This can be used to exercise rescue skills, teamwork, proficiency and ingenuity. This originally was a pry bar drill. Truck Captain, now Battalion Chief Wells has since modified this drill to use with the truck company and the Lewisville Fire Department has expanded the use of this drill department wide.
The object of the drill is to lift an object (railroad tie, ground ladder, etc.) 12 inches from the starting position without spilling any water. Assign a weight to the object so that the participants don’t attempt to lift the object themselves and so that they realize the need to use all means available to them…..other than just picking the object up with their hands.
To set up the drill, place a ladder or other object on the ground with an aluminum can under one corner. The can causes instability and the participants should recognize this and immediately stabilize the object prior to lifting. Also, any damage to the can during the operation could simulate a crushing injury to a possible victim. Next, place a cup of water, filled up to about 1/8 inch from the top on a flat surface of the object. If using a ladder, place a small piece of plywood across the ladder, from beam to beam to set the water on.
Instruct the team performing the drill to use whatever means available to stabilize the object, lift the object 12 inches and shore the object as they go, without spilling any water. Once the object is lifted and stabilized, the drill is over and a discussion about the operation should take place so that learning occurs. If any water spills or the can sustains additional damage, the techniques being used are inadequate, and the exercise should be discussed and re attempted.
The common approach to this drill is for the participants to automatically go for hydraulic rescue tools or air bags. Make the imaginary weight such that they could use simple machines or lifting systems and explain the options for doing so. Emphasize the need to shore as they go so they don’t lose any progress that has been made.
Attached are a few pictures of the drill being conducted with a couple of our new firefighters. In this particular case the drill is being used to build teamwork. This also works well with teams, setting up friendly competition.