Saturday, 21 November 2015

Road Crash Rescue course - day 1 of 4

Hi everyone,

It's been a good day here in my world. As I mentioned yesterday, this was day one of the road crash rescue course.

I was on the move reasonably early and met the rest of the Tatura attendees at Murchison.  I left my car there and we drove on down to Seymour together.  We're more-or-less working through the stages of a road accident rescue, so the morning covered hazard identification at scenes and also vehicle stabilization.  One of the hazards they really drill into us is airbags.  As much as they increase the safety of people in collisions, undeployed airbags can be lethal for rescuers: because of the speed with which they inflate, if they deploy accidentally they become a kind of a bomb.  If you're working in front of one, the experience will be like getting hit with a sledgehammer, only much much harder.

Because the tools we use tend to be produced by specialist companies, the same entities produce a certain amount of training material as well.  I had to smile a little at the video produced to go along with Stab-Fast stabilization devices: the demonstrations were done by a German fire-fighting team, and I had to wonder if that was why the background music seemed to have been done by Kraftwerk!  This, if you're interested, is the video -

Stabfast Stabiliisation
Image from here

After lunch we moved on to glass management.  We've done this quite a bit with the unit, although we got a good object lesson by being shown two tempered glass windscreens get broken in the open air - one covered in Packexe film and one not.  The first held together as a single (flexible) sheet.  The second quite literally exploded into a cloud of glass shards.  I found cutting through laminated windscreens to be an interesting experience: I'm undecided whether the speed and power of a reciprocating saw is worth the extra noise and alarm to a casualty.  It might be interesting to volunteer as a casualty in training one night to get a feel for the mechanical saw as against the hand saw.

Working with glass, naturally, meant wearing a P2 mask.  Note to self: if the situation's dangerous enough for you to want to put one on your own face, probably make sure the casualty and the paramedics are wearing them too!

The day finished out with a session on casualty handling, which I think everyone did pretty well: it's a standard part of training for general rescue, and fits with the first aid training we all do.  The group I was part of managed to shift a pretend-casualty out of a roof-flapped vehicle in 90 seconds flat, which I thought was pretty good.

One thing that really did stick with me through the day was this PSA on texting and driving from the UK.  I know I'm a terrible driver, but frankly I think we need to work on everyone (including me) getting better.  No matter how good the response from police, fire, ambulance and rescue services, once the accident has happened, all you're doing is trying to achieve the least-worst outcome.

We're back down to Seymour tomorrow for the second day of the course, which I'm looking forward to quite a bit.  Nothing feels better than learning more about something you love, except getting to do it with your best friends.

Hope your weekends are starting out well!

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