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Steep Angle Rope course Feb 2013
Steep Angle Rope Rescue course 2013
Whilst much of the state was dealing with bushfires crews from Monbulk, Mildura, Dandenong, and Frankston were training for the all year round hazard of persons trapped in steep angle environments such as off walking tracks and roads.
The statewide course was conducted from 18th - 21st February 2013 by SSO Daryl Owen, LFF Alec Draffin and LFF Brad Trewavis utilizing a range of sites around the Dandenong Ranges. This area provides for realistic and accessible sites. One of the main training sites along Kyeema Track and Glasgow Track, Mt.Dandenong have both been the locations of real rescues.
The students receive one day at the fire station going over equipment specifications, safety, philosophies, responsibilities. The second day is about building the roping system. Days three and four are the practical sessions in real environments and include the assessment.
The weather was quite warm with most days in the 30's and the final drill of day four saw a thunderstorm arrive just prior to the completion. The hot, humid and wet conditions made for a realistic scenario and a credit to all students and instructors who maintained a very disciplined approach and ensure the drill was completed safely.
These skills are particularly important not just for the retrieval of a patient, but significantly improves the safety of firefighters to retrieve these patients. Compared to using ladders and the manual handling of loaded stretchers, rope rescue is much safer for rescuers.
Brigades should consider the request for rope rescue for the next event they have to make access or retrieve a patient in a steep angle environment. Although a limited resource around the state it may be safer than risking a spine/back injury.
Special thanks to Monbulk Fire Brigade axillary for the catering and Parks Victoria/DSE for the use of sites within the National Park.