On Thursday evening, September 15th, Garrison Volunteer Fire Company hosted a town-wide extraction drill in the parking lot/training area of their headquarters on Route 9. Setup as a simulation of a large accident scene, four passenger cars and their victims were positioned in the parking lot, each having their own scenarios and sets of obstacles. After a brief introduction by Garrison Chief Bill Rimm, who established the parameters of the training exercise, approximately 70 firefighters from all four Philipstown fire services (CSFC, GVCF, Continental Village FD, North Highlands Engine Company), as well as medics from Philipstown Volunteer Ambulance Corp and Garrison Volunteer Ambulance, went to work. To bring a sense of realism to the exercise, apparatus was staged down the road at the Garrison Ambulance Corps and directed to the accident scene by Department Chiefs who established an Incident Command within the Garrison Fire headquarters.
Upon arrival, the crew from Cold Spring Fire Company encountered a passenger sedan/station wagon with multiple injured victims, including a partial ejection. After an initial sizeup and assessment report to the Incident Commander and medics on scene, Cold Spring firefighters went about securing the vehicle and beginning the extraction process. Utilizing the rescue tools (predominantly the hydraulic Jaws and spreaders) located in the forward bumper of 13-2-1, one crew went about removing the drivers side door, while another focused on removing the windshield and treating the partially ejected victim. During the removal of the drivers side door, Chief Rimm informed Cold Spring that their hydraulics had “gone out” – disabling their hydraulic tools and forcing the Cold Spring crew to step back and reassess the situation. It was then deemed that the quickest and safest way to extricate the remaining victim was through the rear hatch of the station wagon, a process that was well underway when Cold Spring’s hydraulics “suddenly returned.” This twist to the scenario is one not unheard of on real accident scenes, and each crew on the training ground was presented with unplanned “surprises”. With hydraulics returned, the driver’s side door was quickly popped open, the patient was secured and mobilized by members of Garrison Ambulance.
In the time remaining Cold Spring officers used their vehicle to teach some of their newer and junior members different extrication techniques, including door removal and opening up of the passenger compartment by “rolling the roof.”
In all the drill lasted approximately 90 mins, and was followed by a brief critique and debriefing. Afterwards a very generous dinner was provided by the Garrison Fire Company.
*Interested in volunteering? Fill out an application, stop by on one of our drill nights (every Tuesday @ 7:30pm) or give us a call 265-9241