Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Emergency Action Plan - What's yours?

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

A and I aren't the Christmassy or festive sort, even though we have been raised Christians. We are universally somewhat averse to any festive occasion, though we actually enjoy a gathering of close friends and family. That need not necessarily be pegged to any particular occasion though.

Anyway, I digress. This won't be the last digression. "Neurotic Ramblings", you know?

Earlier this year, we did our PADI Divemaster internship in Sabah. As our friends and regular readers know, we are avid recreational divers! One of the things we learned during our course, was the concept of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP).

In short, anyone planning a Scuba trip (that would require the expertise of at least a Divemaster, though DMs as fresh as us typically wouldn't be in charge of trip planning from scratch), needs to have an EAP as well. For those who are midway through or considering a DM course, here's my EAP for your reference, if you wish.

This concept of EAP isn't only applicable to diving. Organisations have a different form of it, for fires or other emergencies. A school chemistry lab would have some sort of EAP for all the mishaps which could occur with the chemicals and students. You need one when you explore the Great Outback on 4WD (or foot, bike, whatever).

Why not at home?

This post was inspired by someone from Melbourne SG Kampung, the Facebook group I joined just before flying here. He posted: 

"How to use our medicare card? Bulk billing? vomiting now at christmas eve. GP?"
Of course, the usual helpful folks in the group chipped in with useful advice. But why wait?

Why not create your own basic EAP so that you know which 24-hour clinics and hospitals are in the vicinity, and program them into your GPS (and ideally drive the route with other drivers in the family to familiarise yourselves if required)?

Of course, in a real emergency, you'd dial 000 (or whatever the number is in your hometown) and wait for the real professionals to show up. But sometimes, it's bad but not that serious, or it's really that serious and you have transport at hand, and it's safe to transport the casualty (no spinal injuries, etc) yourself to save time.

Colourful 'ambos' of Victoria state. They seem really pissed about their pay, and have painted their vehicles in protest....

Your home EAP doesn't have to be elaborate. Last night, I finally stopped procrastinating and programmed the two nearest public hospitals (if it's not dire enough to need an ambulance, I'm choosing public, for Medicare reasons) into my GPS. That's my EAP. I've also bookmarked the URL of the nearest 24 hour clinic. If it's not quite so serious, A or I can fire up our Macbook and find the number and address of the clinic before heading over.

In Singapore, it's a bit more of a no-brainer. Most drivers know how to get to the nearest hospital. If not, taxis are readily available. Your neighbourhood also likely has a 24-hour clinic within walking distance (though "walking distance" diminishes rapidly when one falls ill...).

In Australia, no more spoonfeeding. Think, plan, and be prepared to use it.

- S

1 comment:

  1. Not just life threatening emergencies... I found it's useful to have a list of convenient places handy in the car: eg.
    1. Fast food restaurants, so that can drive directly if you need to snack at various times
    2. Coles, Woolies, Reject, Bunnings,Red Dot, Target, etc (or whatever usual stores in Melbourne, in your case)
    3. Petrol kiosks, (and remember not all petrol kiosks operate 24hrs)

    The GPS or google maps helps, as they generally list these, but sometimes is faster to eyeball something written on paper rather than firing up the electronics and waiting for them to sync and locate.