Thursday, March 30, 2017

In Case This Comes Up Again

The criterion tasks that comprise the Firefighter Combat Challenge are based on exhaustive research of frequently performed, arduous or critical fire ground tasks.

Believe it or not, back when I was serving on the NFPA 1583 Task Force in the early 1990’s, there was push-back against tasks that were “too hard.” The dummy drag was cited as unrealistic; when would a firefighter have to drag a victim, a full sized adult any significant distance?

Well, for one, in the middle of a snow storm, while functioning as an EMT that night, we were called to the scene of a single family unit (SFU). Two victims were pulled from the residence. There was at least a foot of snow on the ground and the ambulance was parked as close as we could get to the scene. The guy that we got had to be 250. He was in his skivvies, with second-degree burns on his torso.

The litter could not be deployed because of the snow. So, I took the torso and my buddy the feet and we carried him backwards (for me) at least 100 feet to the gurney. That was the longest 100’ ever.

Sorry; no video back then. No cell phones. But, here’s something that comes pretty close.

Check out this video:

This Twitter feed captures exactly the biomechanics of the dummy drag. I haven’t heard much by way of doubt these days. I’m pretty sure that anyone who’s been in the emergency service business any length of time has had to move a body by grasping them under the arms and around the chest.

It’s nice to know that you have this capability before being called upon to do it for real.

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