Forest Carbon Intern Nicole McIntyre, daughter of Danna Finnesand and Chris McIntyre, recently passed Bear Guard Training the week of June 27th.
Training begins with Health Safety and Environmental (HSE) protocols and requirements of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Students are taught animal behavior, risk assessment, and protective methods, including the use of bear spray, sound devices, electric fences, firearm deterrent cartridges, and lethal force. Training includes two firearm qualification sessions where safety, decision making, tactical shooting, and accuracy are formally evaluated. Training culminates with a field exercise where students play the part of a Wilderness Safety Leader (WSL) on duty guiding workers through field work.
In addition to the WSL training portion, students must also successfully complete wilderness first aid, including CPR, AED and pathogen protection. Emphasis is on long-term patient management, communication with base, and the use of improvised splints and litters for patient movement. Students are required to practice cleaning small wounds and conduct an evacuation of a simulated injured worker in the program.