Written by Ethan Holm, 1st Amanzimtoti Scout.
Supplied by Zama Mazibuko, SSA Youth Influencer KZN
During the December 2021 holiday, my dad and I went hiking in the Drakensberg with my cousin and uncle. Even though hiking with my dad and family is a usual occurrence, I had not expected what would unfold. Once we had reached cathedrals peak in the Drakensberg my cousin had told us that he wasn’t feeling well. So, he and my uncle set up camp in order for my cousin’s health to improve, whilst my dad and I carried on up the trail and boom… that’s when I saved a life and became the hero…
Well, it didn’t actually happen just like that. In fact, I will admit that I was a little nervous when the situation presented itself. On our way up the trail, we were met with a group of hikers who then alerted us of a woman who had fallen and hurt herself on the trail. The woman appeared to have fallen about 30-40m down and had injuries including broken bones. The scene that I saw in front of me was a lot more serious than a first aid incident I would see on a Friday night at Scouts. However, after the initial shock of the news, I remember assessing the situation like I would at Scouts.
Shortly after we arrived at the scene, the rescue medics arrived in a helicopter. Much to my dad’s surprise, I started removing hazards that I had noticed when I initially looked over the scene, such as sharp rocks that could be in the medics’ way as they assisted the patient. My dad, who is also part of a mountain rescue team of his own, also started helping the medics. I was tasked with holding up the plasma bag as the medics attended to the injuries which included broken ribs, foot and shoulder.
The patient was then safely put onto the stretcher and into the helicopter which would take her to safety. I helped carry her bags. Once the helicopter had taken the patient to safety, it came back for my dad and I and we got to ride in a helicopter which was an amazing experience!
Being a Scout helped me to apply myself and help, regardless of my age or size.
Even though the situation wasn’t like what you’d expect at a Friday night Scouts meeting, being a Scout helped me to apply myself and help. Being a Scout did help me to stay calm and recognize hazards, but most of all it made me realize that even I can help people regardless of my age and my size. Being able to help wasn’t only to be able to help save a person’s life or to see the proud look on my dad’s face, but it was also for the Scouts like you and me. To show that Scouting is more than just a Friday night, it’s skills for life that help anyone you may meet.
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