Kildare and Waterford City regional
A long standing annual Civil Defence exercise took place for its 15th year on March 9th in Waterford between Kildare and Waterford City Civil Defence. The scenarios included First Aid, Communications, Auxiliary Fire Service, Search and Rescue & Recovery, and under the direction of Waterford City’s Civil Defence Officer Paul Nolan and Kildare Civil Defence Officer Patricia McNeela.
Volunteers training in First Aid learned the different approaches and techniques in carrying out CPR on an adult and a baby. Members were also trained on how to use a Defibrillator and how to deal with concerned family members or members of the public in terms of their intervention in such situations.
The Search and Rescue was carried out in an old school on the outskirts of Waterford City, this school is used by the Civil Defence on a regular basis for training exercises. Search and Rescue Teams were tasked with a scenario where 8 to 10 people have been reported injured and unaccounted for inside the building. With limited information available to the teams, each team had 45 minutes to locate casualties, treat them and rescue and recover them from the building. Injuries sustained by some of the casualties were leg, arm and head injures while elderly casualties sustained additional injuries. Instructors were happy that Communications with the Communication techniques in this scenario among team members.
A thorny, muddy and hilly wooded area was the scene for an outdoor Search & Communications exercise. Information was placed in various parts of the wood and teams used Navigation techniques to locate this information and relay the information back to exercise control. Instructors were satisfied that leaders ensured teams were able to navigate through the wooded area and communication formed an integral part of the exercise.
One of the most difficult scenarios was undertaken by the Auxiliary Fire Service who had to enter a smoke filled building to search the building, locate casualties and recover them from the building.
Civil Defence Officer Patricia McNeela said this particular exercise proved to be the more difficult exercise of all the scenarios. “As this was an occupied building, the main obstacles in this exercise were the stairs and limited vision due to heavy smoke. Other difficulty encountered was the layout of the rooms and individual rooms inside. Safety is the most important thing for all AFS members and there is a special procedure which they must stick to during this search”.
AFS teams were using Breathing Apparatus for this exercise; however McNeela states that while the Civil Defence does not use BA within the Organisation, this is only used on the day as part of training and for this exercise.
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