Ok, let’s talk technical rescue for a minute. High risk/low frequency.
Will you get one in your town? Yes.
Will you be able to identify it for what it is? Probably not.
Will you get hurt at this incident? If you’re lucky, yes. If unlucky, you’ll die.
I’m not good at drama, that’s as close as I can get. My gripe and or whininess stems from training with people FOR YEARS and the minute they get a technical rescue they forget most of their training. I don’t care if you can tie a knot. I don’t care if you know a good way to attempt the rescue safely. I do care that you at least give a crap about your own safety and wear your damn safety equipment the same way you do EVERY TIME WE TRAIN.
Fire helmets are not for tech rescue they are bulky and extremely top heavy, your neck muscles wear out fast if you are not standing upright the entire time. Hell, your neck gets tired if you ARE standing up. When you are in a hole, on a wall or have climbed into some odd place you want a lighter helmet, and my department has them available. Yes, my favorite line from guys is “I’m a firefighter, I wear a fire helmet” Awesome, go over there, distract the cameras by modeling your helmet and wait for a fire to break out near here, because you aren’t going anywhere till this job is done.
Command staff, do me this one little favor; TAKE COMMAND! That’s right, you spent half of your lifetime to get that white coat, now use it. You know your men. You know better than to send the best guy over the edge leaving you with second best to get him and the victim out. You know better than to leave your guys in a hole for 2 hours while 20 guys wait around the top. Make it happen. Rotate your men, a decent technician will not quit until forced to.
What about this zone thing, what is it called. Oh yeah! Hot, Warm, Cold. Get the men/women back. They are professionals, they can handle it. The crew should not look like a bunch of rubber-neckers that stopped and got out of their cars to stare. Things need to get done, lots of things.
OK, let me stop and move onto something informative.
Thanks to Wikipedia we have this:
Technical rescue refers to those aspects of saving life or property that employ the use of tools and skills that exceed those normally reserved for fire fighting, medical emergency, and rescue. These disciplines include rope rescue, swiftwater rescue, confined space rescue, ski rescue, cave rescue, trench/excavation rescue, and building collapse rescue, among others… Often involving multiple jurisdictions.
Hmmm, sounds bad. Lets see the numbers here. Are you trained to the “would be rescuer” standard or “professional rescuer”?
Confined space 60% of deaths were “would be rescuers”.
Swift water 50% “would be rescuer”
Trench 65% “would be rescuer”
Not to beat history to death but from Mexico City in 1985 on through Oklahoma city 1995 and through more “modern” times like Katrina, “would be rescuers” die frequently at technical rescue operations because they don’t know the dangers.
So I wonder, if you are a “professional rescuer” shouldn’t you act like it? Sure you’re a macho tough guy, but really? Are you more concerned about “saving” a dead body than protecting your own life?
60% of “would be rescuers” are killed in technical rescue operations. Don’t you owe it to your family or co-workers to at least know when to set the brakeand wait for the knowledgeable guys to show up? Even if they SUCK to deal with, you live and get to continue working. Tough guy get’s to show off, and everybody gets to go home.
Fires= go fast
Tech rescue= wait a minute…