This week we had issues with the weather and changed the schedule. I called Fire Station No. 3 and one of the firefighters indicated we would meet at Fire Station No. 2. Instead of Hose/Hose Evolutions and Driving a Fire Truck we would be doing Search & Rescue and Vehicle Extrication.
Search and Rescue
We first suited up in our bunker gear and split up in two groups. My group did Search and Rescue first. Our Search and Rescue mission was to find one of the firefighters in their living quarters of the fire station while in the dark. One of the biggest issues that firefighters face while combating interior structural fires is impaired vision. With the fire burning it”s difficult to see through the thick smoke, no lights with the power off, and complete darkness. One of the tools that firefighters use is an Infra-Red (IR) thermography camera. The camera measures temperature difference and heat generated on the camera screen in real time allowing the firefighter to identify people.
One of the firefighters led us through the doors of the fire station. We walked into the building with all the lights out…pitch black. He told us some of the pass and feel procedures during search and rescue and then turned on the IR camera. As we slowly walked through the living quarters we felt around and looked under beds. Our journey was quite short as we found our down firefighter in the dark laying on bed watching TV.
Hollywood does no justice to the fire service… its not lights, camera, action. Its more like, I can”t see and how can we make this work in the online casino darkness.
Vehicle Extrication is the safe removal of vehicle parts around an accident victim when conventional methods are not possible. A totaled car was donated to the Colony Fire Department. We would be breaking windows and ripping doors off the car simulating rescue operations during vehicle extrication. The basic vehicle extrication operations consist of:
- Isolating the accident scene
- Assess the patients condition
- Stabilize the vehicle
- Provide an entryway for the first responder or EMT/Paramedic to attend the patient and provide protective blankets to shield the patient from glass or debris
- Extricate the vehicle parts
- Remove the patient and transport for medical care