The Boys Scouts of America’s (BSA) motto, “Be Prepared,” was evident once again during a recent Camporall at Barrett Cove (Lake McClure), La Grange, California, from 1-3 May 2015. The Greater Yosemite Council of the BSA contacted the Public Affairs Department of the California National Guard requesting support for this Camporall. To be prepared for emergencies, the BSA was asking for medical and communications support.
Mr. David Wherry, Sr. RN, RNFA, Unit Commissioner; Camping Chairman, Greater Yosemite Council, contacted COL Peter B. Cross, Director, Public Affairs, Joint Force Headquarters in Sacramento for assistance from the Military Department. This was Yosemite’s 125th Anniversary Camporall and ultimately, in excess of 1,300 Scouts, Scout Masters, and parents attended the event.
The California State Military Reserve, in turn, was contacted by COL Cross for volunteers to provide both medical and communications support to the BSA during this gathering. COL Randall Cole, Commander of Regional Support Command – North (RSC-North), with the assistance of his S-3, Major Edward Landrith, forwarded the request for assistance to all members in his command.
Ultimately, Charlie Company, 1st Special Troop Battalion (1st STB), RSC-North, located in Modesto, volunteered to support the mission with sixteen personnel. Charlie Company is a medical unit co-located with the 184th Infantry, California National Guard at the Modesto Armory. In addition to the CSMR personnel, two members of the 184th also volunteered to assist with this mission, raising the team to total of 18 personnel.
The CSMR personnel deployed early on Friday, 1 May 2015, from the Modesto Armory and were fully operational, including two fixed and two mobile medical teams, well in advance of the arriving Scouts. In addition to providing medical services to the participants, the soldiers provided directions, handled lost property, and answered the recurring question of what exactly the CSMR is about.
For the three day deployment, the CSMR medical team handled a total of 21 separate needs for medical intervention, from scrapes and bruises to concussion and dehydration. As a result of the immediate response of medical personnel, there were no requirements for medical evacuations or advanced medical personnel.
The members of Charlie Company were instructed by SSG Vance from the 184th Infantry, Modesto, on the proper use of radio communications; both the equipment and the manner in which communications is spoken. While on roving medical patrol soldiers from Charlie Company also participated in this training and how to report their observations to the Command Post.
The success of this Civil Support mission left a positive impression with the Scouts, the Scout Masters and the parents who attended the 3 day Camporall. Mr. Wherry’s parting comment was that he will look forward to the next time that Charlie Company, 1st STB (med) will be call upon to support a BSA event.
Living up to that expectation, Charlie Company will, like the Boys Scouts, be prepared!