A Training Memory.
A couple of years ago, tongodeon
and I were in our Red Cross Wilderness First Responder class that we were taking in order to expand our capabilities as Rangers
. 'Cause when you roll up on someone who's face-down in their own sick or got a flap of skin hanging off their lower leg from a nasty encounter with uncapped rebar, it's nice to feel useful.
One evening, the subject at hand was nasal intubation
. Basically inserting a tube through the nostril down into the trachea to assist breathing. We had a rubber dummy head to work on as they taught us how to pick the right size of tube.
The assistant instructor said "You'll want to use a water-based lubricant when inserting the breathing tube. You should keep some in your kit, because it'll probably something you won't find easily in the field." This being a wilderness-based first-aid class, they were also teaching us how to improvise with what we might find in our immediate environment.
Off-handedly, I said "Oh, we'll be at Burning Man. Water-based lube shouldn't be hard to come by."
Shooting me a quizzical look, he asked "Do you guys do a lot of nasal intubations out there?"
"No," I responded. "We're just freaky like that."
He paused again, thought for a moment, and went right back to the lecture.