So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011
Over a couple of beers last night, my paramedic buddy mentioned how humans are pretty bad at risk assessment. People think that they’ll be safe in some isolated zombie proof fortress on an island somewhere. You’ve got to ask yourself: how many people have ever died from a zombie apocalypse? On the the other hand, how many people die every day from heart attacks? Someone in a remote isolated area is more likely to die from a medical emergency than someone in the city.
My home area is rural, but not necessarily what I’d call really isolated. There is a paved door that runs past my house. (a narrow, rutted and pot holed road, but a road none the less.) It’s even plowed by the town in the winter. A couple years ago there was bad car accident about 2/10 of a mile from my house. A state trooper happened on the scene soon after and radioed for an ambulance. The local volunteer ambulance crew could not be mustered. I think they may have already been on a call and didn’t have the resources to respond to a second call. The professional crew one town over was also maxed out due to a combination of out of state transfers and local emergencies. Eventually the town after them was able to must their volunteer crew and respond to the emergency. That accident victim survived, but suffered a lot longer than she would have in a city.
This is not a criticism of volunteer crews. They donate a lot of time and energy to provide a public service. I salute them. They get the same basic training as an EMT who works for a professional company. However, they don’t get nearly the same number of calls. An EMS crew in a busy professional company may go on more calls in month than a volunteer will go on in 5 years. Practice does make perfect.
Another buddy of mine is making the quality of medical care a big part of his relocation plan. He and his wife are actively looking at rural property but never too far from a very good regional hospital. It’s small, but well equipped and staffed with top notch people. This couple doesn’t’t have any major health problems, but they do recognize that being in their 50s, they aren’t kids anymore. They want the self reliant, low crime, rural lifestyle, but have calculated the likelihood of needing good medical care.
Medical emergencies is one major risk people underrate. I’ve done it myself. Only in the last few years have I made a point to travel with basic medical kits. When in my twenties, I’d go bushwacking through untracked wilderness without even a band-aid. I had a lot of faith my invulnerability. I’d like to think my risk assessment has gotten better over the years.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.