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WHarley3

Putnam Prepares to Assemble Specialized Rescue Team

21 posts in this topic

Quote

 

Putnam County is close to having a specialized rescue team that can come to the aid of people who need to be extricated from an embankment, rescued from a fall or find themselves in an otherwise sticky situation.

 

Anthony Sutton, the county’s emergency services commissioner, told legislators at the July 18 Protective Services Committee meeting that the federal Department of Homeland Security two years ago awarded the county a $150,000 grant to create a Technical Rescue Team. So far $80,000 has been spent on equipment and training, he said.

 

 

http://highlandscurrent.com/2017/07/24/putnam-prepares-assemble-specialized-rescue-team/

LayTheLine likes this

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Sutton said the county can share the cost of continued training with Westchester County, which has its own Technical Rescue Team, and Orange County, which has a Rope Rescue Team. In fact, he said, the county’s willingness to share resources helped secure the grant.

 

Here's what I'm getting out of this statement:

If Putnam County is willing to share resources to obtain a grant, AND Westchester County is willing to share resources (to get a grant), AND Orange County is willing to share resources (to get a grant), are these counties setting themselves up to become a regional technical rescue response team?  In my mind, the sharing of resources cuts the cost to the taxpayers by setting up a system where this task force has this and that task force has that, and they share the resources based on what is needed where.  This is obviously in contrast to each county being set up exactly the same as the others.

 

Anyway, kudos to Putnam County on their progress in organizing such a specialized team!  It takes a lot of time, hard work, and resources to bring together such a project!

bfd1144, LayTheLine and vodoly like this

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Posted (edited)

17 hours ago, newsbuff said:

Here's the million dollar question....

 

Who's going to staff it?  It is going to be a volunteer system, much like the Westchester Haz-mat team, which due to slow response times, has been skipped over many a time for a properly staffed rig?

 

Tech team responses require an immense amount of training, and if you get the cert once and never handle the equipment for months, you're gonna lose that skill...

 

What is option B?  Unless something has changed in the last 3 years since I left CT, there are no paid FDs in Putnam County. Certainly it isn't ideal, but there's no push for full time staffing in Putnam right now, so IMO this is probably the best that can be done with the resources available. You'll get the initial sign up of everyone wanting the cool T-Shirt, and then maybe end up with a dozen or two hardcore people countywide in 6-8 months who will do the training and respond to calls. Better than nothing.

Edited by SageVigiles
AFS1970 likes this

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Here's option B. 

 

Certian departments are trained in 1 or 2 specific disciplines of technical rescue. There's way too much habitual training that has to occur to keep up with in order to maintain familiarity with equipment and procedures. That is, on top of "routine" firefighting and EMS training. 

Ex: there is an emergency somewhere in the county requiring the need for advanced rope rescue. So let's just say you have cold spring and brewster trained in ropes, they both get dispatched, along with the home dept (yes I know I know simultaneously dispatching out of towners before a chief gets on scene is a crazy thought but that could be a long drive so hey). 

 

And thats the the same concept with every discipline . Trench. Collapse. Confined space, etc. I believe certian departments already have some level of trained personal weather it be an abundance of those evil paid guys within their departments or buffs, so that could be an esier transition . 

 

Everyone could be on the same page for that discipline.  I don't have to worry about someone lowering me on a rope that I've never trained with or seen his capabilities . It's hard enough for people to make regular drills for their fire departments now never mind adding in more drilling with more specialized equipment. 

 

 

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Why is having specialized departments any better than a regional team? It seems to me that a regional team would be easier to assemble as a given department may only have a few members who take the training. The same factors about ongoing training and travel distance are present with either plan.

 

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NY TF 3? 

 

Lol

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So it's pretty common elsewhere in the country to have teams made up of volunteers to handle the rescues of lost hikers and the other tech rescues that present themselves in the parks that have become more common.  These teams exist in places where all the fire departments are fully career and they work together on responses.  

 

An example.  

http://www.malibusar.org/Home.aspx

 

 

 

AFS1970 and bfd1144 like this

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On 7/31/2017 at 0:47 AM, 16fire5 said:

So it's pretty common elsewhere in the country to have teams made up of volunteers to handle the rescues of lost hikers and the other tech rescues that present themselves in the parks that have become more common.  These teams exist in places where all the fire departments are fully career and they work together on responses.  

 

An example.  

http://www.malibusar.org/Home.aspx

 

 

 



There's a big difference between searching for and "rescuing" a lost hiker and performing a technical rescue on a construction worker buried up to his neck in a collapsed excavation.  Response time for one.  Unless there's a blizzard coming, lost people can wait for a voluntary team to be assembled and mobilized.  Not so with many technical rescues. 

Breakneck Mountain has been in the news a lot lately.  How will this team benefit western Putnam, specifically to respond to Breakneck, when it's going to be based out of Carmel and staffed with people in Brewster and Carmel?  How will they get there? By POV with a blue light?  Absurd!

Our system is flawed.  It's been failing for decades but we just keep putting bandaids on it. 

 

 

lemonice likes this

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Yeah many volunteer departments can't supply an engine for an activate fire alarm. Or an extrication. Especially in the middle of the day. Good luck with all of this. At least a bunch of people will get cool t shirts and a cool license plate. Let's face it, that's 75% of this. 

Car down an embankment off of 84, rope systems required= performed every year by brewster Patterson etc, elevators same thing. Please.

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I guess my only question to all the Naysayers is what other option is there? I suppose you could call another county mutual aid for a tech-rescue team but that would take time. I don't know the financial status of Putnam County or it's towns, but it sounds like if they are going to hire career firefighters to cover even the basic calls because of lack of manpower they need to concentrate on the basic daily responses with the career staff before creating a tech-rescue team. 

 

So let's assume it's a horrible, terrible, dumb idea to create the tech-rescue team with volunteers from the departments within Putnam County. No-way, no-how!! They'll buy people cool t-shirts anyhow to appease the 75% of the people who are in it for that.  So there is nothing.

 

Now, let's take the example of the construction worker who is up to his neck in a collapsed trench. Time is an important factor here. The call goes out to the local department at 1pm on a Tuesday afternoon. The first-due engine pulls up and has 3 on-board (Joe who is retired truck driver, Tom who is Captain and works in the local deli, and Sue who is an EMT). None of these members have experience or training in any type of tech-rescue. So they walk up to the guy who's buried and do what? There is no Putnam County team to request, mutual aid tech-rescue is too far away to be of any good, and the engine crew is not up to the task. The captain tells the worker there's nothing they can do for them and the crew climbs back on the engine and returns to quarters. That, of course, is ludicrous!!!

 

If there were a tech-rescue team, this is probably an incident they could handle. Sure the response might not be immediate, but in the meantime another department could be called in mutual aid to the scene to have manpower there and perhaps at least stabilize the scene until tech-rescue shows up. I know nothing of tech-rescue, but perhaps boards could be built up around the worker so more dirt doesn't fall on him. Maybe the EMT could get close enough to slip an O2 mask on the guy. Maybe they could prepare the scene by moving dump trucks and other vehicles out of the immediate area to give the tech-rescue team clear access to the scene. Maybe they could lay out tools on a tarp which the tech-rescue team might need (shovels, pails, ropes, etc.). 

 

So I ask the people who are against this, what are the alternatives? Not go? Go but then return? Have Lawn-Chair 1 respond so they can put out lawn chairs and tables and serve lemonade and sandwiches while they watch the guy die?

 

Very simple solution which I stated before:

 

1) If it's a minor situation like a child has his hand stuck in a bicycle chain, the first due engine can most likely handle that.

 

2) If it's a more serious incident like a guy buried up to his neck in a trench, the first due engine assesses the situation, calls for the tech-team, calls a mutual aid engine and tries to at least stabilize the scene and cause no further harm.

 

3) If the tech-rescue team arrives on location and it's a guy down an abandoned 200 foot deep well that is caving in, the tech-rescue team may decide they need heavier equipment and call additional tech-rescue teams and call on the private industry who has the equipment to deal with this. Perhaps they would have to dig a hole 50 feet away and then tunnel in to get him out. A very extended operation. But, the first due engine identifies the problem and calls for help. They immediately cordon off the zone so no one else falls in or loosens anything else which will fall in. They ascertain the number of victim(s), age(s), medical condition(s), etc. When the tech-rescue team shows up they realize they will need help and call for another tech-rescue team and ABC Drilling & Well Company. Perhaps the tech-team can feed a camera with audio down the hole to see if the person(s) are conscious and evaluate the situation. Who knows, maybe they could even snake an O2 mask down to the victim(s). The tech-team realizes its going to be an extended operation (perhaps 24 hours) and they set up a Planning & Logistics section and create an operational period chart. They may even call in an Incident Management Team.

 

It comes down to common sense, training, experience and knowing when "this is bigger than we can handle" be it the first due engine or the tech-rescue team. To do nothing you might as well nail the doors shut on the firehouse and have everyone volunteer at the local food bank; which by the way offers cool t-shirts too!!  

dwcfireman, AFS1970 and vodoly like this

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This is the problem I have, I'm not sure how many departments there on in Putnam county but I can bet that every department has a rig that has RESCUE on the side of it. Now you can put the lastest and greatest tools and equipment on it. The moment that rig leave the firehouse with a crew like the one stated above,to me that's not a RESCUE. When rigs leave understaffed and with unqualified members that's unacceptable, when you're struggling to do the basics,you shouldn't even think about attempting to do more advanced stuff. Each department should worry about themselves first, increase your manpower and level of training first. Stop worrying about cool t-shirts and how many certifications you have on your was. That doesn't mean anything when it's business hours and it's blowing out windows. 

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Okay, letsgo1547, I'll start by saying I respect your opinion but don't necessarily agree with it. There are challenges to overcome in doing anything new. All in good fun I'm going to put you on the spot:

 

The County of Putnam calls you and tells you they are looking for a full-time Putnam County Fire Chief who will oversee, coordinate, organize, centralize and even consolidate where necessary. They are going to give you $160,000 a year, with a car, full medical benefits and you'll go into the retirement system. Pretty tough deal to pass up I would think.

 

So, now you're it. What do you do and how do you set things up? Nothing is off the table here, you have a clean slate. You can mandate a policy that restricts any type of rescues or tech-rescues all together - don't even dispatch them. You can transition to a County Fire Department and find a source of funding to hire career people (maybe a SAFER grant?). You can sell all the rescues because they're not needed and no one is qualified to use them and buy 10 additional tankers. It's your ballgame and the Commissioners are giving you full power and the authority to back it up. So what do you do?

 

Ready?  GO....... 

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First off I can honestly say that I would never take that position. But where you said, "challenges to overcome in doing anything new". I believe you shouldn't attempt to do anything new before you fix the problems that you have. It doesn't matter what rig goes out the door, rescue,engine or ladder, if that's not properly staffed with people on it with a certain level of training, what good is that. Thats unacceptable and dangerous. I feel each department should look at themselves and admit there's a problem. Is going paid or even a combo department the answer I don't know. I'm just saying you need to crawl before you walk. Try not to take on more than you can handle.

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4 hours ago, letsgo1547 said:

... I believe you shouldn't attempt to do anything new before you fix the problems that you have. .... ... I'm just saying you need to crawl before you walk. Try not to take on more than you can handle.

 

I agree with what you say about not having enough manpower, or let alone qualified manpower, to conduct a certain job.  But, sometimes you have to try something new to fix the problem.  Putnam County has determined that they need a technical rescue team to fill some of the holes in local responses.  This brings together county and local resources to perform a job.  Yes, it's new.  Does it fix the problem?  We need to wait and see how this team actually performs.  You can't judge an up-and-coming quarterback based on how he practices or what jersey he wears.  You have to see him play!

 

This team is in fact in it's crawling stage.  It still has to find members, train them to a specified level, and retain those members and their level of training.  Once they're at a point where the County can say, "Go!" then we can see how they perform under pressure and how well or poorly their responses are.  We cannot Monday morning quarterback something that hasn't happened (nor should we once the team is in place).

 

And, I don't think Putnam County is taking on more they can handle.  Nor do I think that the responders that are going to sign up for the team are going to be taking on more than they can handle.  Yes, you're going to lose some of the initial members due to time commitments or other issues, but you're still going to see a very gung-ho group follow through with the training.  In all honesty, if it's really not working out five years from now, the County can redevelop the team or the idea to make it work for them.  There's always room for learning, and there's always room for development.

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On 8/6/2017 at 11:02 AM, Dinosaur said:


How will they get there? By POV with a blue light?  Absurd!

 

 

 

Give them emergency vehicle status; that solves that issue.

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It looks like we all share the same concerns about this up and coming team. It ultimately comes down to the number of members on this team and their level of commitment to training. S1720G brings up a very valid point. 

On 8/6/2017 at 0:20 PM, S1720G said:

Yeah, many volunteer departments can't supply an engine for an activated fire alarm. Or an extrication. Especially in the middle of the day. Good luck with all of this.

 

If the county can claim that we have this elite team, but one day this team is truly needed and there are not enough members to respond. I feel we will start to see a pushback from our community and they will start to usher in the idea for the county to hire career FF. We've seen it starting to go that route with the paid ambulances. 

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14 hours ago, TheBuffWhisperer said:

It looks like we all share the same concerns about this up and coming team. It ultimately comes down to the number of members on this team and their level of commitment to training. S1720G brings up a very valid point. 

If the county can claim that we have this elite team, but one day this team is truly needed and there are not enough members to respond. I feel we will start to see a pushback from our community and they will start to usher in the idea for the county to hire career FF. We've seen it starting to go that route with the paid ambulances. 

As long as the public is aware that there is a price tag that comes attached along with it (and accepts it), there should be no problem with forming a career department to handle this elite team.  However given the mindset of today's taxpayers, any increase in tax dollars paid will most likely be met with resistance on their part. Whoever is going to form this career team will need to have their homework done before going public with their plans.

Edited by gamewell45

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There was a special operations team here in my area of bergen county that was combined Volunteer & a career dept few years back that responded for confined space & collapse calls  They were well trained & had plenty of resources  I believe the state USAR  Task Force is now called in  now  no idea what happened to this team  We also have The East Bergen Repel team witch  is all volunteer that responds to Repel jobs as well as confined space jobs it's well run & trains constantly I believe Englewood fire (career dept ) has Repel trained members that can respond as well

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