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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.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

[MUSIC] 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 fire fighter. Locating a down firefighter during a [INAUDIBLE] 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 down 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 it is that I find him. The first thing I need to do is get this firefighter in a position where 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 'em off of him. And the first thing I am gonna seek to do is, is get my firefighter into what we're gonna call a rescue position. Which is simply accomplished by getting him into an exaggerated sitting position using the knee to support him and allowing him to come back into my hips a little bit. The reason I do this is because when we try to approach a downed firefighter from the front. We're kinda cross brained, my left is his left, is his right, my right is his left et cetera, 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 gonna interface with our [UNKNOWN] 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 downed firefighter, and also allows us to kind of calm down and be able to communicate with the team. Now typically a [INAUDIBLE] team is going to find the downed firefighter and there's going to 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's gonna go transmit an updated [UNKNOWN] report. To the incident commander and our third firefighter might search the area for alternate egress that might get us out of our situation a little bit easier. And now I'm in a position to assess him. We're gonna use a mnemonic called ABCDMRA, the A is our first step and it's gonna stand for air, and that means we're gonna assess our downed firefighter's air status. Within assessing his air that's where our MRA is gonna come into. When you talk to doubt to, ru, ru, ri, rescuers about assessing a firefighter's air, often a first thing they wanna do is take a look at what the, what the gauge says and 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 face piece 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 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 mounted 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 going to immediately proceed to resolve them, by putting a face piece on, replacing the missing mask-mounted regulator with the one from my writ CBD, etc. So once I've identified that I've accomplished my M and my R. If he has a face piece on and a regulator attached, then I can go on 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 into 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 had some type of mechanical failure [INAUDIBLE] that we're not going to resolve inside of a fire environment. In that scenario, I use my [INAUDIBLE] CBA, most likely some type of low pressure hose type solution, and begin supplying this fire fighter with air off of the [INAUDIBLE] SCBA, bypassing the SCBA that he's wearing. I'll still leave that SCV on because then he'll have his pass alarm and then it's used as a harness. But we're gonna use our own to, writ SCBA to supply him with air. So once we've assessed the air status, and we make sure that our firefighter has air, we can move on to packaging a downed firefighter. So what I'm gonna do is allow him to come out of the rescue position and just down on his side. Now, a firefighter wearing a bottle laying on his back. Is gonna end up with one hip up or the other. And whatever hip is up, that's the one I'm gonna start with as we move on to the B, which is gonna the belt in our steps. Alright. So in this scenario here we're gonna do a maneuver that's very familiar to most firefighters and that's securing the waste strap between the downed firefighters 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 put, exert a lot of effort. Once that's done, I have my waist strap here. I'm gonna loosen that on this side. Take my leg up onto the shoulder. And only, only here am I gonna release this waist strap and in one swoop bring it from one side to the other. A critical error that we've seen a lot of fire fighters do is release that waist strap, drop one end, it get's underneath the fire fighter and now you spend 30 or 40 seconds. Trying to locate one into that strap. That's gonna avoid that. Our next step is C, with the chest. It's important that 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 down 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 may mean that you might not have enough. All right? So once that's done, our belt strap is done. I'm gonna take my chest strap, and tighten it down. With these new style straps like this, this'll very easily come undone in a drag, if I don't secure it. So there's two methods I can use here. Just to carry this strap. I'll do one on this shoulder and then another one on the other shoulder. So here on this shoulder, I tighten it down and I'm just going to take my free hand 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 down leg out and push his knee over and now we have our other shoulder up, get his arm out of the way. A second option for securing this strap is, I'm gonna take one hand place it underneath the shoulder strap and with my other hand tighten it down on, on top of my own hand. What I'm doing there is now I can take this free end and place it between two fingers and pull it through under a 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 between my fingers and pull it through. Than it is to try and fish that through a tightened down shoulder strap. So now we've packaged our firefighter with, we're up to C and D is of course one of the many drags and carries there are out there to move our downed firefighter. So in summary, the first thing we're looking to do is get our firefighter 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 got 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'd resolve that problem with your [INAUDIBLE] Handle the belt strap, making sure that you only release that belt buckle once you've fully extended both sides, have a leg up on your shoulder. And already do in one fluid motion, go from belt to under the legs and re-bukcle without losing either end. After that's done, we're gonna tighten down our shoulder straps and secure him using of the to methods and proceed to extricate our firefighter. Our other two teammate members, by, by now, have hopefully updated the incident commander as to what resources we need and what our plan is. And our third firefighter might have located some additional egress near us, and we're ready to remove our downed firefighter to the outside. Thanks for watching Fire Engineering Training Minutes, and thanks to our sponsor, Globe Turnout Gear.

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