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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

SES Training - Road Crash Rescue

Today I’ve spent 4hrs training in road crash rescue with 5 other members of our State Emergency Service unit (we only have 8 total), and I’m knackered.
Our scenario - we had a (fictional) casualty trapped in the vehicle turned on its side and we had to get her out using a full door and roof removal. So that meant we needed to stabilize the vehicle with pickets and holdfasts as well as acro props, carefully tip it back over onto its belly using the tirfor winch, stabilize it again with step blocks before taping up and smashing all the windows then remove the doors using a socket set as well as the spreaders before using a set of parrot beaks and combi-tool to cut off the roof.
Towards the end our trainer complicated the situation by telling us the casualty was pinned in the drivers seat by the steering wheel, so then we had to use the steering wheel chains and spreader to lift the wheel enough to free her legs before we could get her out.
Due to our geographic isolation, and with other emergency services that usually respond to road crash rescue being about 70kms away, our unit is one of several around the state accredited in road crash rescue - not all SES units do RCR.
This is the second training scenario we’ve conducted at this “accident site” and it’s been a great learning experience for everyone, especially our newbie members who are just starting their accreditation. For me it’s been a much needed refresher and the chance to be team leader this time around.
The sense of accomplishment after a day like today, even though some of us haven’t had the practical years of experience that a few of us do, is high as we all contributed something to the team effort. There’s also the realization that we may one day use these skills to save someone’s life.
I enjoy the practical elements of SES training as it’s so different to my regular day-job (teaching). While the unit is small and, at times, we often struggle for members, I wouldn’t swap the years I’ve had in the unit. The qualifications and training is worthwhile but it’s the strong bonds of friendship forged with members that keeps me going back every Tuesday night and the odd weekend of training - some of them I’ve known for almost 20 years (gosh, where does the time go???).

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