Many rescue scenes (and teams) are plagued by confusion because of too much communication. And, if you have three people assigned to do a task, each one will have his or her own idea of how it should be done, where the system should be anchored, etc. Many times the discussion that follows eats up valuable time and slows the team’s ability to get rescuers into a location and get hands on the patient.
This drill is designed to instill confidence among team members, to ensure that rescuers understand their responsibilities at the scene and to help rescuers understand that there are different ways to accomplish the same goals safely. It also helps in getting rescuers to look at the entire scene and understand where their assignment fits in the big picture. It encourages team members to anticipate and solve their own problems.
1) Assign a safety officer/drill manager.
2) Locate a simple vertical simulated space to enter or a balcony or roof edge. The goal is to lower the rescuer into an area.
3) Safety officer/drill manager describes the event to the team and assigns task(s) to each team member.
4) Instructs the team that they are not allowed to speak unless a dangerous condition is observed.
5) Instructs team members to gather the equipment necessary to accomplish their job or task. (Remember No Talking!)
6) Once team members have the needed equipment, move them to location and let them start rigging to get rescuer into the space or over the edge.
7) Once rescuer is lowered into area, leave systems rigged and debrief entire team on the rigging, the order that it was done and what could be done differently.
The difficulty of this drill can be increased by doing an entire simulated rescue or adding SCBA/SAR to the station requirements. You will find that a lot of unnecessary chatter that occurs at rescues will be reduced. It will allow you to see who truly understands “where and how” each component of a rescue system fits in the overall operation. It also encourages rescuers to look at the big picture and anticipate what, where and when they will need to have their assignments completed without waiting for direct supervision.