In addition to our support for individuals, expeditions, and climbing focused organizations, Vertical Medicine Resources is also the go to company for medical support during climbing events. No matter the event or the competition, VMR can assist with the creation of a logical first aid and evacuation plan, conduct on the ground risk assessments, work with land managers and event hosts to mitigate these risks, and provide field support.
We can handle events of any scale. In 2016, VMR provided event support for PsicoRoc (see video of the competition here), the first outdoor deep water solo event within the United States. This event, held at Summersville Lake in West Virginia was a huge success. VMR worked closely with the New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC) and the US Corps of Engineers throughout the year prior to the event. This included two onsight surveys of potential hazards, a detailed first aid and evacuation plan for each individual deep water solo site (from each location to the hospital), the creation of a comprehensive risk management plan, and on the ground support by four medical providers. The creation of a detailed safety plan along with the provision of on sight medical care allowed the event to occur.
VMR Medical Guides at the PsicoRoc event. (Not pictured Bill Chouinard)
As much as we would have enjoyed just lazing in the sun and watching the competition, we were needed a number of times during the day. You can read more about our work in this Climbing magazine article on PsicoRoc. As park ranger Kevin Brown stated in his interview with Climbing, "It wasn't a big concern because the safety plan was in place," said Brown. Medical professionals were watching how climbers fell and looking for signs of injury. When Grupper fell, they got to him in less than a minute and did a quick diagnosis. One stipulation for having the event is that the USACE required climbers to have a safe way off the top. Volunteers lowered the climbers using ropes, aiders, and pool noodles, though some climbers chose to jump anyway. However, unexpected falls meant there was a chance for accidents."
VMR Staff assisted during the GallantFew/Raider Project/Ranger Project climbing event in 2017.