Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 9:10 am
By Mark van der Feyst
A mayday firefighter may be pinned by heavy debris or objects that have collapsed onto him or her during interior or exterior operations. There are videos on the Internet showing a building collapsing partially on top of firefighters, trapping them beneath the burning rubble. This can happen easily while conducting fire-ground operations on the inside or the outside. For outside operations, it is imperative that collapse zones (one-and-a-half times the height of the building) be established to avoid the potential for entrapment by building material. When a firefighter is trapped underneath heavy debris or objects, there is no way that human muscle will be able to safely remove objects; removal will require the use of rescue tools and cribbing.
Time is against a firefighter on the fire ground. At the scene of a structural fire, having the right equipment staged and ready to go is crucial; leaving the equipment on the apparatus will delay any type of response. Airbags and hydraulic tools are among the equipment that will be needed for any type of heavy lifting. This equipment needs to be checked to make sure it is in proper working order and then left connected for rapid deployment. It’s a good idea to fill the stokes basket with the equipment and cribbing so that two to four firefighters can bring in all the equipment at once.
Read the full article here.