Ridge Fire Company - Search and Rescue Practice - 1/6/2009

This is a good Cold Weather, in door, exersise!

     On Tuesday January 6th, 2006 during our regular Tuesday evening training, firefighters practiced with extricating a victim, "George", from the rear smoke filled room. The "room" was created by turning tables on their sides in our "BLUE" room. The lights were turned off and the Nomex® hoods were put on backwards to simulate a dark smoke filled room. All of the pictures have been altered to allow you to see what is happening. The only light was from the camera flash. Many SEARCH AND RESCUE details are carried out in total darkness, in a smoke filled room, with fire burning near by or around the firefighters.

     Just like swimming at summer camp, firefighters ALWAYS work with a "buddy". This way if one firefighter gets in trouble the other can assist. It also makes it possible to get victims out.
     Searches are done, either, "LEFT HAND" or "RIGHT HAND". A dark burning building becomes a maze. By touching, either, the left or right wall, it is, usually, possible to go through a building and come back out where you went in. One firefighter acts as the leader, ALWAYS keeping one hand on the wall, calling out warnings of changes in direction, obstructions, etc. while the second firefighter ALWAYS keeps touch with the leader. The firefighters swing their arms and legs out to the side to fell for victims. Once a victim is found the direction is reversed, and maintaining contact with the wall, the victim is pulled back out the way the firefighters went in. While it can look "funny" to the member watching it is VERY easy to get turned around and disoriented!!!
     The scenario for this practice was a victim collasped on the floor among chairs, etc.
     To make it more real the firefighters in this exercise are wearing full gear.

     Trainings like these allow firefighters to brush up on their rescue techniques, making them more efficient in real incident situations.

     If you want to get an idea of what its like, go to friends house where you don't know the floor layout. Put on your heaviest winter snow suit, include heavy snow gloves. Put on a backpack filled with about 30 pounds of weight. Put on a diving mask. Put on a football helmet. Cover your head with a cloth bag so you can't see. THEN, with the lights out in the house, crawl around until you find the "victim" and pull them out of the house. This will give you an approximate feel for a Search and Rescue.

Many of these pictures have had their "Brightness" and "Contrast" adjusted to make it easier to see what is going on.

The size and resolution has been changed on all of these pictures to speed loading.

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