Medicine In The Mountains

Whether you are moving to the desert, valleys, or high up in the mountains, your medical concerns should be in that decision.  Is there medicine in the mountains?

Homesteading away from the big cities and going “off the grid” to the rural country is a great idea but what about necessities.  What about your health care and medical emergencies?  Do you have those included in your plan?

I moved out to what they called, “the frontier” twenty-eight years ago.  The State of Idaho considered where I lived was even less than rural so they called it “the frontier”.  Yes, it is rather rural.  We have a volunteer fire department that also has volunteer Paramedics.

There are doctors in the area but you are limited to what they can do and who they are. Not to say they aren’t great, but there isn’t the choice you have in the larger cities.  My point here is that if you intend on living “off the grid” in all respects, make sure you know how to take care of most emergencies and have a Life Flight membership.

My sister’s life was gratefully saved due to Life Flight when she had her stroke.  Several landing spots have been set up throughout the communities for the helicopters to land and connect with the ambulances.  There are situations that even the closest hospital, which is 30 miles away in either direction, can’t handle.  And that is if you make it the 30 miles.  That is why when moving to rural communities, you need to think about your emergency health care.

Medicine In The Mountains
St. Luke’s McCall

I’ll have to admit when I first moved up here I was a little anxious about what to do if something big happened.  With a volunteer fire department and EMTs, their arrival time isn’t always immediate.  They have lives, jobs, and ranches.  They have to get from where they are to the fire department and then to the emergency.  Some will just drive to the emergency in their own vehicle. Well, I got the Life Flight membership back then, and as of today, have not had to use it.

Not to say there haven’t been situations arise that should have warranted it.  I did have a stroke ten years ago but was able to have my husband drive me to the hospital.

Our area has the ability to use two small hospitals in either direction of where we are.  The one we usually go to does have the ability to deliver babies, perform surgeries, and some traumas.  It’s a ski area around the hospital so they do get some traumas and broken bones.  They have specialists come in on rotation from once a week to once a month.

It is important to know what options are available if you are planning to live very far off the grid.  To know what to be prepared for no matter the situation.  Especially, if you have an ongoing illness or situation.  Please think before you move, what about your health care and medical emergencies

We manage to take care of most smaller injuries other than large bleeding messes, broken bones, heart attack, or stroke.  Even some blood messes we can handle as long as nothing but blood is coming out of the wound.  Liquid Band-Aid, superglue, and steri strips work wonders. I figure if I can doctor my horses, sheep, goats, and dogs, I better be able to care for us.

This area is rural but when I first came here there were two pharmacies and they were great.  You could go to them and they would be as good as a doctor sometimes.   Population diminishment over the years has caused them to disappear.  There is an automated pharmacy now in one of the doctor’s offices but it just isn’t the same.

Off the grid is great as long as you understand all that it encompasses. No more city-run, permanent fire department or ambulance service, corner doc-in-the-box, or Thrifty Drug store.  Make sure you consider this before you make that move you spent so much time, money, and dreams on.

Our Rural Volunteer Fire Department



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