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  • Implementing Rescue Team

    I am with a small volunteer Fire District in north Louisiana consisting of around 50 firefighters, and we are in the process of implementing a rescue team. We currently have only 4 individuals within our parish who can efficiently and effectively operate all of our extrication equipment. Being all volunteer, if these 4 individuals are out of the parish, the chances of a successful extrication are minimal. I am looking for any guidelines, procedures, documents, advice, ect. about creating a rescue team. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by RRPFD1 View Post
    I am with a small volunteer Fire District in north Louisiana consisting of around 50 firefighters, and we are in the process of implementing a rescue team. We currently have only 4 individuals within our parish who can efficiently and effectively operate all of our extrication equipment. Being all volunteer, if these 4 individuals are out of the parish, the chances of a successful extrication are minimal. I am looking for any guidelines, procedures, documents, advice, ect. about creating a rescue team. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Instead of creating a "Rescue Team", why not train most, if not everyone to perform vehicle rescue?

    Does Louisiana have a state agency in charge of fire service training? If so, you may want to reach out to your state training agency and see if there are any vehicle rescue classes that your department could get. Usually, most states have a basic 16 hour Vehicle Rescue curriculum, and more advanced courses.

    My recommedation is to have 16 hour minimum Vehicle Rescue Awareness class for everyone. Make this a weekend class and require everyone to take it.

    The class should cover vehicle anatomy, hydralic and hand tools, vehicle stabilization, etc. The first day is usually all class work, with the second day spent stabilizing junk cars, and cutting on them.

    Your department should also get a good working relationship with local towing companies. We have a couple who will donate junkers for us to cut on. There's ussually two, or three in our back lot at any given time that we go out and stabilize and cut on during duty crew nights.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info. We do have a training agency - LSU - which provides training across the state. Every month an instructor from LSU comes and shows the few people in attendance a powerpoint. He basically reads every word off the screen. The rescue class he recently taught consisted of reading a powerpoint then going into the station bay and "playing around" with some of the tools. The people that were "playing" with the tools would NEVER actually operate them in an emergency, but they would definitely show up and "watch" (just to see who they might know that is trapped in the vehicle)

      One of our largest problems is actually getting responders to attend these training sessions (but the sessions have become sooo useless and boring you can't blame anyone for not showing up). Our second problem is our responders can't operate the equipment under a stressful emergency situation because we never have any "real-life" training exercises. Plus we have NO certified first responders and only three EMT-B's. Some responders cannot handle operating the equipment next to someone who is seriously injured.

      I was hoping that creating a "Rescue Team" would possibly serve as a momentum boost and encourage some of our more qualified responders to actively participate in training?? Maybe even help recruit some other citizens of the parish to join our efforts. Our chief has a "personal" problem with one of the towing agencies, but I am in the process of re-building the relationship with them. Our chief also stresses the fact that firefighting is our number one responsibility!?!? I am seriously concerned about the effectiveness of our current rescue operations. I dread the day we lose someone due to an inefficient/ineffective rescue effort....

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      • #4
        We also have a pretty small department, which is the prime reason that everyone on the department gets hands-on training with the hydraulics and other extrication tools. Everyone gets to cut up cars with the tools and although some are better and will be picked first for calls, anyone on the department that has been here long enough to get an extrication training can go.
        We have a training coming up this spring or summer and are looking around for a good trainer as we haven't had professional training in years. If the guy that comes to your hall only shows power points and 'plays', find a new trainer. Get some cars and a trainer that will take a class out to rip some metal. Lots of dangers in the new cars, taking that classroom information out of the classroom in the most important part of the training.
        Cheers,
        Gord
        Nobody ever called the fire department for doing something smart.

        Comment


        • #5
          Gord,
          What department are you from ?

          Firedog7
          Calgary Fire Dept

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Haweater View Post
            We also have a pretty small department, which is the prime reason that everyone on the department gets hands-on training with the hydraulics and other extrication tools. Everyone gets to cut up cars with the tools and although some are better and will be picked first for calls, anyone on the department that has been here long enough to get an extrication training can go.
            We have a training coming up this spring or summer and are looking around for a good trainer as we haven't had professional training in years. If the guy that comes to your hall only shows power points and 'plays', find a new trainer. Get some cars and a trainer that will take a class out to rip some metal. Lots of dangers in the new cars, taking that classroom information out of the classroom in the most important part of the training.
            Cheers,
            Gord
            Thanks for the info. We are trying to get some new and improved training for our responders. As I stated earlier, the term "Rescue Team" is sort of being used in a way to create something "new & different" in hopes more people will become involved and take an active role in the training. I saw a site that was advertising a Rescue Convention at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth. Does anyone have any information about this??? I would like to send 3 or 4 of our more experienced responders to something like this and let them bring back new information to our other responders. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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            • #7
              I am not too far from you as the crow flies. Send me an email and I will get you the name of a guy in Louisiana that did training for us. Powerpoint, new car stuff and hands on. Brand of tools does not matter and the training is free for Volunteer depts.

              [email protected]

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RRPFD1 View Post
                Thanks for the info. We are trying to get some new and improved training for our responders. As I stated earlier, the term "Rescue Team" is sort of being used in a way to create something "new & different" in hopes more people will become involved and take an active role in the training. I saw a site that was advertising a Rescue Convention at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth. Does anyone have any information about this??? I would like to send 3 or 4 of our more experienced responders to something like this and let them bring back new information to our other responders. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
                RRPFD1
                Click on the web site below, go to upcoming events in the navigation bar, a link will take you to all the details.
                http://www.midsouthrescue.org
                Is it time to change our training yet ?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Cut cut And Cut we train at least once month on extracation and its the one training were i can expect the largest turnout at we usually have cars on the pad to be cut, make the training realistic and challanging do your classroom in small bites so you dont get "Death By Power Point" if you do extracation training and only four people show up if its good and a challange next time you will have six here the crews expect the unexpected durring training and it helps keep up interest

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    hrtrescue10:
                    Thanks for the info. I sent you and email this afternoon with some additional informaion.

                    LeeJunkins:
                    Thanks for the link to the site. I am talking with a few individuals that may be able to attend the extrication fest. I could not think of a better way to learn about the latest advancements in the rescue field along with receiving some high quality training.

                    captaincvfd:
                    Sounds like you have the correct mindset when it comes to attendance at the training classes - create and provide a challenge that gets the responders excited about attending the class. We are definitely lacking this!!! Thanks for the info.
                    Last edited by rmoore; 02-04-2007, 11:08 PM.

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                    • #11
                      If you are looking for training in your area let me know. We are planning an Accident Scene Safety and Extrication Train-The-Trainer in the New Orleans area in the near future. [email protected]rg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RRPFDVOL
                        The problem with getting the type of training YOU want is ATTENDANCE!! If there is noone to train whats the purpose in setting up classes?
                        How many people do show up for your fd training? If 1,2,3,4,5,or more show up then guess what do training. You can't sit around and wait for people to show up or what not. Make a calendar up of your monthly training and pass it out at the first of the month. You can't do training just because only a couple, or just a few people are the only ones there. Usually the ones who show up to training are the ones who are usually at or on the calls as well.I'd rather have the few that do show up trained to know what to do.

                        To get people involved I would have a basic training session. Go over all of your equipment and the operation of the equipment as well, and see what happens from there. I cant believe out of 50 people on you fd only 4 can run your equipment. I would be setting up some training standards for your dept. And if people don't like them show them the way to the door.

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                        • #13
                          I agree with DDay....you have 50 members in your department and only 4 of them know how to do extrication? That's nuts.

                          I really don't think that a separate "rescue team" is the answer. Everyone in the department should be able to perform extrication, at least to an extent. You'll always have some that are more proficient than others, some who enjoy it more, but everyone should at least be trained in it.

                          Why not take those 4 guys who know what they're doing and have them train the rest? All you need to do is get ahold of a few junked cars and get to work on them. Sure, having a professional instructor would be nice, but in-house training is better than nothing.

                          Also, I find it odd in this day and age that you have NO First Responders in your department. How long does it take to get an ambulance to an accident scene in your area? What's being done for the patients during that time? I mean seriously if the 3 EMT's and the 4 extrication techs happen to be out of town (maybe they're all in Fort Worth at an extrication seminar ), what are you going to do then?

                          Bottom line, the public pays for the extrication tools...they would expect that we at least know how to use them when we arrive. Kind of reminds me of the old days 30 or 40 years ago in my own department, when whoever was sitting on the barstool down the street from the station would drive the truck. Didn't have to know how to operate it, didn't even have to be a member of the department, I guess. Just drive the truck to the fire and maybe someone will show up who knows how to get water out of it

                          I'd like to think we've advanced a little farther than that.
                          Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
                          Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
                          Paincourtville, LA

                          "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
                          — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RRPFDVOL
                            I agree with you dday05 but when you are a volunteer department for such a small parish and have to pay for training it gets alittle frustrating when its the same 5 or so people everytime. Yes these 5 people show up when needed to a rescue but all the other 45 usally do too, but where were they for training? All of our training in conducted on the last Tuesday of each month and this is set for the year. It doesn't get any easier then that to plan to be at a training class. Any ideas you and others may have to get the other 45 interested on a regular basis would be greatly appriciated. I know I am guilty of not making all the training classes but you can't make em all. Thanks everyone for you help in this matter hopefully we can report that things are bigger and better for our Rescue side of the department in the future.
                            Maybe the answer is to have more training classes. Seems like one drill a month is a little lax. We train every week. There are just too many topics to cover for 12 drills a year to be sufficient. Small wonder that extrication training gets such a small amount of attention.

                            I understand, too, about volunteers. One problem we have is too many people who consider training optional. As chief, it is hard to balance the need for training with the need for people to have their personal lives. In the end, the best answer, I find, is to set a minimum amount of training that everyone must attend to maintain membership. Put it in writing, make sure everyone knows about it. Then enforce it. If someone hasn't come to drill in 6 months, a year, whatever, yank their gear and their pager. If they're only showing up to watch and they don't know what to do, they're not contributing anything. Cut your losses and cut 'em loose.
                            Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
                            Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
                            Paincourtville, LA

                            "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
                            — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              dday & dmleblanc:
                              I am glad that someone else can see the real problems we have in our parish. As I have stated before, the only reason for using the term "Rescue Team" was for motivation purposes - maybe if people feel they are more or less part of a "team", they will be motivated to do more?? It may or may not work, but it is certainly worth a shot and we certainly can't hurt our current status!! I made the proposal to the board to simply form a group of individuals who would meet once a month and pull out all the extrication equipment to check and make sure it is operating correctly. They could also have a brief training session (even could be taught by an in-house responder) and also discuss any incidents that occurred earlier that month.... One of the comments I received was "I would rather have a grass fire team.." ummmm OK!!

                              As far as the first responders and EMT-B's are concerned - it is truly SAD.. We have ONE ambulance serving our entire parish of 10,000 and response times for an ambulance usually range from 10-15-20 minutes...SCARY!! I personally spent my summer taking an EMT-B class (which I paid for myself) so I could be of more assistance to the citizens of the parish. You are correct in that it is CRAZY to have NO first responders on a department of our size. A first responder class was taught back in 2002, but they never were tested at the state level to become formally “CERTIFIED”. I guess everyone seems to be satisfied with how things are and there is no desire to improve or become better?!?!?

                              You are very correct in that the public pays for the extrication tools and expects us to know how to operate them. We definitely have the financial means to cover the training although we might have to cut down on the purchase of more “forestry hose”. We have not cut on a vehicle for training purposes in over a year!!! but we had some great knot tying and rope classes..... I guess my thoughts are kind of summed up with this - "Due to our 10 minute average response time, we rarely ever save someone's life from firefighting (if they have been in the burning building for 10 minutes, they probably aren't gonna make it), but we have helped save numerous lives by extricating seriously injured patients from vehicles......so why not put a little more emphasis on rescue???????" I am certainly not discrediting firefighting, but we just need to take a look at our overall priorities...

                              Thanks for all the great feedback and info!!!

                              Comment

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