

We had four skill workstations each of 40 minutes long in
Measuring Vital Signs
Examining the chest and abdomen
The Recovery position
Hypothermia and other cold injuries

And lectures in the following:
Recognising Serious Problems
Basic Life Support
Love, Life and despair in Antarctica
Airway Management
The Medical Research occurring down south this season
First Aid in Diving

I will be helping out with some diving at Rothera as well so will be on a course next week in Oban. I was excited to see that Kirk who is at Rothera base has just put up a little movie about the diving that the current dive officer and scientists are doing down there.

It is 6:30pm and time to go for another I am sure delicious dinner which I will need to burn off tomorrow morning.


2 Responses to “A blur”

  1. Dear Ashley,

    How exciting reading & seeing all that you’ve done and are doing to prep for your 7 months away in Antarctica. The first aid stuff & anesthesia and all that is right up our alley. Incredible all you have to know, kitting up, the science of the ice & sea way down south, & all that you’ll be doing & seeing. Speaking of that, it was more than wonderful seeing you at the goodbye party. Who knew how incredible a cook & marvelous a host you are! You are awesome & we’re delighted to have you as a friend. Keep us in the loop & we’ll follow your blog religiously.

    Cheers & all our best,
    Rita & Ivan

  2. Thank you for coming to the party it was really great fun seeing everyone especially you guys. Look forward to seeing you in May at the wedding!