This week for our #TeamTuesday, the BPM team proudly introduces you to Andrew Strunk! A very valued member of our team! Here he shares some of the achievements, memories and funny stories along his BPM journey…
Following the earthquake, I feel our best achievement was filling the void between serious and minor injuries. Most of those who required hospital treatment had made their way to main cities somehow, however those with significant injuries not deemed worthy of a trip to hospital were kind of left in a gap. I’m sure we were able to reduce the risk of a lot of septic complications in the areas we visited. The biggest challenge we probably faced following the earthquake was helping to treat the emotional wounds of some of the people we encountered. I guess most of our focus was towards clinical and trauma care, however pretty quickly in one village we found ourselves counseling a woman who hadn’t spoken a word since losing 5 of her children when her house collapsed. It was a very sobering experience.
Clinically, we had some really interesting patient presentations. One interesting patient that I remember clearly was an old lady who Andrew ‘Milky’ Clark treated. She had broken her wrist, and had it splinted with a plaited bamboo wrap! While I don’t think it would have healed as well as Milky’s splinting job, it was really interesting to see how they self treated a fracture with the limited resources available.
Although my time in Nepal was providing much needed aid, there was also many funny moments! One of the funniest things I saw in Nepal was a man being arrested by police right next to where we were treating people on the side of the road. He managed to escape on a tiny scooter down the road, with the two policeman doubling themselves on an equally tiny scooter chasing him down. Five minutes later he reappeared sitting astride a much bigger Harley Davidson style motorbike like a Nepalese James Dean with not a policeman in site!
What I love most about BPM is the people I’ve worked with. The guys who are putting work into the Disaster Response Group all meet at least twice a month and go rock climbing or surfing before our meetings. It’s definitely a mates more than colleagues environment. Just recently, we were lucky enough to have a rescue kit donated to the Disaster Response Group and a few of the team are heading down to Margaret River this weekend to conduct some high angle/reduced access training.
Coming from an Army background I really appreciate the opportunity to feel like I’m doing my part to help out in the wider global community. It’s a feeling you lose when you first discharge from the military, and it’s great to have it back!