Friday, 10 June 2016

Finding Fred.

Hi everyone,

Shorter post tonight, I suspect.  I had to scurry down to Melbourne and back this afternoon to meet with a recruiter (which will be the subject of tomorrow's post I expect and I'm a bit on the tired side.  I just spent an hour doing the Unit's weekly email - it must be said that it's a good way of organising my thoughts about that aspect of my life.

Last night at SES training covered land search for a missing child, near the Goulburn River in Shepparton.  The original plan was for it to be a mixed land and water search.  We took the boat, but none of us grabbed the bag with the lifejackets (which highlighted a gap in our processes which is now fixed).  So, the river search was converted into a straight land search.

We used the staggered-parallel-lines technique to conduct the initial brisk search along the path, and then a line search along the river bank.  I'm tending to think that a mobile phone is a great asset for pinpointing locations of finds - these were where the bike and a stuffed toy were located, if you're curious:

As you can see, the child's bike we were using for the purposes of this exercise had seen better days!

One the 'casualty' (a child-sized version of Fred, our rescue dummy) was located, we log rolled him onto a blanket stretcher improvised from a wet weather coat and took him back up to level ground.

I have to say, though, that it's been an A1 crappy week to be an emergency volunteer.  Some good units are being partly defunded as collateral damage in a dispute between State and Local government over revenue.  And the State government is siding with the firefighters' union in a deal that shows utter contempt for volunteer firefighters (which has an echo of the hostility that professional fire brigades apparently had for the Auxiliary Fire Service in London in World War Two).  Just at the moment, more than anything else, what's keeping my passion for volunteering alive is the great people I get to work with.

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