Jrs V10 I28


Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 10, Issue 28
Health and Safety Issue
July 29, 2006
WE GET QUESTIONS…and we are here to pony up some answers about Health and Safety at the event, to help you with your playa planning. It’s a JRS Special Edition: Health and Safety in BRC.

35 days till the burn.

Health & Safety Section at Burningman.com
Health & Safety Q and A
Build your own street sign – Adopt an Intersection
Community crutch and blanket drive
ESD emergency dispatch supervisors needed
Frequency coordination: Are you using high power radios on the playa?
Emergency contact on playa

Health & Safety Section at Burningman.com

Are you aware there is a Health and Safety section of the Burning Man
web site?


Here you can read FAQs and information about a variety of topics,

Asthma on the Playa FAQ
Diabetic on the playa FAQ
Fuel and hazardous materials storage
General information about the Emergency Services Department (ESD)
General playa health and safety tips from the Nevada State Health
How do I treat playa foot?
Pregnancy on the Playa FAQ
Rebar safety
Should I wear a Medic Alert bracelet?
Sober on the playa
Playa Fires: Health Risk?
What to pack in your playa first aid kit

…and, of course:

How to gift food at Burning Man: Obtaining a “Temporary Food
Establishment Permit” from the Nevada State Health Department and sharing food safely!

Check it out and be edified.

Health and Safety Q and A

Q: What do I do if I get hurt or sick on the playa?

A: We hope, of course, that you won’t get sick or hurt…but being radically self-reliant also means remembering to bring a first aid kit (http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/playa_firstaid.html) and self-treating yourself and your campmates for minor first aid needs. Should your illness or injury be more severe than you can manage without help, there are Emergency Services medical stations on the 3:00 and 9:00 plazas, and behind the Center Cafe at 6:00. Look for the neon blue cross on top of the buildings. These stations are staffed by emergency health care providers (doctors, nurses, medics, etc.) who donate their time and medical expertise to the city as their gift to us all.
Q: What if they can’t manage my problem?

A: If the on-site medical providers feel that you have a medical emergency that requires a higher level of care than can be provided on the playa, you may need to visit a hospital in Reno. Depending on the seriousness of your condition, that can be accomplished by either getting a ride from a friend, or being transported by an ambulance or helicopter. Remember to bring your ID, insurance card, cell phone, and wallet when you go, so you can take care of yourself accordingly. Also, note that if you get transported by ambulance or helicopter, you’ll need to arrange for a friend to pick you up after your care. There are no shuttles from the hospitals back to the playa.

Q: Is there a clinic in Gerlach?

A: The Gerlach Medical Center http://www.nvrhc.org/gerlach.htm> is open Monday through Friday, 8 AM – 12 PM and 1 PM – 5 PM. The Gerlach Medical Center is a family medicine clinic offering limited urgent care, laboratory, x-ray, and women’s health services.

Q: How much does it cost to see a doctor in Gerlach?

A: An average doctor visit usually costs between $100 and $300, plus the cost of any laboratory tests, x-rays, and prescriptions you may need. The clinic accepts insurance as well as Visa, Mastercard, Discover, traveller’s checks, personal checks (with identification) or cash.

Q: Where can I get a prescription filled?

A: It’s best to bring adequate supplies that you need to the playa. Should you need to get a prescription refilled, though, the closest pharmacies are in Fernley or Reno. The Gerlach Medical Clinic has a “closed pharmacy”, meaning they can only fill prescriptions written by their physicians during a visit to the clinic…not refills of your existing scrip.

Adopt-an-intersection in Black Rock City

As you might have noticed, people like to steal the street signs from BRC on Sunday on their way out of the city. While this may be a cool souvenir for some, it causes havoc for the medical units, fire trucks, Black Rock Rangers and other resources, obfusciating the location of those who need help in an emergency.

So how can you, as a participant, make a difference?

We’d really implore everyone, as a best-case-scenario, to leave the street signs where they are on your way out of the city. It is truly imperative that they stay up until at least daylight on Monday morning, and we’re not trying to give permission to steal them (there are still folks working to take the infrastructure down, and yes, we’d like to know where we’re going in an emergency, too). Obviously not everyone is guilty of stealing a street sign, but there will always be those that persist…so we are asking some of you wonderful and awesome burners to help by adopting an intersection.

The idea was inspired at last year’s event when spontaneously participants improvised street signs to make it possible to navigate the city in absence of the originals. Using some cardboard, a marker, and some duct tape, it’s possible to make a legible replacement with just a little effort if you find a sign that’s missing. It will not only help all the emergency responders but it will also be of great help to your fellow citizens of Black Rock City. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference!

Community crutch and blanket drive
Last year’s crutch drive was a huge success. Generous burners brought their unwanted (or un-needed, really) crutches out of the back of their closets and donated them to Medical, where medical staff gifted them to participants-in-need. It allowed people who became injured on playa to move around while they healed, and then return them for the next burner to use.

This year, we have a similar idea: a blanket drive! On the playa, folks who aren’t feeling well often need a little time to recuperate before heading back to camp. Sometimes, that means heading home in evening, leaving them with only the daytime’s lightweight outfit to protect against the night’s chill. Just like the crutch drive, we hope to gather donations of clean blankets to give to participants so they can make it home from medical without having to freeze.

If you have crutches or blankets to donate, simply bring them to the playa and donate them at any of our three medical stations, where our medical staff will share them with folks in need. If you are given a pair of our donated crutches, we’d love to put them back to use when you are better. Blankets, provided they are still clean, can be also returned for reuse.

Questions? Email 911(at)burningman(dot)com

ESD dispatch supervisors needed

Burning Man Emergency Services Department needs additional experienced emergency dispatch supervisors!

Are you (or a burner you know) an experienced emergency dispatch supervisor or officer? You know, the one who sits on the other side of the microphone, overseeing and guiding “the voice” coming through the radio for firefighters, police, paramedics, security, or the military? Whatever your branch, you are the voice that many depend on to “keep it all together” whenever the situation arises.

Burning Man’s Emergency Services Department (ESD) could benefit from your skills in our dispatch center. ESD staffs and operates a 911 public safety answering point at Burning Man to handle calls for medical assistance, uncontrolled / unplanned fires, accidents, Black Rock Rangers, law enforcement, and even just the occasional information or paging request. We staff our center 24 hours a day starting several days before the event begins and until the last participant has gone home. Every year our dispatch center handles thousands of calls for assistance from staff members, Rangers and other users of Burning Man’s radio system. We need skilled and dedicated supervisors that can make the commitment to show up, stay calm under pressure, and assist in keeping the citizens of Black Rock City safe.

If you have the experience, skills, and dedication, or know someone who does, please get in touch with us! Email 911(at)burningman(dot)com

Frequency coordination: Are you using high power radios on the playa?

Are you planning on using high power radio applications (greater than 5 watts) on the playa? ESD coordinates spectrum and systems to alleviate and proactively avoid interference between various projects on-playa and the Burning Man radio infrastructure.

Please note that in general, we do not coordinate AM or FM broadcast radio, WiFi, HAM, FRS (aka Talkabouts), GMRS, MURS, CB, or RC bands. However, if you are planning a high power radio application in any of these bands, please let us know so we can isolate the signal in the RF noisefloor in case of interference.

Please contact ESD Communications via email at 911(at)burningman(dot)com if you have questions or to register your frequency.

Emergency contact on playa FAQ

Q: What if friends or family at home need to reach me for an emergency?

A: Unfortunately, given the nature of the event, finding a participant on the playa is usually quite challenging. Cell phones don’t work, and people don’t generally have satellite phones. There is but limited internet access. Now add the fact that addresses on the playa are inexact even if you _do_ know where you’re camping ahead of time, and finding a person’s camp can become very difficult. Preparation will help you stay in touch in an emergency.

Q: How can friends or family send me a message?

A: Emergency messages should be sent to 911(at)burningman(dot)com. The message will be passed to the Black Rock Rangers, who will do their best to deliver it. We will also make the message available at Playa Info in Center Camp, so if you’re awaiting news or expecting emergency transmissions, you might want to plan to check in each day.

Q: What details should be included in an emergency message?

A: The message should include first and last name, as well as any known nickname that you might go by around camp. It should also include the name of your theme camp or other affiliation (volunteer team, etc.), and its location if known, along with your vehicle make/license plate and any other unique features that will help with the search (such as, “camp has a 20 foot inflatable duck,” etc.)

A: What can prevent me from getting the message?

A: Just a few of the variables that can get in the way: your camp relocates, or nobody’s ever in camp when we come seek you out; your camp spot is obscured from view by other camps; the 20 foot inflatable duck deflates due to a leak; there are three camps with 20-foot inflatable ducks, and none of the neighbors know anyone named “Chris” because you have been introducing yourself all week as “Captain Underpants, Lord of the Duck People!” You get the picture.

In other words, you’re heading to the middle of the desert, and there is no guarantee that we’ll be able to deliver a message in an emergency; it’s important to weigh that before you leave home. If you are awaiting news, you can actively check in at Playa Info, and in truly dire circumstances, you can take the bus into Gerlach to use the pay phone there.

The JRS wishes you a healthy and safe burn! See you next time.

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