Technical Rescue – Be Prepared

Emergency Search and Rescue Situations: Be Prepared is not just for Boy Scouts

When I attended my first boy scout meeting, they told us that the motto for the Boy Scouts is “Be Prepared.” I think of that every time I walk into the firehouse. In every aspect of firefighting, it is critical to be prepared.

Seconds count when a mother is trapped in a three car accident with two minors in the back and you need to cut the seat belt with a sharp rescue knife. Or, when the truck rolls up to an apartment complex in the bad part of town after a home intrusion situation before the police. Or, even when a few kids are playing on the frozen over lake and they find their way onto the thin ice and fall though.

Being prepared is not an option. It is a requirement.

Be Prepared

As firefighters, we must always be prepared. It’s critical to have your equipment is top notch condition. Keep your axes sharp for forest or woods fires. Keep your multi-tool and emergency knife sharp so you can easily cut the seat belt that is holding the patient in the seat. This even means you need to keep your body prepared. If you need to be able to work in the field for several hours, then you need to have your endurance up to a high level. It is no accident that there are so many fire fighters that are endurance athletes.

Let me tell you a story about a rookie Firefighter I that we had in our station. He was a good kid, young, but he was a good person. He was only at our station for about 6 months.

Nothing too exciting happened and he was learning his way around the station. He was figuring out his place in the crew as well as the pecking order in the station. The wild fire season approached and we started getting more and more calls for small forest fires near homes.

There was a situation with a car accident near a fire. A family was trying to flee their home that was being threatened by a wild fire due to high winds and very dry conditions. The car accident was not especially bad but the family was panicking due to the fierce situation. The rookie approached the scene and was unable to free child who was simply tangled up in the straps of the seat belt and car seat. Evidently, one of the other children improperly strapped the youngest child in.

The rookie was unable to cut the straps to free the child. The captain approached within a minute and was able to free up the child before the fire approached.

When questioned later, it was determined that the rookie firefighter did not have the right kind of equipment with him. He did have a very sharp knife but it was unable to cut the seatbelt straps. If he would have simply spent more time keeping his knife sharp it would have been able to make the critical cut.

Quick List of Pointers

  1. Keep your gear clean
    • Boots
    • Gloves
    • Helmets
    • Hoods/Firehoods
  1. Test your Equipment
    • Hoses
    • Knives and multi-tools
    • Nozzles
    • Wrenches
    • Turnout Gear
    • Ropes and webbing for Ice or Water Rescue

Think like a Boy Scout – Be Prepared. As a professional firefighter, you never know what piece of equipment you will need. Every call is different. Therefore, you need to make sure you have every piece of equipment is perfect working order.

How to Keep Your Home Safe if You Have Pets

Do you have pets at home? No doubt you love them very much and are just as concerned about their safety as you would be about any other family member.

Pets can be just as at risk during emergencies as the humans that care for them. For example, this adorable, aww-worthy story appeared in the Huffington Post last September. It featured a firefighter of the department in Fresno, California rescuing a trapped, unconscious kitten from a burning building. The firefighter filmed the whole thing using a Go-Pro camera, a camera that straps to outwear and can be used to to document extreme sports or dangerous situations. Both the firefighter and the kitten emerged from the building unscathed, the Go-Pro video went viral online, and the kitten was named “Lucky.” If you’re thinking about getting a kitten like Lucky, consider the best cat litter box you need for your special kitty. pet rescue

 

However, some pets may not be so lucky. Here is our guide on how to keep your pets safe during a fire, earthquake or other emergency.

 

Tips on How to Keep Pets Safe

The Humane Society recommends making a safety plan that included details on how to keep pets safe as well as humans. Having a plan in place to ensure the safety of each family member will help increase chances of survival in the event of a catastrophe.

To start, you can get official ID tags for your pets. These can be implanted under the skin and can track your pet’s location. If your pet gets trapped inside a burning building, then you’ll know exactly where she is and you can tell the firefighter where to find her. This tag is also useful for finding a lost pet if he disappears for a day or two.

You should also talk with the human family members about agreeing on a safe place to go if something happens at home. This can be the home of a trusted neighbor, a space in the backyard, or anywhere that everybody can reach safely in the event of an emergency and (ideally) has a way to call for help. Once everybody agrees on this area, make sure to tell them to take pets with them. You can easily grab a dog’s collar or strap a leash on a cat and bring them with you.

dog rescueOnce you’ve arrived to the safe area, don’t let your pets roam loose. The approaching fire truck and other emergency vehicles may scare them away or even hit them! Instead, keep them close by, using a leash if necessary.

Additionally, you should take steps to fireproof your house with your pets in mind. Unplug all electronics when not in use, put away all flammable materials, and install a pet door so your pets can easily leave an area if necessary. Even wires left laying around can be a problem, particularly if you have a puppy that likes to chew. You can also consider installing a home security system that will detect any sign of smoke and alert the fire department when you can’t be there.

Finally, you should also make a plan for if you cannot get home to your pet for whatever reason. Just by asking a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your pet each day if you cannot be there on time will help ensure that your furry friend is safe and happy.

Should You Own a Rescue Saw?

Are you a homeowner? If so, then one of your top concerns should be safety. Keeping your home safe for you and your family can involve a lot of different methods, but one certain way is to make sure you have the proper safety equipment on hand including the best chainsaw.

 

Safety equipment refers to a lot of different items, such as a ladder, a First-Aid kit and a home security system. However, you may be wondering whether a rescue saw is necessary as well. A rescue saw is a powerful tool used by professional firefighters to cut throw debris and rescue people who are trapped. Read on to learn more about rescue saws and whether you need one, as well as other home safety tips.

 

What is a rescue saw?

 

A rescue saw is a professional grade piece of rescue equipment used by firefighters both in homes fires and in extracting victims from car accidents. It is a circular saw made of diamond that can cut through just about anything, even metal. You can find them at Husqvarna.

 

The Pros and Cons of Owning a Rescue Saw

 

While a rescue saw sounds like a great idea because of its ability to cut through just about any material, it may not be right for the average homeowner. Not only is it considerably pricier than the average saw, but it is not safe to operate if you do not have the proper training.

 

Rescue SawThe only situation where a rescue saw would be useful is in the event of a fire. You should never go back into a fire to rescue someone because you do not have the correct equipment or training. Firefighters have items like oxygen tanks and burn-proof gear, as well as hour of training and experience behind them. If you attempt to rescue someone trapped in a burning building, then you’re not only risking your own life, but the other person’s life because you’ll just be wasting everyone’s time. Instead, your first priority should be to get everyone out of the house and call the fire department for help.

 

Other Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe

 

There are plenty of other ways you can work to make your house safer besides purchasing a rescue saw. For example, one of the safest things you can do is make a plan. This plan will include directions on what to do in the event of any emergency, whether it’s a fire, earthquake or flood. You should plan an escape route, keep all emergency equipment in the same place, and educate all residents and family members in your home about what to to in case of an emergency.

 

This is particularly important if you have children in the home. Young children may not know what to do if they see smoke or if an emergency should occur. Therefore, you should instruct them about how to call for help and leave the emergency numbers somewhere where the children can get to them. You can even appoint an older child to be the official safety officer, responsible for calling the appropriate number in the event of an emergency.

 

Finally, you should always make sure that you have the appropriate number of smoke detectors in the home. Always make sure to test the batteries regularly so that you don’t have to worry about a fire starting undetected.

The ABCs of Fire Extinguishers and Other Home Safety Tips

Are you a homeowner who is as prepared as can be for any emergency or disaster that may befall your home? While many of us consider ourselves prepared, at least minimally, that won’t cut it. In the event of a fire, earthquake or other emergency, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible in order to protect all that you own and all that you have built.

 

One great way to be prepared is to have a fire extinguisher on hand. A fire extinguisher will be able to put out small fires that would otherwise spread and consume your entire house. Read on to learn more about fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher ratings and how they can help you.

 

The ABCs of Fire Extinguisher Codesfire extinguisher ratings

 

A fire extinguisher is a special kind of safety equipment that is designed to swiftly reduce fires by blowing pressurized air onto the flames. There are several types of fire extinguishers, organized by codes, that are meant to handle different types of fires. These codes are known as the ABCs of fire extinguisher ratings.

 Class A

The first code, Class A, refers to a fire extinguisher that will put out fires started by trash, paper or wood. This is the most basic type of fire extinguisher and uses the chemical monoammonium phosphate, which will smother fires started by any of these materials.

 Class B

The second, Class B, will work against fires started by liquids, like cooking oils, gasoline, paint, and kerosene. This type of fire extinguisher will use two chemicals, monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate to put out the fire. While the first chemical will smother the fire, the second will also create a chemical reaction that will extinguish the flames.

 Class C

The third code, Class C, will extinguish electrical fires. Using the same chemicals as Class B fire extinguishers, this extinguisher uses more concentrated levels because electrical fires can spread much faster because of the energy being conducted through the faulty wiring.

 

These different classes of fire extinguishers also come with sub-categories depending on the strength of the fire they are meant to put out. These sub-categories are identified by numbers next to the code.

 

Therefore, you should consider carefully what kind of fire extinguisher you would like for your home. For example, do you have a home office with lots of computers and other electronics? It may be wise to invest in a class C fire extinguisher to keep near this room, while a Class B or Class A extinguisher may be more useful to have near the kitchen, where fires started by cooking oil or burning wood may be more likely to happen.

 

Other Safety Tips

 

Aside from having a fire extinguisher, it is also important to take other steps to ensure the safety of the home and everyone in it. For example, you can consider investing in other safety equipment such as an emergency escape ladder, a home security system and a smothering blanket to cover small fires.

 

You should also make sure to have the correct number of smoke detectors for your home – experts recommend one for each room of the house. Test the batteries regularly and make sure to replace them if necessary. These smoke detectors will alert you if there is a small fire, which will allow you the necessary time to put it out before it gets out of control!  Learn more about the use of quick clot on our site as a quick measure in the event of an emergency.

Motorola Minitor V

By Sally Smith

 

Are you a firefighter, EMT, police officer, or other first-responder for hazards and accidents? If so, you probably need a reliable, handy device to stay in touch with your colleagues and receive notifications about emergencies.

 

Generally, most emergency-response team members rely on analog voice pagers to receive information about work. You’ll want something durable, that will hold up over time and will give you decent reception so that you can hear the important information that your boss is trying to share with you. In fact, having the right communication tools is vital for you to do your job.

 

While you’ve probably thought a lot about different systems of communication, have you considered the Motorola Minitor line of devices? With their recent addition of the Minitor V, this device is an excellent choice for all first-responders. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use the Minitor 5 to help you make your community a safer place.Motorola Minitor 5

 

What is the Motorola Minitor V?

 

The Minitor V is a small analog pager used primarily by firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency response team members. It is about the same size as a pack of cigarettes, which makes it extremely portable. They are used to notify other staff of an emergency and also convey vital information needed in order for the staff to do their jobs.

 

The device operates on both short and long wave frequencies. Normally, it remains on “standby mode,” silent until there is a call. Then, once the voice transmitter is activated, the device will stay on until the rest of the audio has finished playing, much like a scanner. Then, the user can set it back to “standby mode.” Users report that the audio is clear and information can be readily heard, without all of the crackle one usually hears on radio transmitters.

 

The Benefits of the Minitor V

 

The Minitor 5 allows you to receive information from two different channels, so it can be very helpful if the user belongs to different response teams. That way, you’ll be able to receive information from both your EMT crew and your firefighting team if you happen to be on-call for both in one night. It will also allow you to set the device on vibrate, so it doesn’t disturb at events with other people present (like a church service!). You can also program the different buttons on the device to do what you want, such as the afore-mentioned vibration feature.

 

In addition, the Minitor 5 is rainproof, so it won’t completely fall apart if you’re working on a rainy day. Users report that it feels solid in their hands and durably built, so that it can withstand the wear and tear that always comes with the job.

 

Are There Any Drawbacks?

 

The one drawback that several users have cited is that the vibration function is very strong. In fact, sometimes if the device is placed on a nightstand it has been known to vibrate itself right onto the floor. Users also report that in some cases where there is low reception, the device will beep once and messages can get missed, but this is rare.

 

Without a doubt, the Minitor V is a great tool for your important job as an emergency-response team member. With it, you will be able to do your job more effectively and contribute to your community.