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Roco QUICK DRILL #3 - Knot Tying Challenge

Monday, June 09, 2014


A question that we often hear is, “How proficient should rescuers be with knot tying?” We recommend that rescuers be able to tie any of the knots used by their team without hesitation, or without even having to look at the knot as they are tying it.

As part of the skills requirement in our Roco certification courses, we require students to tie each knot (with safeties, as required) within 30 seconds. This gives us a good idea of the student’s proficiency in the basics of knot tying.

Here's a knot drill that we recommend: 

1.  Give each team member a length of rope and a piece of webbing. Note: Some knots will require an object to tie around.

2.  In a room capable of being darkened, call out the name of the knot to be tied and then turn off the lights. As each person finishes, have them shout “Completed.”

3.  Once all members have completed the knot, turn on the lights and check for accuracy.

Having the lights off during this drill forces rescuers to use their other senses in remembering how to tie the knots. It helps to reinforce their skills and is an excellent way to identify the individual knot(s) that may require more practice for increased proficiency. When the pressure is on – as in a real rescue – you need to be able to count on all your team members to tie the needed knot in a timely and accurate manner.

CHECK OUT OUR RESCUE KNOT VIDEO SERIES!

Download the Rescue Knots PDF

  




 

 

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Roco QUICK DRILL #2 - SCBA/SAR Proficiency

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Proficiency in the use of PPE is critical to the safety of rescuers. If you can’t protect yourself, you can’t save others!

1. Disassemble the major system components of SCBA and/or SAR system and place in a room in an unorganized pile.

2. Take groups or individual team members into the room and turn out the lights.

3. Instruct them to put the systems together and don the units before exiting the room.


This forces personnel to rely on their other senses to identify the components and put the systems together. The more an individual’s senses are involved in training, the greater the retention of key elements. It is also a good emergency drill for situations that may require a better understanding of PPE at a time when vision may be restricted.

We want you to make the most of every rescue practice session, so our Roco instructors have created "Quick Drills" that can be used any time you have a few minutes to practice with your team. In order to have a well-rounded rescue team, it is so important to maximize your training time and rotate the skills practiced to keep everyone interested and involved. Make sure you cover the basics as well as any techniques or special needs that may be unique to your response area. As always, practice, practice, practice! And, make sure you have the proper training and equipment to safely and effectively do your job.

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Roco QUICK DRILL #1 - First 10 Minutes on the Scene

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Introducing Roco Quick Drills...     
NEVER MISS A PRACTICE OPPORTUNITY!
We want you to make the most of every rescue practice session, so our Roco instructors have created "Quick Drills" that can be used any time you have a few minutes to practice with your team. In order to have a well-rounded rescue team, it is so important to maximize your training time and rotate the skills practiced to keep everyone interested and involved. Make sure you cover the basics as well as any techniques or special needs that may be unique to your response area. As always, practice, practice, practice! And, make sure you have the proper training and equipment to safely and effectively do your job.

First 10 Minutes on the Scene

During a rescue, there are opportunities when a team may be able to increase their efficiency and reduce their times significantly. One of those times is “arrival at the scene” to “hands on the patient.” This is the critical time when a plan is developed, equipment is set-up, and a rescuer is safely inserted to reach the patient.

  1. Pick a number of locations to perform confined space or high angle rescue scenarios. Keep the scenarios simple at first! 
  2. Have your team work with their equipment as it is currently stored and set-up for response.
  3. Give team members the scenario and have them start. At the 10-minute mark, stop the scenario. Document how much of the scenario the team was able to complete in 10 minutes.
  4. Debrief the team, and then ask questions such as, “What could you have done differently in your particular assignment to advance the team’s progress in this scenario in a shorter period of time?”    
  5. Evaluate the type of rigging used and the sequence in which it was performed. For example, were systems rigged in the order that they will be needed? Or, was time wasted on rigging that would not be needed until extraction of the patient? Was the team waiting for a high-point or tripod to be set-up before rescuers were inserted?
  6. Could equipment have been staged differently? For example, was equipment for the main and safety lines pre-rigged in an accessible layout and in sufficient quantities - or did the team have to search for more gear?
  7. Use this information to rearrange the team's equipment as needed. Could you pre-rig more items like packaging and hauling systems?
  8. Make the changes and repeat the scenario to see what works and what doesn't. Document how much was accomplished each time the scenario is repeated. After two or three repetitions, you should be able to hone the team's equipment requirements and reduce times.
  9. Next, move to a new scenario and repeat the process. Each time documenting the progress made and what was changed to improve performance.
  10. Be sure to document all input and changes agreed upon. Make sure these changes and improvements are incorporated in your team's operational planning.


Remember, the overall goal is to get a rescuer to the patient in a timelier manner while maintaining safety and efficiency. After streamlining the basic scenarios, you can incorporate more complex operations, such as adding SAR or other PPE requirements. With continued practice, you will see an improvement in how your team operates in the all-important first 10 minutes on scene!

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5 Thought Starters for Rescue Team Practice Drills

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

If you’re the one who’s responsible for setting up proficiency training for your team, ask your team members to come up with some ideas that are different from your typical drill. You might be surprised with what they come up with. If you’re a team member, approach your training manager with some suggestions to change things up a bit. Once the idea is planted and your team starts to run a variety of training scenarios, the idea will catch on. In fact, team members may try to “outdo” each other on coming up with the next new scenario.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

1.  Dig deeper into your equipment kits. Is there a piece of gear that is gathering dust? Some of the old tried-and-true pieces still have a lot of value. See if incorporating them into your next training session rekindles the thought that it was good back then and it still has a place today.

2.  Call some of your neighboring plants (or agencies) to see if they have a situation that is different from what you have. Do a little brainstorming over the phone and then re-create the situation during a train up.

3.  Review NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program Investigations to see if there are lessons to be learned. There will be. Try to identify incidents that have similar space configurations and associated hazards as you may be summoned to.

4.  Do a thorough review of your existing rescue plans. Are they current? Have there been new spaces installed or reconfigured that would make existing rescue plans ineffective? If so, update the plans and practice any new procedures that the new plans may have generated.

5.  Sign up for Roco’s Rescue Challenge. This is a great opportunity to share ideas with other rescuers and learn new ways to approach your rescue response. It also satisfies annual practice requirements for individuals, and rescue teams. 
 
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Practice for the Unexpected

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Helpful tips from Roco Chief Instructor Pat Furr:

Is your rescue team in a rut? Do you end up practicing the same two or three rescue scenarios during your training drills? If you answered yes, then your’re probably getting bored – or, worse yet, you may be setting your team up for failure when confronted with an emergency that’s different than what you have repeatedly practiced.

Think outside the box a little. Come up with some “What ifs?” that are different than what you normally practice. Of course, you need to keep it realistic and appropriate for your response area – don’t waste your time practicing scenarios that have no chance of actually occurring. However, do challenge your team to the ”unexpected” scenario in practice before you face it in real life.

Rescue teams must also take into consideration the “types of confined spaces with respect to opening size, configuration and accessibility” within their response area when determining practice drills. OSHA requires practice from the actual or representative permit spaces at least once a year. For municipal responders, we recommend that they be prepared for all six confined space types because they never know what type of situation they may face. (Download Roco’s Confined Space Types Chart.)

If you’re the one who’s responsible for setting up proficiency training for your team, ask your team members to come up with some ideas that are different from your typical drill. You might be surprised with what they come up with. If you’re a team member, approach your training manager with some suggestions to change things up a bit. Once the idea is planted and your team starts to run a variety of training scenarios, the idea will catch on. In fact, team members may try to “outdo each other on coming up with the next new scenario.

Here at Roco, we know that one of the most popular training blocks for our students is the infamous “Yellow Brick Road.” This is a multi-station scenario where rescuers must “think on their feet” and adapt to an ever-changing situation. It is always challenging and gratifying for the teams. For those of you that have had me as an instructor, you know that I will be throwing a wrench into the mix somewhere along the road.

Of course, we all know that our victims don’t read the training manuals – they’re always coming up with new and different ways to get into trouble. If (and when) your team is faced with a rescue that is completely different than the “same old, same old,” then you will be ready to deal with the situation because you have practiced for the unexpected. As rescuers, we need to think “Semper Gumby” (Latin for “always flexible”) as one of those skill sets that doesn’t appear in the book. Remember, when it comes to your team’s practice drills, keep them guessing, but at the same time, keep it real.

If you’d like some ideas on keeping your practice sessions realistic, but challenging, contact us here at Roco.
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