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Extrication "Quick Tip" #31 (Operating with THREE-PART 3-SQD FF)

  Well, we have made it to part 3 of our series. This installment covers the responsibilities and roles of the Squad Firefighter. I hope that over the last few weeks you have picked up some valuable information that is applicable into your department. If you didn't have a chance to go through part 1 & 2 of this series they are linked below. Although this series is covering our methods of operation on a Squad staffed at three, the information is applicable to various manpower levels and apparatus types. Do you have to be on a Heavy Rescue for this to work....Absolutely not. But enough of that, let's get this weeks tip started. 

 Exit vehicle with Irons and grab select hydraulic tool & extrication tarp

My backstep firefighter is incredibly important to our overall success and execution. Even with a staffing level of three, we have a layout/seat assignment for all calls. Regardless of call type, my FF will have the "heavy irons (consisting of a 8lb pig tool and halligan). From an MVC to a car fire, he will have these tools. As I stated in Part 1 (Sqd Officer), my FF will choose his hydraulic tool each day when we place our gear on the rig. He will exit the rig with the "heavy" irons, proceed to front bumper for hydraulics, and grab his selected tool and the extrication tarp.

Place tarp in action area

We run a extrication tarp on all pins and boy is it fancy. It's a 6 foot cut out of an old salvage cover and even has a sharpie #4 on it. It is my FF's responsibility to deploy it and it's placed next to his tool of choice in the front bumper. With my help feeding off the line, he will go towards the accident and place the tarp and tools.

 Secure vehicle power

In my opinion, this securing vehicle power is often overlooked. Many verbalize it during training, but push it to the wayside when things get bad. We must do what we can to get the power secure. Once the tarp is placed, my FF takes on this role. There will be times that access may not be possible. But if the battery is not secured, we must make sure that all rescuers arriving on scene know.

 Assist w/stabilization

If the vehicle is upright, typically the driver will handle placing the step chocks for stabilization. If stabilization will be advanced or time consuming, the FF will be assigned to assist with stabilization (ie. struts, setting up for lifting operations, etc.)

 Execute select extrication plan

We run our extrication methods in plans. Plan A, B, C and so on. Due to the speed and level of our entrapments, many times we are working on plan Z, but it's always good to have plans in place for varying situations. As you saw in Part 1 (Sqd Officer), I am responsible for determining the actions/plan. It's up to my FF to know the plans and be ready to put them into action in a moment’s notice.

Assist with removal of patient

We must remember that the reason we are there is the PATIENT. Let me repeat that. We MUST remember that the reason we are there is the PATIENT! Often crews get so enveloped into the operations and "cutting", they forget about our purpose. Our rig is advanced life support and so we conduct patient throughout the extrication sequence.  

 Thanks for following us for this 3 part series and we hope to see you up at FDIC for Gaining the Tactical Advantage. Wed 10:30-12:15 in room 238/239.

Part 1 Squad Officer
Part 2 Squad Driver
ISAAC FRAZIER is a Special Operations Lieutenant with St. Johns County Florida’s Heavy Rescue “Squad 4”. First due to the deadliest stretch of roadway in the nation, Frazier teaches from personal street experience providing tried and true tactics. Frazier is the owner of Tactical Advantage Training and creator of the course Tactical Extrication. Frazier travels nationally sharing his passion teaching fire and extrication courses. Frazier is a Fire Officer II, FL Paramedic, Special Operations Officer, Florida State Instructor, FLUSAR Tech, Diver, and FL Hazmat Tech.

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