The Mountaineers - Alpine First Aid Home
Most of this film was photographed on Mt Erie near Anacortes, Washington. It illustrates mountaineering first aid techniques, largely under the supervision of Dr. Warren Spickard. The film was probably made around 1960. The complete film is silent, in color, and runs about 26 minutes.
In the excerpt above, just a few segments are shown, and they have been edited for brevity. Each segment begins with a title screen:
- "Accidents do happen"
- A party of four encounters a climber apparently injured in a fall. They stabilize the victim, send two members out for help, and perform first aid. The team is led by Warren Spickard (wearing a white headband). Stella Degenhardt is one of the two who go for help. She wears a yellow shirt.
- "Treatment of neck fracture"
- A party encounters a woman lying face down after a fall. They pad the ground, carefully roll her over, and apply an improvised neck collar. The film shows how to check for proper function of the extremities.
- "Treatment of spinal fracture"
- Similar to the segment on neck fracture, but this time a pad is placed on the ground to support the lower back. Tests are performed on the lower extremities only.
- "Applying a traction splint"
- Rescuers construct a traction splint for a leg fracture using long wooden ice axes, lightweight rope, a belt, and an impressive quantity of first aid tape. Warren Spickard checks their handiwork.
- "Reduction of a dislocation"
- Spickard demonstrates methods to reduce and bind a dislocated shoulder.
- "Taping a sprained ankle"
- A woman with a sprained ankle uses a length of cord wrapped around her toe to keep her ankle at 90 degrees while Spickard applies first tape.
- "Taping fractured rib"
- Spickard demonstrates how to bind the ribs on the patient's left side using tape. After displaying his handiwork, the filmmakers have some fun by ripping the tape off.
- "Jaw fracture"
- Cotton pads are inserted between the patient's teeth and the jaw is wrapped with a sweater.
- "Pressure points"
- Paul Wiseman removes five layers of clothing so Spickard can show the location of pressure points on the head, neck, shoulder, arm and leg.
- "The first aid kit"
- An alpine first aid kit is unpacked to illustrate its contents.
- This segment was filmed in winter, probably near Mt Baker Ski Area. John Meulemans (wearing glasses and a red parka) leads a trio searching for an avalanche victim by probing with their ski poles. They uncover the victim by digging with their gloved hands (no shovels). Meulemans demonstrates resuscitation using a combination of mouth-to-mouth breathing and chest compression.
(Film notes and video clip by Lowell Skoog.)