In the conduct of academic and professional work, archaeological field teams are often required to enter remote and often difficult terrain or work areas. To ensure the most successful outcome of our efforts the following protocol should be followed.

  1. Before you leave Harrisonburg you should file a complete trip itinerary with the Departmental Secretary. This should include information (including field maps) about where you will be, when you expect to be there, local contacts in case access to you personally may not be possible, vehicle type and plate number, who you have with you, and when you expect to return.
  2. Identify someone in a position of responsibility and make plans to contact them when you return (project director, girl or boy friend, husband, wife, etc). They should also have a copy of your field schedule and locations. Should they not hear from you after a particular agreed to time, they are to contact Dr. Geier or Carole Nash (see numbers below) who can inquire about possible difficulties.
  3. When possible, try to identify a local contact person in the field and see to it that they have information about contacts at the University. Arrange to check in and out with them and do so. Make sure they know where you will be and again provide a map. In many of the areas where we work, simply knowing in general where a field team will be may not be enough.
  4. Always try to carry a cellular telephone or comparable communication device. In case of emergency this is your best security and will allow you the most flexibility in providing necessary information. The department will acquire a set of these for project use.
  5. As you enter the field make sure that you have information that will provide you access to local emergency care; i. e. the location of the office of local rangers, the location of local hospitals or emergency squads, etc.
  6. If at all possible, try to pack and/or gather equipment well before the time of departure. Hurried packing can often result in the absence of needed equipment. Remember that it is often the most obvious things that will be left behind.
  7. If you are directing or coordinating efforts with a second team, always know where they are and maintain contact. Agree to meet or communicate at regular intervals.
  8. Always carry medical supplies. Consider where you will be working and make every effort to secure medical aids that anticipate things that you may encounter (poison ivy cream, bee sting sticks, etc.). Normal items should include a fresh supply of bandages (all sizes), a stress bandage, toilet paper, peroxide or other skin cleanser, Neosporin, aspirin and or Bufferin, something for diarrhea, Tums or other item for heartburn, and a mild allergy relief medicine. These items should be kept in small packs which can be carried into the field; they really don't do much good in a vehicle that is a mile away from where you are. These items should be kept fresh. Remember that you are not a trained medic. While these will be available for student use you may not prescribe any form of medication.
  9. Before leaving for the field make sure that all participants have turned in a medical information form (see attached). It is imperative that you are aware of any medical conditions that could present difficulties in the field.
  10. In case of serious accident, where moving the patient is an issue, DON'T. You are obviously going to have to make this assessment, but in such cases wisdom says to call medical specialists (rescue squad, state or local police). Send someone to get the nearest rescue squad or emergency personnel or call 911. Make every effort to make the person comfortable, warm and safe.

    1. In case of snake bite, do not do any heroic act. Make the person comfortable, keep him/her as inactive as possible and then get them quickly to the closest emergency care facility. Remember as well that bee or wasp stings can elicit severe allergic reactions in some people and they may not know they have that allergy. Try to find and identify the snake that bit the person. Remember that all snakes that bite are not necessarily poisonous.
    2. If a person who has been stung begins to behave unusually in any way, get them to emergency care ASAP. Again keep them as inactive as possible.
    3. If a person becomes ill in the field act accordingly. If necessary return them to the vehicle and leave someone with them. Depending on the illness you may be required to leave the field. The person's security must take precedence.

  11. In case of medical accident take care of the individual first but then make as detailed a record of the circumstances as possible. Identify witnesses, etc. This may be needed for insurance purposes.
  12. Drive safely and avoid circumstances that would increase the likelihood of accident. In case of a vehicle accident, however,:

    1. Get any medical attention that is required first. Call 911 and get nearest rescue squad or Virginia State Police (Phone #77). If outside of Virginia, contact State Police, local sheriff, National Park Service, or city police with jurisdiction.
    2. Notify JMU Campus Police
      Phone: 540-568-6911 (emergency)
      Phone: 540-568-6913 (non-emergency)
      Fax: 540-568-3308
    3. Notify the Department of Sociology and Anthropology Phone: 540-568-6171
      Fax: 540-568-6112

      Notify Susan Wheeler, JMU Policy and Legal Affairs Advisor
      Phone: 540-568-3727
    4. Information to Obtain.

      • Names of all parties involved.
      • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses.
      • Name of investigating police officer and address of his/her office.
      • Name of rescue squad supervisor and address of his/her office.
      • Name and policy number of Insurance Company of those involved.
      • Date, time, location of accident.
      • If possible prepare a map and description of accident scene while you are still present.
      • Numbers for all Incident Reports filled out by police officers.
      • If a complaint sheet is filled out, ask officer or rescue squad personnel for a copy of that report.
      • If anyone is taken to medical care facility get the name of the facility, the name of the examining physician and nurse practitioners, etc.

      None of the information under D. (above) should be imparted to persons other than the investigating police officers and to appropriate University personnel.

    5. Secure the welfare of the vehicle. Become aware of accident protocol information available in each JMU vehicle.
    6. Upon return to James Madison University provide a complete file of information to the Department and make appropriate contacts. All accidents must be fully reported immediately upon return.

Telephone Numbers to Know:
Clarence R. Geier: 540-568-6973 (work); 540-833-5216 (home)
Carole Nash: 540-568-3415 (work); 540-432-6864 (home)
Sociology and Anthropology: 540-568-6171 (Ginger Usry, Dept. Secretary)
Transportation Office: 540-568- 8147


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