Chirurgeonate at Pennsic

Lady Elizabeth Reed, Chirurgeon in Charge for Pennsic 37, reports on activities of the Chirurgeonate and First Aid Point at Pennsic XXXVII.

Lady Elizabeth writes:

Unto the populace of the Known World, the attendees of Pennsic War and the Chirurgeons who serve both, does Lady Elizabeth Reed, Chirurgeon in Charge of Pennsic 37, send greetings.

Pennsic comes upon us with speed and certainty, and to better plan for this event I would like to make known a few changes that will be in place this year and the reasoning behind them.

After observing the difficulties of providing the high quality of service on the battlefield that the populace expects from the Chirurgeons and that we have come to expect from ourselves, please be aware that I have decided that there will be no organized Pennsic Chirurgeonate presence on the battlefield this year. I initiated this policy change; it was not handed down to us in any way. I firmly believe in this.

Last year I observed that there were problems in the delivery of first aid services on the battlefield due to the way that the Chirurgeon/Northwest EMS teams worked together. Although the new system worked well in First Aid Point, it was not really well suited to the faster pace of service required in the middle of battle. My feeling is that it is better to provide no service then bad service, so this year we are stepping back and allowing NWEMS to handle the field alone. Chirurgeons are welcome to work as Chirurgeons at large, and are encouraged to work with their local groups or households. Such Chirurgeons are expected to follow the policies of the Chirurgeons handbook and should drop off any paperwork at First Aid Point at their earliest convenience. Chirurgeons are also encouraged to serve on the battlefield in other capacities including as marshals if they are warranted in that capacity.

As usual First Aid Point will be open 24 hours a day, however the Chirurgeonate at Pennsic will not operate from 12 midnight until 8 am. The last three Pennsic CiCs have proposed this change, and I am choosing to implement it this year. The reason for this change is that we do not serve a significant number of people at night given the amount of effort we put into staffing those shifts. Overnight an Operations Deputy will be on duty to handle administrative needs or interdepartmental issues. NWEMS will be active 24 hours a day to provide any care needed during the night hours.

Other changes will be minor, but will include a more robust "help yourself" offering at the front of First Aid Point for those who want to DIY. We will also be moving our meeting area under the permanent roof, to make it a more convenient and integrated part of First Aid Point.

Lastly, we regret that we will no be able to offer showers to volunteers this year. As was the case last year, use of the shower trailer will be limited, due to among other things the rising cost of propane. We are aware that the Chirurgeonate and the other Pennsic departments run completely on volunteer labor, and we are very appreciative of the work. I would be very interested in any additional suggestions for ways we can honor our volunteers.

I want to encourage everyone to come and give working at the Pennsic Chirurgeonate another chance. The theme for this Pennsic is rebuilding. I hope you will look at it as an opportunity to create a foundation for a better Pennsic Chirurgeonate in years to come. I, and the senior staff at Pennsic, fully and strongly believe that we (the Chirurgeons and those who volunteer in a non-medical capacity) have a place in the first aid needs of Pennsic. Let us continue do our jobs with the professionalism I have come to expect from the Chirurgeonate.

I would like to thank in advance all those who come out and help us make this year's Pennsic Chirurgeonate even better than last.

For more information, visit the First Aid Point page of the Pennsic website by clicking on "original article" below. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.