Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Team Training #4: Team Building and Basic Medical

We had a great time on Monday night at our 4th India Team Training! During the couple of hours that we had together, our friends Scott Crouch and Dave Cherrone led us through the process of both doing some fun team activities as well as helping to better prepare us for the field.

Pictured here are both Scott (on the left) and Dave (on the right) assembling what we came to know as "The Laser", which was used as a team building exercise for us to learn to not only trust and depend on one another, but how to collaborate and plan strategically in order to accomplish a goal. What are the rules, you may ask? Well, the "simple" objective is to get your team from one side of The Laser to the other. But while the objective may sound "simple", the execution of it is more complicated. Here's why:

1) You're not allowed to touch any of the "laser" beams that span the framework. Almost as if we were all trying to re-enact a scene from Entrapment... except that we're not stealing anything.

2) You're not allowed to use the same "hole" in the lasers more than once. One person can go through one hole one time. Some holes are bigger than others, so figuring out which team members go through which is a part of the planning process.

3) You can use "stuff around you". My belt, for instance, became a sort of sling that we would use to bolster each other around the mid-section in order to keep lower backs and bellies from hitting a laser in the process of transfer. We also used chairs and other items to accomplish our objectives when they were beneficial.

It may not seem that difficult, but trying to get 13 people through The Laser was tougher than expected. We ended up doing some pretty Cirque Du Soleil looking maneuvers to get certain team members through or over. Hayley and Brandy, for instance, were hoisted to a height of nearly 10 feet on the shoulders of Don Wolfram and then passed to waiting team members on the other side in order to utilize smaller holes at the top of The Laser, while i (yes... i know... 230 pounds might be a little much to "hoist" anywhere) opted for larger holes closer to the bottom.

The first time around, Scott pretty much let us try to figure it out on our own, and it took us 25 minutes. The second time through, he told us some good "tricks of the trade", and we managed to shave off 7 minutes for a record time of 18 minutes! Way to go, team!

After The Laser, we gathered around as Dave Cherrone helped us through the basics of CPR (Dave shown here with an "Annie" dummy, which we used to practice the CPR and related compressions), the Heimlich Maneuver (for choking or blocked airway), and then on to some basic field first aid. We learned about treating insect and snake bite related injuries, as well as talked about heat and dehydration issues, fatigue, and bleeding. We even got some good "hands on" experience with the process of proper bandaging and care of related wounds.

Overall, we had fun, learned some good stuff, and are now moving faster toward our actual departure date!

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