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ISC Blog Archive August 2017

Fire & EMS Competition 2017

August 14th 2017

The Fire & EMS Competition took place this weekend (11-13 August) at the New River Gorge, (West Virginia, USA).  Nicknamed 'Battle in the Gorge', this scenario based competition was created to bridge the gap, between training and the real world!

The event weekend was made up of five separate scenario-based competitions, in the following disciplines:  

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Auto Extrication
Vertical Technical Rescue
Top Gun (combined disciplines)

The competitors comprised mostly of Professional Firemen, Paramedics, EMT's, Volunteer Firemen and Volunteers for the various municipal Technical Rescue Teams as well as full time Tech Rescue and Rope Rescue Specialists.

Rich (ISC North American Sales Manager) was approached at the FDIC show last February by the leader of the Jefferson County (Ohio) Heavy Rescue Team (B Team), to see if he had any interest in potentially joining their team for this comp.  Of course, Rich jumped at the chance! 

Rich's team competed in both the Vertical Technical Rescue and Top Gun comps.  The team comprised of a Paramedic (to run all victim care), multiple EMTs (with Technical Rope Experience), Riggers (to set anchors) and the Team Chief (Incident Management and overall in charge).  Rich's main job was to Rig and set anchors on this team and he also had a hand in victim care as well as helping to develop the overall rescue plan.  

The first task for Richand the team were the six gruelling team building exercises, which took place on the Friday evening.  "The team building exercises were designed to get the competitive juices flowing and to get the hearts pumping!  This was a cardio vascular burn out that would tax even the fittest person", said Rich.  50' Vertical Hauls, Team Traverse exercises, Victim Packaging and Hauling, as well as other fun tasks emphasised speed and teamwork. 

The first 'incident'  for the team to respond to respond to was an injured (and drunk) victim on a set of rocks beneath a bridge over the Red River.  Also to be dealt with was an overly hysterical civilian on the bridge who witnessed the incident and was doing everything she could to cause distraction.  The team was tasked to build a safe and suitable anchor for descent, get an EMT to the victim to provide initial care and package them for extrication.  Then haul the victim to the bridge deck to be packaged in a Stokes basket to move to the awaiting ambulance.  
The teams used a combination of the D5 Work/Rescue Descender and HaulerBiner Compact Rescue kit, to effect the rescue.

"We finished 3rd in the Vertical Technical Rescue event this year, but I can guarantee that with a full year ahead of training together we will crush this one next year :)", Rich assures us! (and we'll hold you to that Rich!).

The Top Gun event required the team to respond to a multiple injury situation at a grain silo.  On the lower deck of the silo was a victim who had fallen during descent and crushed their pelvis.  To make things more interesting there was a second victim on top of the silo who was suffering from Heat Stroke. The team had to correctly respond to the lower victims situation (Rich & Co. were one of 2 teams that did not have the lower victim die) and then diagnose and respond to the upper victims medical condition and rig a system to get the victim to the ground.

"All told, the event was incredibly fun and highlighted the need for teamwork and for specialisation of skills.  I actively look forward to competing again next year", said Rich.  "I'd also like to thank the dedicated Technicians who volunteered their time to compete in and/or organise such a fantastic event". 

For more information, photo and video from the event, click here visit the Fire & EMS Competition VW Facebook page!


Blog gallery:

  • Fire & EMS Competition
  • Fire & EMS Competition
  • Fire & EMS Competition
  • Rich's fellow team T-Shirts at 'Battle in the Gorge'!

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