MEDWAR Southeast 2017: Blueforce Tested
What is your definition of a fun weekend? How about – strains/sprains, dislocations, fractures, soft tissue wounds, lacerations, burns, punctures (with and without embedded objects), blisters, infection, frostbite/extremity immersion, and more? This is what MedWar SOUTHEAST is all about; Hundreds of first responders competing in the woods of Fort Gordon, Georgia. MedWAR teaches and tests wilderness medicine knowledge and skills. The event uses scenarios and questions which correspond to the location and conditions of the race, and you may be standing in the middle of a swamp (but an avalanche can also be simulated).
The race runs in a circuit format with an optional orienteering leg at the end, with a total of 8 hours allotted for completion. In the spirit of adventure racing and the simulation of “surprise” situations often encountered in the wilderness, participants do not know the content of any challenge prior to arriving at that particular challenge. The course is designed to allow several teams to complete challenges side-by-side, however teams are also spread out as the race progresses. There are unavoidable choke points throughout the race. Teams that arrive first will undoubtedly have an advantage over teams behind them. The difficulty of each challenge is different for each individual and may increase as the race progresses as fatigue and darkness play a role. The race continues rain or shine.
As with any exercise, awareness of the participants and teams is of total interest to event commanders, but also as a measurement of speed and success. That’s why MedWar and VCOM/Auburn selected Blueforce. Blueforce Tactical and an array of unattended ground sensors have been deployed to the backwoods of Fort Gordon GA: to monitor participant life safety, but also for event logistics so that monitors and EMS may be moved as the hundreds of participants navigate the course. Deployed resources include: BlueforceCOMMAND for event SA, BlueforceWBGT for heat stress monitoring, and a whole array of physiological sensors. As well, teams are carrying the new Kyocera DuraForce PRO on Verizon, the only phone in the world suited for the hostile environments that Fort Gordon provides.