Road rescue skills on show
Members of the Victoria State Emergency Service’s (SES) South Barwon Unit are heading to Tasmania this weekend to compete in the 2012 Australasian Road Rescue Challenge.
Twenty-two teams will pit their skills against each other in the challenge, which aims to display best practice in the field of road rescue.
The South Barwon SES unit are worthy contenders, having responded to almost 100 road rescue incidents in the last 12 months.
The team competed in the challenge for the first time last year. Team Manager Scott Clark said that had been a valuable learning experience.
“We placed seventh in the controlled category then. We’re hoping to do even better this year,” he said.
“We’ve been in training for four months. It’s been a massive commitment with a lot of training, but we’ve had a lot of support at State level and we’re looking forward to getting there.”
Teams will compete in three practical exercises, each involving a mock road crash rescue situation.
In the entrapped exercise, SES volunteers will extricate a dummy from a car that has been dropped from a crane to simulate a crash. In the controlled event, a live person will act as a victim within a car with a dummy also trapped underneath, forcing teams to allocate resources smartly to save both.
In the Immediate scenario, volunteers have only 20 minutes to rescue a live person from a simulated crash in which they have sustained a life-threatening injury.
Mr Clark said it was a test of a broad range of skills.
“The entrapped exercise, because you’re only dealing with a dummy, they can really crash it properly. Unfortunately, that’s a really good impression of what we are dealing with in real life.”
The South Barwon team will also attend a learning symposium on the latest technology and techniques in the field.
“Last year we came home and ran a workshop to share our learnings with nearby units, so it’s good for everyone.”