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Best Surface Tactics

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  • Best Surface Tactics

    We are in the process of forming a water rescue team and some differing opinions exist on how to perform these two tactics: A) Rescuing someone from the water with spinal considerations and B) Rescuing someone from the water without spinal considerations.

    What are the tactics and tools you have found to work best for these operations?

    Is anyone using an LSP Halfback for water rescue with spinal considerations?

  • #2
    Your answer will vary, depending upon water conditions and the condition of your pt. Are you in rough water where your pt may become submerged or you may lose them, well maybe getting them to shore or the boat may be the best answer. Are they not breathing? Are they CAO, no presenting problems other than neck pain in still water? There are many different situations that you may encounter. I would suggest taking water rescue classes and than take it from there. Just using the opinion of members of the dept. may get you in trouble or someone hurt. I recently took a class with lifegaurd systems and they realy put on a good class, I would recommend them. They can customize your class to your area. Just so you know, this won't be an overnight type deal.


    • #3
      Our possible rescues will mostly be in lakes and slow moving (same surface conditions as a lake or pond) rivers. Our state offers only swift water rescue classes and we have no swift water. Part of this learning process involves talking to other local teams to see what they are doing, but I was just wondering about it on a larger scope.

      As for more specifics, the patient is conscious in both instances and we must use spinal precautions whenever we suspect an injury affecting the spine.

      Thanks for the help.


      • #4
        This is something you can't learn from a post or book. As a former lifeguard I know that surface rescue of a drowning victim can be one of the more dangerous things we do in the water.
        1st off you need to be a GOOD swimmer, not average not OK but good. You need a rescue tube or can to assist with flotation for the victim. It is a completly different approach then what we are used to.
        Ellis is quickly becoming the standard for pools and water parks. http://www.jellis.com/programs/lifeg...g/default.html
        ARC teaches also http://www.redcross.org/services/hss.../lifegard.html
        the YMCA still trains lifeguards.
        Find your local pool and see who trains their lifeguards. most pools are willing to show the FD what will be in progress when responding to their facility. It may suprise you what that 17 year old in the chair does to keep a pool safe.

        The LSP halfback would not be practical to put on someone in the water. They should be put on a LBB with c-collar while still in the water. Manual c-spine stabilization can be done, but like I said it is a skill that must be learned and practiced.
        Call your local pool. I don't mean to sound negative but the average FF shouldn't play lifeguard, their is more to it then what you see on Baywatch.


        • #5
          Spinal consideration should always be a concern however the person becoming a drowning statistic is worse. We use a bradco basket with a floatation system on it. Once we secure the Pt. we get them out. But depends on the water conditions as well.
          Are you going to be tied off when you enter? if so C-Spine control well your tender and support pull you in.


          • #6
            I appreciate all the good information.

            ADSNWFLD - If an LBB is good, why wouldn't an LSP halfback work? Remember we are pulling people into a boat and this would provide c-spine protection and give us a good lifting capacity. Now that I think about it, why not a KED?

            Just thinking out loud.


            • #7
              Get a flotation device on your victim..ASAP

              Something to consider...

              Rescue squad devastated by drowning of injured woman
              CORNISH, N.H. (AP) - A week after an injured woman drowned when
              a rescue boat capsized, the crew that tried to help her is dealing
              with grief and stress, officials said.
              Virginia Yates, 64, of Rockingham, Vt., died Aug. 22 after a
              Cornish Rescue Squad boat sank to the bottom of the Connecticut
              Yates slipped and fell that afternoon while stepping onto a
              private dock in Springfield, Vt., injuring her ankle and hitting
              her head.
              After a friend went to a public dock for help and a woman called
              911, the Cornish Rescue Squad went to retrieve her because
              Springfield and Charlestown, N.H. - the nearest towns - do not have
              Emergency responders from Springfield and Cornish placed Yates
              on a backboard and strapped the board to a stretcher attached to
              the airboat, officials said.
              But on the way to Hoyt's Landing, the boat suddenly sank, taking
              Yates under. Rescuers were unable to recover her body for about an
              hour, according to emergency dispatch records. None of the
              emergency responders was injured.
              The Cornish Rescue Squad members, who are all volunteers, were
              devastated by Yates' death and their hearts go out to her family
              and friends, said Mark Attorri, a lawyer who is advising the rescue
              squad members as they cooperate with an investigation by the New
              Hampshire Marine patrol and the Sullivan County attorney's office.
              Members of the Springfield Fire Department talked about the
              failed rescue last week with counselors from Green Mountain
              Critical Incident Stress Management, said fire Chief Ross Thompson.
              "This incident or any incident, any time there is an event that
              doesn't have the outcome we expect or like, it creates a potential
              need for debriefing and taking care of our own people's health,"
              he said.
              Frank Silfies, of the counseling organization, said rescue
              operations that end in a civilian's injury or death are among the
              most psychologically damaging for rescuers.
              "Most rescuers, if they are in a position where they can't do
              the rescue, where there is nothing for them to do, that is tough,"
              Silfies said. "Rescuers are action-oriented people and they get
              into the business to save people."
              Information from: Lebanon Valley News, http://www.vnews.com

              (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
              Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
              Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

              *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
              On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


              • #8
                To add to the above post.

                Rescue squad not talking
                By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI
                Union Leader Staff
                Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006

                The airboat that capsized and sank in the Connecticut River Tuesday - killing a Vermont woman rescuers were transporting to an ambulance up river - was inspected by New Hampshire Marine Patrol yesterday officials yesterday.
                The Cornish Rescue Squad, which owns the boat, referred all inquiries to its attorney, Mark Attorri of Manchester.
                Attorri would not discuss the level of training rescuers have, what funds were used to buy the boat, when they bought the boat and why they chose that model.
                The state Office of Emergency Management's grants management office, however, said no Department of Homeland Security funds were used to buy it.
                Attorri said he could not discuss details because the investigation is ongoing and the Cornish Rescue Squad is a private, not-for-profit, volunteer squad. The squad contracts its services to Cornish and Plainfield, he said.
                Sullivan County Attorney Marc B. Hathaway, who is overseeing the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, said Marine Patrol pulled the flat-bottomed Yankee Airboat from the mud Thursday and brought it to a secure location to examine it.
                He would not disclose details of their findings.
                "Everything will be taken into account in trying to assess what happened," Hathaway said, noting all parties are cooperating.
                Virginia Yates, 64, of Rockingham, Vt., drowned while strapped to a backboard that was attached to a gurney as she was being taken to a waiting ambulance at a boat landing in Springfield, Vt. The Cornish Rescue Squad recently acquired the craft.
                â–ºIll-fated rescue boat checked for clues
                â–ºBoat capsizes, turning rescue to tragedy

                Yates suffered cuts and bruises on her head and arms and may have broken an ankle while stepping onto the dock from a friend's boat. She did not want to be transported by ambulance but a woman fishing nearby called 911 as a precaution.
                An expert in water and ice rescue yesterday said personal flotation devices are required for everyone on board a watercraft, including patients.
                Either the backboard a patient is strapped to should have a flotation collar attached to it or, preferably, the patient should be strapped to a backboard which is placed into a basket stretcher with a flotation collar attached to it, said Gerry Dworkin, consultant for aquatic safety and water rescue for Lifesaving Resources Inc. in Dublin.
                "If there had been a flotation collar attached to the gurney or basket stretcher and the victim was not strapped to the boat, this unfortunate circumstance would not have occurred," said Dworkin.
                "These devices have been available for 30 years or so. It's simply standard practice," he added.
                Dworkin, whose company develops curriculum for water and ice rescues and trains emergency responders nationwide in doing these rescues, also said it is "usually unheard of" that a new boat would capsize and wondered how many people the boat was rated to handle and what their level of training was.
                "Either there was some severe operator error or there was some manufacturer malfunction. Why a brand-new boat would sink is beyond me," Dworkin said.
                "I have no idea what the rating of that boat was in terms of capacity, but you can't overload the boat. I don't know whether a boat like that is even designed to have a patient immobilized on a backboard," Dworkin said.
                Four members of the Cornish and Springfield, Vt., fire departments were on board when the airboat sank and tried to free Yates. They were rescued by a passing boat and Yates' body was recovered about an hour later.
                Dworkin said rescuers also should be certified in water rescue and properly trained to handle that particular boat.
                "Everybody at the Cornish Rescue Squad is devastated by what happened on Tuesday and their hearts go out to Mrs. Yates' family and friends," Attorri said.
                He said the squad is "doing everything it can to cooperate with the investigation."
                Cornish Fire Chief Nathan Cass would not comment yesterday on the capsizing and drowning.
                "It's a private organization," Cass said before hanging up the phone.
                Attempts to reach Cornish selectmen last night were unsuccessful.
                Dworkin said he knows of no other department in the state that owns an airboat, although several departments in the Jaffrey-Rindge area recently were discussing buying one.

                Gotta say, in my opinion the "expert" could realy use some pointers on how not to monday morning quaterback. But realy that is irrelivant to the main point of this thread. Bottom line get training and plenty of it.


                • #9
                  Possible explanation on WHY the boat sank..

                  According to press reports, the vessel used by the department was a Yankee Airboat. I visited the Yankee Airboat website at:

                  On their homepage, they state, "Yankee Airboats has been granted all exemptions through the United States Coast Guard as of 22 July 2003"

                  Possibly, had this been a USCG approved vessel, then this tragedy may have had a different outcome.

                  Certainly, using the benefit of hindsight, the other error was tying the victim, backboard and stokes basket to the front end of the boat. No one anticipated this accident would happen so the crew apparently did not anticipate the consequences of securing the victim to the vessel. I believe MANY people have learned from this unfortunate tragedy and it is good that forums like this exist so we can discuss these events and learn from them.

                  Our agency uses a buoyant Miller Board to immobilize victims, when needed. We do not place PFDs on immobilized victims since there is sufficient floatation provided by the board. Additionally, we have immobilized the victim because we are suspecting a spinal injury and the placement or use of the PFD, I believe, would do additional harm to the victim.

                  One of the concerns we have identified though is what happens should the immobilized victim go overboard while strapped to the board. There is at least a 50/50 chance that they will be upside down on the board. Consideration has been given to weight the foot of the board and possibly provide some supplemental floatation at chest level on the board.

                  Does anyone have a better idea?


                  • #10
                    We immobilize a victim on a back board because we suspect a spinal injury. The logic follows that the person is in shallow enough water to cause a spinal injury. If in deep water and you can get their soon enough to rescue a swimmer in trouble you probably don't need a LBB. I've seen a technique for immobilization in deep water but it involves the stokes with flotation. http://www.lifesaving.com/index.html has a reprint of the OLD Jems text.
                    In my experience the lifeguards do the best job possible in getting the victim, then they bring that victim into shallow water to be treated, immobilized or whatever.

                    About the LBB vs LSP / KED when practiced in the pool the LBB is fast and offers complete immobilization. The LSP and KED is more complex to use. Plus a plastic LBB floats where the KED or LSP doesn't.


                    • #11
                      On the topic of the airboat, Calgary Fire Dept made headlines when they sank thier brand new air boat on it's press tour deployment. Pretty embarrasing to see on the cover of the Calgary Sun. Those guys had completed the training too. Chit Happens!

                      I don't like airboats as a primary for rescue, but that is neither here nor there. I am surprised they tied her in, without a flotation collar, etc, but I am not going to judge it from here.

                      As for the water rescue; as other have said, if you have not had training yet, start with basic water or lifeguard traininig. Be prepared for the systems to vary significantly too. Some lifeguard systems use collars, other do not. Simpler is often better when you are dealing with water.

                      Good 1/2 weight floating boards are helpful too. They float with the head upright if unattended. Add the flotation collar, and a quick release on the stretcher/mount and is should be pretty failsafe for flatwater work.
                      Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!



                      • #12
                        First of all your post violates the membership agreement terms, just an FYI.

                        More importantly. What proof do you have that your product could have saved this persons life? That seems to be a rather bold statement from someone that was not there.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CerPortMat
                          POST REMOVED
                          Regardless of this prdoucts ability to float, if it's attached to something that is upside down in water (i.e. the boat) floating ain't gonna do jack.
                          Fir Na Tine
                          Fir Na Au Saol


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MEck51
                            First of all your post violates the membership agreement terms, just an FYI.

                            More importantly. What proof do you have that your product could have saved this persons life? That seems to be a rather bold statement from someone that was not there.
                            If you put a patient on a spine board with no floatation properties, and near water what do you think is going to happen?


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by needlejockey
                              Regardless of this prdoucts ability to float, if it's attached to something that is upside down in water (i.e. the boat) floating ain't gonna do jack.
                              Wasn't very smart to attact her to a non-floatable litter and then to the boat.

                              There was "four people" on the vessel they could have kept her in place during transport, and when this happened (boat taken on water) she would have then just been floating.

                              Just a thought


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