Routine Rescue Becomes Hazmat
Wednesday, April 26, 2017: 3:30 PM - 5:15 PM
In late 2015, law enforcement and EMS responded to a routine "check the welfare" of an individual based on early morning concerns by the family. On arrival, the law enforcement officers were overwhelmed by noxious fumes and backed out of the doorway. EMS was staged pending hazardous materials response. Because of the quick decision making of fire personnel, the victim was removed from the structure and lived to tell his story. While the debate over exterior vs. interior firefighting rages on, several incidents have occurred that were dispatched as the humdrum miscellaneous medical or check-the-welfare type, and the first- in company was faced with unique immediate risk/gain decisions. Unlike the fire argument, the first- in company to a drug lab or chemical suicide may NOT be wearing firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE), may not have clues such as smoke showing, and will not be a hazmat team. Firefighters are faced with dangerous hazardous materials in every structure and vehicle fire, but many have been trained to "stage for hazmat" even if there is only a small possibility that a hazmat is present. Among the topics covered in this class are victim survivability, the rescue decision, PPE, and critical first-in actions to aid first responders while increasing the chance of victim survival.