We had our skate patrol supervisor meeting last night, and I think it went pretty well! It really got me pumped up for winterlude.
I don't like seeing people get hurt- let me get that straight. But it is nice when it's busy around the shack.
Each year, winterlude offers new challenges and new opportunities. It is a high-stress time for skate patrol, and you really get to see who's great for the job.
I must say...even with all of the experience I have had both on the ice and in the shack, I still get nervous. "What if I do something wrong?" or "How will I know what to do?" I've learned over the years that we can practice first aid on each other all we like- until the cows come home- but when an injured skater approaches you it is no longer textbook. It becomes a simple matter of "hello, how can I help?" Working with real people offers a unique opportunity to learn about something far more challenging than textbook material- compassion. I've learned that some have a difficult time learning about this- each and every time an injured skater walks into rescue or falls on the ice, some first aiders will always run through a set protocol. This is great, because it means they're thorough and professional, making sure that nothing is left out- but when they forget about compassion is no longer treatment for a person- it is just first aid.
It's the experience that counts, because each encounter is different. I've splinted countless forearms for broken wrists and every case truly is different. Every person offers a unique opportunity for us as first aiders to learn about emotion, compassion, human instinct and personality. This is what makes a good skate patrollers- translating these learning experiences into on-ice practice. Remember- you're there for the people, not just for the first aid.