Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Cave Rescue Practice

I've had time to sort through some of my cave rescue practice photos and here are some of the better ones. At the beginning of the week we practiced packaging a patient, something the students would repeat over and over in different exercises. The main difference of packaging a patient in a cave from a surface search and rescue is the extra insulation and vapor barrier that is usually used in caves to help warm the patient. Many caves in the U.S. tend to be on the chilly side, especially if you spend some time laying on wet rock.

Then we practiced some litter movement. Again, it isn't always as easy in a cave as on the surface. This technique is called pavement, when rescuers "pave" the cave bottom and send the litter over them. It can be used in wet, rocky passages where it wouldn't work to drag the litter.

After practicing some techniques, it was time to go to the obstacle course to practice some of the moves. 

I'm sure some people have never thought of a playground in these terms--and will never do so again.

The litter had to go through the monkey bars and out the other side.

Later in the week we went out to a cliff site to practice rope techniques. The hauling team looks like they're putting some effort into getting the litter up the cliff.

We used a variety of techniques and positions with the litter orientation and the litter attendant. Everyone agreed that having the litter attendant on a separate line makes the haul much simpler. In the photo above, the litter attendant (Wayne) is above the litter.

After the exercise, a couple instructors, Rebecca and Roy, posed for a photo.

And here are Scott and DJ, two more instructors.

Another day we went into a cave for some litter handling practice. Our first obstacle was the cave gate.

A salamander was hanging out below.

Then we walked down a narrow canyon passage.

In some parts of the cave, moving the litter was rather straightforward.

So the instructors (Bil and Jim) created an artificial wall to simulate a smaller passage.

Then it was time to try out the SKED litter in the canyon passage. It was a good workout for everyone.

In a couple days I'll have some photos up from the ten-hour mock rescue. Tomorrow is a more relaxing cave post.


Sarah said...

Nice salamander!

The Incredible Woody said...

I know who I'm going to call if I ever need rescued from a cave!

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