Starting Out in Vehicle Rescue Training
Question and Some Answers about Getting Started as a Vehicle Rescue Training Officer
"I was recently promoted to Captain in my department. Along with all of ny inhereted duties, I am in charge of extrication training. I am worndering if you can provide me with some insight as to where to begin.
The only formal training i received on this subject is what I learned at our State Fire Academy during my recruit training.
I am clueless as to how to even begin to develop a training schedule, lesson plans of hands-on training for the 40 members of our department.
1) You'll need to review information about vehicle rescue to make sure that you are up to speed. Visit the University of Extrication section of Firehouse.com website. Make sure you review my 'archive' articles, particularily those that pertain to skills or rescue tasks.
2) Decide on what level you want your personnel to train to for vehicle rescue. NFPA now has a standard that addresses three levels of vehicle rescue work. Just like hazmat levels, NFPA 1670 has awareness, operations and advanced vehicle rescue levels. Purchase a copy of NFPA 1670 and study
how you could get all your personnel to at least the Operations level of the Standard.
3) Review your extrication equipment inventory. Make sure you have what you need for crashes typical of your district. Buy new things if you don't have them. Nothing gets the guys excited about training more than being able to use new stuff.
4) In the Univ of X archive articles, study the "Phases of Rescue" drill series of articles. This is where you should start
with your personnel. Explain the drill and run them through using current techniques. make sure you time everything; better yet, videotape it. Review the tasks that took too long. Run the drill again and againg until your total times are within the benchmarks set for the drill. This will get you started and let you know how you compare to the norm that is out there.
5) Scheudle a drill where either auto delaers bring new cars to the station for you to look at or you take all your members down to the dealership. Study the new vehicles to learn about airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, construction materials, battery locations etc. This will get everyone up to speed on the new technology.
6) Get a junk car at the station and just do some EMS longboard work with it. Patients out the doors from thefront seat and the rear seat areas. No tools are allows to rip anything apart. You have to work with what you see. This will make sure everyone is up to speed on EMS protocols related to vehicle rescue.
7) Layout all these training sessions on a calendar, with weekly or one a month vehicle rescue drills. Make every drill lead to the next drill is the series. that way, the guys can see what the overall plan is for rescue training and how each training fits into the big picture.
Any other suggestions from Firehouse.com readers? Please feel free to get involved and help out a brother fire officer.