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  1. #1
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    Feb 2005
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    Marble Rock, Iowa
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    Default Snowmobile/Off Road Winter Rescues

    I have a couple questions for you guys/gals on some winter rescue topics. Our local snowmobile club(of which I am a member) has greatly expanded its trail system over the past couple of years, moving from mostly ditch trails to cross country trails. This is a very welcome change for snowmobilers, but is does create some difficulties with rescue as some trails are up to 2 miles from a road.

    First question is on equipment. What do you consider absolutely necessary for off road winter rescues?

    Our Fire Department is also a BLS non-transport EMS provider so we have all of the patient stabilization/packaging stuff covered. We have a couple wire stokes baskets and a nice compliment of ropes, but not much else that can be used in these types of situations.

    What we don't have are any department owned off road vehicles/snowmobiles and we have no budget to be able to buy them. We work with local snowmobilers to help us access these scenes, some of whom are FD/EMS, but many who are not.

    I would like to upgrade to plastic stokes so that they can be slid across the snow. What else should we be adding to our inventory that will help us out?


    My second question deals with training.

    I'm working to organize a joint training between our area FD's, EMS providers, Law Enforcement, and the local snowmobilers that help us out.

    Like I mentioned earlier, there are several of us that are FF/EMS that are also snowmobilers, so we have knowledge of both sides. My plan is to work with the non-emergency responders to teach them how to do things safely in the event we need them to help with a rescue and to have someone else work with the FF/EMS/LE so that we have a common understanding of how both sides work and what both sides need to do to have a successful outcome. Are there some big points that should be covered, or does anyone know of a presentation that can be shown/given?

    We plan to do both classroom and hands on activities so people get some experience with these situations.

    I'm fairly new to the teaching end of trainings so I'm just trying to be as prepared as possible. Thanks for anything you guys can give me!
    Last edited by FF715MRFD; 10-06-2012 at 06:52 PM.


  2. #2
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    Wheaton IL
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    Default

    I would think you could borrow a sled to get to the incident, If you need to get an immobilized pt back a ski patrol type stokes or the RDC could work well. The RDC with the protective underside works well over snow, then is also a great ice rescue, swift water, water rescue tool. The RDC is expensive but it can do a lot.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
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    Marble Rock, Iowa
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD View Post
    I would think you could borrow a sled to get to the incident, If you need to get an immobilized pt back a ski patrol type stokes or the RDC could work well. The RDC with the protective underside works well over snow, then is also a great ice rescue, swift water, water rescue tool. The RDC is expensive but it can do a lot.

    Good Luck
    We're not to worried about being able to get to the incident as several of our FF's have snowmobiles and we have a list of people from the snowmobile club that we can contact to help us out. Our county has a SAR team that has a RDC, it is our protocol to call them for assistance with any incidents like this, the only problem is that they are 30-45 minutes out minimum.

    I hadn't thought about a ski patrol type stokes, I'm going to look into that one. Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Bay City, MI
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    Default

    The SKED works well on snow also, and is probably a less expensive option, as well as taking up less space. If you can train with the snowmobile club, that would be great. It is not desirable to tow any type of basket or SKED over terrain. By training with the machines, you may be able to come up with a way to transport the packaged patient with as little jolting as possible.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2005
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    Marble Rock, Iowa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ack8236 View Post
    The SKED works well on snow also, and is probably a less expensive option, as well as taking up less space. If you can train with the snowmobile club, that would be great. It is not desirable to tow any type of basket or SKED over terrain. By training with the machines, you may be able to come up with a way to transport the packaged patient with as little jolting as possible.
    We have been looking at getting a SKED since we do have some places that it would be good for. We weren't really sure how it would work on snow, but it would certainly be a nice tool to have in the toolbox.

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