Guatemala 2013 Blog Fourteen- Rescue Me

Fire fighter rescue and rapid intervention training- fire fighters saving fire fighters. This day was specifically asked for by the local officials. Like all fire fighters, everyone wants to go home at the end the day. The Bomberos may not have much personal protective equipment or other equipment to do their job but they do have the heart of a fire fighter. They want to do the best  job they can and serve the public the best they can. They have the courage and determination of all fire fighters. They also have families that want them home at the end of their shift.

The fire fighter rescue and RIT day started in the classroom. There was steady conversation about the rescue of fire fighters and the importance of RIT. The discussion was around the difficulty to save our own. With their lack of resources they wanted to maximize their effectiveness with what they had. GlobalFire introduced to them two donated RIT Kits for them. Much of the morning session was dedicated to the RIT Kit and how to supply air to a downed fire fighter.

The other skills were a combination of drags and carries, up and down stairs, RIT haul systems, fire fighter assessment and deployment of RIT.

Deployment of RIT was a very interesting session. Teams were sent in to save a fellow fire fighter. Each scenario offered a challenge and each team would respond to it. In one evolution the crew was blacked out and traveled 60 feet to a downed fire fighter and then there was a structural collapse and the teams had to evacuate to save themselves. The Bomberos were asked to help simulate the collapse. They got plastic chairs and tables and made it rain debris on the evacuating crew.  The spectating Bomberos yelled and hollered and made a few noises that we are sure the locals were familiar with but to us it was very unique. After this first evolution it was announced that they all had to do the skills and what they did to the first group would be paid back. We find out that is what they wanted - they wanted it to be difficult- they want to train hard as they want to save fire fighters.