November 29, 2009

Smalls Falls Cravasse Rescue Training

The D.O.T. new road construction on Rt. 4 between Phillips and Rangeley will likely present some new challenges to local rescue organizations. The road configuration now includes a long steep stretch with a sweeping turn at the bottom. It is the view of many who have looked closely at the new construction that under certain weather conditions, a vehicle could lose control at or near the bottom of the hill, jump the guard rail, and end up in the river crevasse at the top of Smalls Falls. At a recent training taught by DK and sponsored by NorthStar Ambulance, participants brainstormed possible rescue scenarios and how they would tackle a rescue in this tricky location. Members of Phillips FD, Rangeley FD, NorthStar Ambulance and FSAR participated in the training. Rescuer and scene safety should always be a primary concern at all rescues. All photos are courtesy of Tami McGarvey Photography, thanks Tami!

Jeremy offered 3 observations about the recent Smalls Falls rescue training.

1.) Get a wrecker coming to the scene early, especially if it is in the crevasse rock on river left. Yard the whole wreck up first, then access & treat the occupants.

2.) Anchor any auto in swift water to dry ground on either side of the river to keep it stable and from being swept further downstream by punching windows above the water level and passing through the A, B, or C post.

3.) Minimize rescuer exposure by having one equipped with helmet, pfd, & harness tied to a cross river rope angled 45 to 60 degrees across river.