Westport 10-16

I was sorry not to be able to attend the Keeping Track Wildlife Event at Floral Hall on Oct. 6, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. More than 200 people braved cold rainy weather to hear renowned tracker and naturalist Susan Morse and to enjoy her informative and often humorous slide show.

She even yelped, howled, barked, and grunted out noises that sounded like the animals were right there in the room. There were tables brimming with all sorts of animal stuff - skulls, antlers, pelts, bear-clawed logs, even a stuffed bobcat and coyote. Thanks to Champlain Area Trails, Adirondack Council, NE Wilderness Trust, Outdoor Guide Elizabeth Lee, Champlain National Bank, and Dogwood Bread Company for bringing the Wildlife Event to Westport.

But my time certainly wasn't wasted, since I was at EMS class that night learning how to treat trauma patients. I feel that I should thank the many readers who've told me they've enjoyed reading about the classes. Since people seem interested, I'll continue writing about them from time to time till they end in mid-November. This is a side of our community life that it's good for people to know more about, even if they can't participate themselves.

But we really do need more EMTs, so I hope the columns will encourage others to volunteer. If you think you might be interested, drop me an e-mail and I'll be happy to help in any way I can. The other main point to make is CPR, CPR, CPR. It's impossible to overstate how big a difference early CPR can make in saving the life of someone who's suffered cardiac arrest.

CPR has two components, rescue breathing and chest compressions. Many people are put off by the idea of mouth-to-mouth, but the trend recently is to downplay rescue breathing and emphasize the importance of chest compressions, the other component of CPR. If done properly, chest compressions can help keep oxygenated blood circulating till help arrives. But timely intervention is crucial. The bottom line is everyone should know CPR. More on that in a future column.

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