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Packaging a Down Firefighter

Wed, 9 May 2012|

Nick Martin shares a systematic method for packaging a down firefighter for removal. Sponsored by Globe.



[MUSIC] [SOUND] Welcome to Fire Engineering's Training Minutes. Thanks to our sponsor, Globe Turnout Gear. I'm Nick Martin, and today we're gonna talk about a systematic matter for packaging and assessing a downed firefighter. Locating a down fire fighter during a risk deployment will be one of the most challenging maneuvers of your career and not knowing the original situation that caused the firefighter to go down it can be difficult to tell where to begin. So we should approach our downed firefighter in an organized manner that's gonna allow us to identify the biggest life threats and accomplish things in a systematic manner. Here we've located our downed firefighter and I find him in whatever position that I find him. The first thing I need to do is get this firefighter in a position that I can access him. If he's under a table I'm gonna drag him out. If he has some things on top of him, if at all possible I'm gonna get them off of him. And the first thing I'm gonna seek to do is find, is get my firefighter in to what we're gonna call a rescue position. Which is simply accomplished by getting him into an exaggerated sitting position using a knee to support him and allow him to come back into my hips a little bit. The reason I do this is because when we try to approach a downed fire fighter from the front. We're kind of cross-brained, my left is his right, my right is his left, etcetera, and in a situation where you're already in a stressed out situation, rescuing one of your brother firefighters, it's very easy to get confused, and a simple task like locating the shut-off for the pass alarm, or locating certain components that are going to interface with our Red SCVA become very difficult. So in this position here, my left is his, is his left. My right is my, is his right, and all I have to do is be able to be oriented to where things are on me, and I should be able to locate them on him very easily. So, once we have him in this position, the first thing I'm gonna do, if it's activated, is shut off the PASS alarm. Shutting off the PASS alarm allows me to hear if there's another PASS alarm going off nearby that might indicate a second down firefighter, and also allows us to kinda calm down and be able to communicate with the team. Now, typically a RIT team is gonna find a down firefighter and it's gonna be two or three of us around. It's very easy to end up with too many cooks in the kitchen here, too many hands doing too many things and we're actually getting in the way of each other, rather than helping each other out. So while I'm doing this, our team should split up, should split apart to try to accomplish a couple different things. So if we have a team of three firefighters that's located our downed firefighter here, say, I'm gonna handle the packaging and assessment, my officer is gonna go and transmit an updated [INAUDIBLE] report. To the incident commander and our third firefighter might search the area for alternate [INAUDIBLE] that n=might get us out of the situation a little bit easier. Now I am in a position to **** him we are going to use a pneumonic called ABCD MRA the A is our first step and that is going to stand for air which means we are going to **** our downed firefighters air status. Within accessing his air, that's where our MRA is gonna come into. When you talk to down, to res, rescuers about accessing a firefighter's air, often the first thing they wanna do is take a look at what, what the gauge says. You need to remember that the gauge could tell us he has a million pounds of air in his cylinder. If he doesn't have a facepiece on, that doesn't mean anything. So we're gonna start at the face. So, m is for mask. First thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna, I'm gonna ditch my firefighter's helmet if at all possible and I'm gonna put my hand on his face. Putting my hand on his face is gonna tell me three things: does he have a face piece on, is there a mask mount or regulator connected to it, and can I feel and or hear the air movement of air being breathed in or out. If I have any problems I'm gonna immediately proceed to resolve them by putting a face piece on, replacing a missing mask matter regulator with the one from my red SCBA, et cetera. All right. So once I've identified that, I've accomplished my M and my R. If he has a face piece on and he has a regulator attached then I can go to my A, which is does he have air in the tank? The benefit of this rescue position is it also allows easy access to all the components. So if I wanna read what his pressure is, I can do so here at the shoulder mounted gauge. I can push him forward in to this exaggerated position and get down close with my light and look here at the bottleneck. And I can see what his air status is. If he's got a mask on, he's got a regulator attached to it and there's air in the cylinder and he's still not getting any air to his face. We have some type of mechanical failure of this SBVA that we're not gonna resolve inside of the fire environment. In that scenario, I'd used my red SCBA, most likely some type of low pressure hose type solution, and begin supplying this firefighter with air off of the red SCBA, bypassing the SCBA that he's wearing. I'll still leave that SCB on, because then he'll have his pass alarm and as use as a harness. But we're gonna use our own to s, rid SCBA to fly them with air. So once we've assessed the air status, and we make sure that our firefighter has air, we can move on to patching word the downed firefighter. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna allow him to come out of the rescue position and just down onto his side. Now a firefighter wearing a bottle laying on his back. Is gonna end up with one hip up or the other. And what other, whatever hip is up, that's the one I'm gonna start with as we move on to the b, which is gonna be the belt, in our steps. Alright? So in this scenario here, we're gonna do a maneuver it's very familiar to most firefighters and that's carrying the waist strap between the downed firefighter's legs. A couple tricks in doing that. The first thing we wanna do is loosen this firefighter's waist strap. The last thing we wanna do is undo this waist strap before we're ready to reconnect it. So with this hip facing up, I'm gonna use that opportunity to loosen this here, and now I'll roll him over and get his other hip. An easy way to roll a firefighter, regardless of size, over, is to use the leg on the downside of the hip. By bringing this leg out towards a 90 degree angle and using the ankle and the knee I can very easily toss this firefighter's hips over without having to exert a lot of effort. Once that's done I have my weight strap here, I'm gonna loosen that on this side, take my leg, up onto the shoulder. And only here am I going to release this waist strap, and in one swoop, bring it from one side to the other. A critical error that we've see a lot of firefighters do is release that waist strap, drop on in, it gets underneath the firefighter and you spend 30 or 40 seconds. trying to locate one end of that strap. That's going to avoid that. Our next step is C with the chest. It's important we do the belt before the chest, because when we go to tighten down these chest straps, that tends to hoist the SCVA up the downed firefighter's back. Depending on the size of the firefighter that can significantly reduce. The amount of available belt strap to make it between the legs and it may mean that you might not have enough alright so, once that's done our belt strap is done I'm gonna take my chest strap and tighten it down with these new styles straps like this this a very easily come undone in it's rag if I don't secure it so there's two methods I could use here. Just secure this strap. I'll do one on this shoulder, and another one on, on the other shoulder. So here on this shoulder I tighten it down, and I'm gonna just take my free end and run it right through this metal buckle. That's gonna bite on itself, and allow that shoulder not to come loose when I use it in a drag. So now I need to get to his other shoulder, same maneuver as we did before. Bring the downed leg out and push his knee over, and now we our other shoulder up. Get his arm out of the way. A second option for securing this strap is I'm going to take one hand, place it underneath the shoulder strap, and with my other hand, tighten it down on top of my own hand. What I'm doing there is now I can take this free end, place it between two fingers, and pull it through under his strap. I get a loop here and I just pass the free end through the loop and tighten it down. The reason I tighten it on my hand is it's a lot easier to feed that strap in with my fingers and pull it through. Then it is to try to fish that through a tightened down shoulder strap. So now we've packaged our fire fighter we're off to C and D is of course one of the many drags and carries there are out there to move our downed fire fighter. So in summary the first thing we're looking to do is get our fire fighter into the rescue position where all the parts are easily accessible. And the first thing we have to deal with is the air. Make sure they got a mask, make sure they got a regulator on it, make sure they go air to the tank. If all those things are met and you still have a problem, you have some type of catastrophic failure and you resolve that problem with your ridas CVA. Handle the belt strap, making sure that you only release that belt buckle once you're full extended both sides, have a let up on your shoulder. And are ready to in one fluid motion go from belt to under the legs and rebuckle without losing either end. After that's done, we're gonna tighten down our shoulder straps and secure him, using one of the two methods, and proceed to extricate our firefighter. Our other two team members, by now have hopefully updated the incident commander as to what resources we need and what our plan is. And our third fire fighter might have located some additional egress near us and we're ready to remove our downed fire fighter to the outside. Thanks for watching Fire Engineering Training Minutes and thanks to our sponsor Globe Turnout Gear.

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