As you may know from Oilapalooza 2012, the OWCN is working on increasing our Field Stabilization (FS) capabilities. The vision for FS to is to include more of our Member Organizations’ personnel, facilities and resources in our efforts to provide supportive care to oiled wildlife before they reach Primary Care Centers.
Field Stabilization consists of three components:
1) Basic First Aid provided at capture site by Wildlife Recovery personnel
2) Thermal support provided during transportation
3) Urgent nursing care provided at Field Stabilization Centers, (FSC). FSCs can be situated within a Member Organization facility, specialized trailer, or other purpose-adapted shelter.
Key elements to FS include normalizing body temperature, instituting fluid therapy, providing a quiet, low-stress environment, and addressing any immediately life-threatening conditions. The urgent care provided during Field Stabilization can increase the chances of survival, especially when animals must be transported long distances or held for more than a few hours prior to transport. FSCs also provide opportunities to hold animals for a few hours if a Primary Care Center is overwhelmed and to triage animals sooner thus minimizing suffering. Because there can be multiple FSCs and some FSCs are mobile, the number and location can be adjusted on a daily basis to reflect response needs.
Since development of the Field Stabilization Group is a work in progress, our plans remain flexible. For now, we have broken the process of achieving our goal into five steps:
• Step One was to add Basic First Aid training to Wildlife Recovery Level 2 trainings in 2012. Recovery teams are now trained and equipped to provide warmth, clear airways obstructed by oil, control bleeding, and stabilize injuries to minimize further damage.
• Step Two was to introduce the concept of Field Stabilization as a new Group within the OWCN at Oilapalooza and through the Level 1 Field Stabilization webinar that is currently available online to to Member Organizations and Affiliated Agencies by contacting Becky Elias at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Step Three started last spring and continues this fall as the OWCN is offering Field Stabilization Level 2 trainings to our Member Organizations throughout California. These one-day programs focus on the skills, protocols and paperwork needed to assess, treat, and complete regulatory/medical records for the average patient presented to a mobile FSC (i.e. the MASH trailer). Contact Nancy Anderson at email@example.com if you have question regarding Field Stabilization Level 2 trainings.
• Step Four will be to approach Member Organizations located at strategic locations along the coastline to investigate what additional resources and organizational support they would need to morph into a bricks & mortar FSC within a 12 hour period. The OWCN will offer to provide “Readiness” assistance. Once Member Orgs are “Ready”, the OWCN will send staff to that facility to provide a Level 2 FS training that will include a drill component individually tailored for each Organization.
• Step Five will be to design and offer Level 3 FS trainings. These programs will cover highly focused topics such as specialized treatments, data collection for research projects, smooth application of the Incident Command System at FSCs, etc….
Two Field Stabilization Level 2 trainings are planned for this fall: Arcata on September 21st and San Diego on October 28th. Currently both of these trainings are at or near capacity, so we plan to offer additional Field Stabilization Level 2 trainings this winter. If your Member Organization is interested in hosting a Field Stabilization training and you have not already contacted Nancy Anderson, please feel free to email or call me in the near future as we are starting to set up the winter schedule.
I’m looking forward to working with many of you at the upcoming Field Stabilization trainings. If not there, then at least I hope to get to see you at Oilapalooza in October!