26 September 2023

Emergency services join forces to save lives

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NSW Ambulance, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) and Police Rescue teamed up last month to develop new and safer ways to extricate patients during vertical rescues.

Thanking the emergency personnel on their work, NSW Ambulance said patients needing to be rescued from tight spaces, tall buildings and de-railed trains were just some of the challenges that faced teams at the joint Agency Vertical Rescue Workshop.

“The Special Operations Unit (SOU) simulation – which also featured Critical Care Paramedics from Aeromedical Operations along with fellow rescue instructors from Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) and Police Rescue – aimed to develop new and safer ways to extricate patients from complex, high risk situations,” NSW Ambulance said.

“The FRNSW Emergency Services Academy at Orchard Hills played host to the training and provided a range of environments to test the teams in realistic conditions,” it said.

“This included the use of the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) area, multi-storey training building and streetscape to practise different techniques for anchoring, artificial high directional frames and stretcher setups.”

NSW Ambulance said these situations included moving patients down through buildings, across a street, inside a lift shaft and up through an overturned train carriage in low-light conditions.

“The teams worked extremely well as they brought different experiences together to coordinate the safe access, treatment and movement of patients through these environments,” it said.

Rescue Instructor, A/Training Officer Andrew Crew said it was invaluable to learn more about how other services tackled the same vertical rescue situations with different equipment.

“Over the last two days I’ve learnt a lot from everyone’s experiences,” A/Training Officer Crew said.

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