MCAS BEAUFORT, S.C. --
Over 20 emergency service personnel rushed to the scene of a mock medical emergency during a high angle rescue drill near the flightline aboard the Air Station, May 1.
The annual drill was designed to refresh firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics on how to perform rescue operations in hard to reach places at impressive heights.
“This drill was meant to shake off any rust from our firefighters’ skills,” said Darran Vaughn, Air Station structural fire department assistant fire chief. “You never know when these skills are going to come in to play, but when we are needed to perform a rescue high above the ground we are ready.”
Emergency service personnel prepare for possible crisis scenarios such as when base personnel lose consciousness high above the ground.
During a high angle rescue, emergency personnel assess all routes to the patient. The lead firefighter then organizes a response by cordoning off the area from any onlookers and deciding which route is the best to take.
“While performing a high angle rescue, emergency personnel must consider how to perform first aid treatment while getting the patient down from an elevated structure,” said Franklin Ramseur, an Air Station structural fire department lead firefighter.
After the firefighters determine the best route for medical response team to reach and provide first aid to the patient, they then begin hoisting any cumbersome medical equipment to the treatment area.
“We are fortunate our ladder is able to reach the victim, if not then we have to use a lot of rope and rigging systems to reach the victim or victims,” said Ramseur. “When we are trying to mitigate the problem, we look at how we are going to access the problem, what rescourses we have to mitigate the problem and how we are going to do it safely.”
After a patient is down from the elevated structure paramedics and their vehicles transport the patient to a local medical facility for further treatment.
“Any mistakes made were part of the learning experience and practicing the techniques, so when a real high angle crisis occurs we will be ready for it,” Vaughn said.