2Water Rescue Need for water rescue awareness Most FD’s have some body of waterPotential for floodingMany water incidents require resources beyond capability of FDOperations and technician trainedProper PPETechnical rescue equipment2
3NFPA 1670Water related disciplinesDiveIceSurfSwift water3
4Hazards Associated with Water Rescue Firefighter (human) natureAction orientedNeed to do something nowMake rescue attempts without proper training or equipment4
5Hazards Associated with Water Rescue (con’t) An average of 7 public safety rescuers die each year in water related incidents.WHY?Sound judgment, good reasoning, and disciplined plan of action was not followed.The temptation to enter an uncertain environment was too great.Lack of training and expertise in water related emergencies.5
6Environmental Hazards Extreme temperaturesColdHypothermia, frostbite, equipment malfunctionsEffects ability to think clearly & fine motor skillsHeatHyperthermia, overheating in PPEUnderwater survival time lost in hot temperaturesExhaustion, dehydration6
7Environmental Hazards (con’t) WeatherRain, snow, high winds, fogAccelerates hypothermiaIn still water, body heat is lost 25 times greater than in air at the same temperatureAquatic environmentAnimal life, fish, insectsPlant life, seaweedBiohazards, bacterial, viral7
16Swift Water Operation Hazards (con’t) Current patternsLaminar flowHelical flowUpwellingEddiesBack currentHeavy downpoursMake quiet streams swiftwater16
17Swift Water Operation Hazards (con’t) Water weight 62.4 lbs per cubic foot and typically flows downstream at 6 to 12 miles per hour.
18Swift Water Operation Hazards (con’t) When a vehicle stalls in the water the water’s momentum is transferred to the car. For each foot the water rises, 500 lbs. of lateral force is applied to the automobile.
19Swift Water Operation Hazards (con’t) But the biggest factor is buoyancy. For each foot the water rises up the side of the car, the car displaces 1500 lbs. of water. In effect, the automobile weighs 1500 lbs. less for each foot the water rises.
20Swift Water Operation Hazards (con’t) Two Feet of WaterWill Carry Away MostAutomobiles!!!
21Low Head Dam Hazards The killing / drowning machine Boil line Illusion Point where water breaks in two directionsIllusionCannot be perceived from upstreamDo not look dangerousHydraulicVertical whirlpoolAeration in the hydraulicCauses cavitation to boat props21
24Water Rescue PPEFirefighting helmets, boots, and turnout gear are NOT appropriate for water rescueProper PPE includes the followingWet suits / dry suits / exposure suitsThermal protectionPFD’s (whistle & knife & strobe light or light stick)Worn by all personnelIn or near waterOn a boatTaglines / lifelinesHelmet, gloves24
25Cold Water Near Drowning Age of victimTemperature of waterBelow 70oFPatient could be below thermoclineLength of submersionUnder 90 minutesStill rescue modeQuality BLS & ALS treatment25
26Size-up Scope, magnitude, type of water rescue incident Environmental factorsChange in weather conditionsLoss of daylightWater levelsCurrent changes26
27Size-up (con’t) Assessment of hazards Location & number of victims Risk / benefit analysisRescue vs. recoveryAccess to scene27
28Water Rescue Awareness Level Personnel May: Establish scene control Establish ICInitiate accountability & safetyEvaluate patient conditionCan patient assist with rescue?Activate Needed resources28
29Water Rescue Awareness Level Personnel May: (con’t) Secure & interview witnessesKeep witnesses at sceneInterview witnesses separatelyCollect witnesses’ personal information29
30Water Rescue Awareness Level Personnel May: (con’t) Establish last seen pointTriangulate with multiple witnessesUse a reference objectHole in ice is great last seen pointDon’t destroy it
31Water Rescue Awareness Level Personnel May: (con’t) Identify number of victimsIdentify age and sex of victim, if possible
33Water Rescue Beyond the awareness level AHJ must have emergency response planOperations & technician level personnelPolice & evidence techniciansSpecialized equipmentBoats, tow trucks, etc.EMS responseAmbulance for patient(s)Ambulance for diversAeromedical transport33
34Scene Considerations Rehab personnel early Operational plan Reach, throw, row, go34
35Scene Considerations Request divers early in an incident Victims at the surface may submergeKeep incident operating in rescue mode
36Water Rescue ScenarioIt is a Saturday morning just after shift change, the truck’s have been checked and everyone is enjoying a cup of coffee.
37Water Rescue ScenarioThe alarm sounds for a person through the ice on a retention pond in your district.
39Water Rescue Summary Recognize the need for water search and rescue. Describe implementing the assessment phase. Identify the resources necessary to conduct safe and effective water rescue operations.Identify the emergency response system for water rescue emergencies. 39
40Water Rescue SummaryIdentify the site control and scene management procedures at water rescue incidents.Identify the general hazards associated with a water rescue incident. Identify the rescue vs. recovery mode when concerned with a cold water near drowning patient. 40