OHV recreation occurs all over the country on all sorts of terrains. Many lucky OHV recreationists will have the opportunity to experience riding on trails in heavily wooded areas, areas with serious exposure in mountainous areas or in open plains. Others yet will have the opportunity to ride on dunes or through the desert. Each type of area has its unique safety concerns – this article focuses on desert safety.
NOHVCC recently spoke with Brian Puckett who is a paramedic and leads search and rescue operations for the Bureau of Land Management’s El Centro Field Office in California, which manages the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. Brian leads a team of five permanent staff who are bolstered with seasonal help during the busy winter season. The team responds to 400 calls a year and deal with a vast range of injuries. Brian said, “Everything from splinter removal to serious traumatic injuries – we see it all.”