1. #1
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    Default New Rescue Squad

    My company is getting a new (to us) medium duty rescue squad in the next few months. It will be outfitted with all the necessary cutting/extrication tools, ice/water rescue equip., air cascade system, and who knows what else we can cram on there.
    The question I have is, what type of station training is recommended to keep up skills (for both newbies and vets) in between actual calls? Our squad is expected to run a lot (est. 1000+- calls a year) with a variety of types of calls. Are there inexpensive ways to get cars to practice on? Budget is limited for in station training. We plan on going to every possible class available at the local training academy to maximize our training there, but in reality you can never get too much training and experience.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Dispatch Dweller
    Jay911's Avatar
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    Call your local tow company/wrecking yard/etc. We have never had a problem getting vehicles from Ford Festivas to school buses when the towing company had some unclaimed stuff lying around.

    --j.

  3. #3
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    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    The suggestion from EMSGuy is a very good one, we do that most often. Also, word of mouth from you guys to your friends on the outside works well too. Many of our cars come from people we know that have vehicles they don't want anymore and are not worth the paper to sell them, so we get to cut them up.

    Regarding station training, well that will mostly be up to your Training Officer and the Chief, but we try to practice at least once every two months or so. Of course that all depends on resource availability - how many vehicles we can get, if any.

    Enjoy your new tool, you will have lots of fun with it.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  4. #4
    TDV532
    Firehouse.com Guest

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    We have a deal with a few of our local salvage yards [junk yards] for us to come on site and practice our skills. Also we have the local towing company that will haul them for free fior us to our training grounds. We try to get our hands on s few cars at least once every quarter. Good luck on finding vehicles to use.

  5. #5
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    Default Good ideas.....

    Thanks for the replies so far, but aside from cutting cars up are there any other types of drills that we could do at the station?? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  6. #6
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    One drill that I use in the classes I teach as well as
    at my station is as follows: take one 1" X 8" board (or
    anything close); drive 4 nail through equally placed
    with enough room for spreader tips between them; with the
    tip of the nail up, place a soda or beer can on the nail
    (upside down); with the spreaders lift the first can off
    and set it on the ground. move can 2 to nail 1, can 3 to
    nail 2, can 4 to nail 3, and then place can 1 on nail 4.
    Do this without bending the call AT ALL. Oh yea, you have
    to pick the can up in the middle, not on the top/bottom.
    This teaches the rescuer that soft touch with the tips,
    as well as it makes sure they know which way to turn the
    control valve to make the tips do what they want. Pretty
    important if the patient has a body part close to your
    tool. If this doesnt make sense, send me an email and I
    can send you a picture of the board.
    Skip Rupert
    Shrewsbury, PA
    "Keeper of the Rescue Zone"
    rsqzone@hotmail.com

  7. #7
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    Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    As for low-cost cars, find out who hauls cars to be crushed in your area. They don't change in value for scrap whether they're cut up or not

    Put the cars in different positions. One of the unusual "damage" we did to them once was have a local logging truck drop a few logs on the cars. They didn't leave the logs in place, but I'd bet leaving a log or old phone pole on the car would make for an interesting scenario. Of course, you gotta remember if they're timber logs you can't cut them for a drill! For our usual drills one of our members brings down a small front-end loader to flip cars on their sides/roofs.

    As you go through state/regional classes, you'll probably develop more things to try at the station.

    Haz-Mat Ops refreshers can be done locally; water-rescue drills in somebody's pool in July can boost attendance. Every year or two we have some kind of large drill involving one or two mutual aid departments that's some combination of Large Incident Command/Mass Casualty/Auto Accident/Water Rescue thingy. Last scenario was a multi-car accident with entrapment and ejection...onto the steep bank by our river. So the Chiefs had to setup a command post, extrication crews worked the cars, I was one of the guys who went over the edge for the very-low-angle rescue. It's interesting backboarding someone when depending on a tree and a rope to hold you in position! Ambulancers had to do triage & help with patient treatment.

    For fire stuff, you can accomplish a lot with a small budget, some tools, and a decent imagination:


    Ellington, CT -- see http://www.ellingtonfire.org/gSCBADrill1.shtm

    Maybe even have a fairly simple drill that begins with a chalk talk about what your options are if different equipment fails or isn't available at a particular call. Go through various scenarios like if the shears aren't available, use a sawzall. Then let the troops go to town on a car like they normally would until a air-horn blast says, "STOP" and you tell them which randomly pick a piece of equipment is "no longer working" like, oh, the shears or a ram or the hydraulic pump... (The chalk talk first gets people in the right mindset of thinking of Plans B and C whenever they're doing something instead of suddenly jarring them with a surprise)

    Just be safe...
    Think ahead about what you want to accomplish.
    Give people a plan, a couple bullet points on a chalkboard or a photocopied handout, to get everyone on the same wavelength what you hope to accomplish.
    Don't "wing it" -- if you decide to mix things up like taking a tool away, make sure it's not unsafe to do that.

    Oh, and remember their is a difference between training and drills.
    Training is teaching someone how to use equipment. That should always be done in a well lit, dry, comfortable environment. They're just learning and shouldn't be distracted by sweat pouring off their forehead or ice under their feet.
    Drills is practicing skills you've already learned -- you should avoid extremes like being out in freezing rain or ninety degree days with ninety percent humidity. You ain't gonna learn much half asleep at 2am during an unannounced drill either...but some rain at 7:30 in the evening isn't gonna melt you at a drill.

    Matt
    (Who has been writing this on-and-off for the last four hours and is finally going home after another #@@$#$%^ eleven hour day in the office...not that I'm venting or anything...)

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