Comments on TWH #170


David Dunham

I read your comment on the effects adrenaline had on you. I sympathize with your problems in accomplishing seemingly simple tasks under its influence. I must admit I firmly believe that in emergencies we fall back on what we have been trained to do.

I was a veterinarian's technician for about 10 years before I started working as the manager of Planet Ten, and previous to that I rode horses competitively with my family in three-day events. Consequently I got a lot of training for both human and animal emergencies. I haven't been in lots of accidents, but I do remember some that stand out clearly. The most obvious example I've ever seen of not having training happened in Texas. In a multi-car highway accident (I saw one semi with trailer, one minivan, and four cars just in the area I was in) on a foggy, drizzly night, I stopped to see if I could be of assistance.

One scene stands out clearly still, in a black humor sort of way: a dirty white minivan sitting on the edge of the highway with two guys staring speculatively at its grill. One comments to the other, "Nope, nope, it jus' ain't sittin' raht... Mus' be a s'spensh'n probl'm."

Not 30 feet away behind them, unnoticed, was an unconscious man lying half in, half out of the gutter, face up into the rain, and clearly visible by the headlights of the minivan. I don't think they were malicious, I just think their training wasn't in checking for human emergencies first. My guess would be that their area of expertise lay in vehicular problems.

I find that emergency training has affected the way I think. In gaming alone, I've had one GM comment with some frustration that I didn't stump worth a damn. It's not that I've always got the right answer, but rather that I can come up with an answer. Has anyone else with, say, CPR or first aid training noticed this in their gaming?

Comments on The Wild Hunt #171.

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    Last Updated: Mon Aug 4 1997