Thursday, 27 October 2016

Decisions, Decisions

The pager goes and the voice over suggests there's a cliff faller at Tilly Whim, although a call to the Operations Room says it's for a lady who has fallen on the coast path.

I text the full team and drive to the station, thinking about the job. 

On arrival, one team member is prepping the cliff trailer but it's not a cliff job. So do we take it or not?  I decide we will - it might be useful.

The team arrives - its a work day and some can't make it. Have we got enough or do we need back up? Given the details to hand, I decide we have enough and we proceed.

En route I talk to the Operations Room and it becomes apparent that the ambulance hasn't arrived yet. We will be first on scene and I decide to ask the Durlston Park Rangers to assist with possible crowd management and 4x4 help with moving our kit and they are waiting when we arrive.

On scene,  I decide to send a couple of the team down first to assess the casualty whilst others set up the stretcher and a hold fast - its a steep slope and I decide I'd rather have a hold fast in place in case we need it later.

The ambulance can't give us an ETA and the lady is in considerable pain but I decide not to attempt to move her onto our stretcher just yet - I'd rather not move her before we have to.  Instead I think about how we are going to extricate her from her current location.

I weigh up the options and decide that it warrants a helicopter;  I request one and the control room agrees. It'll be 22 minutes.

I decide to keep some of the team suppporting the causalty and ask others to prepare the landing site.
And so the decision making goes on, all the way through until we stand down. We train for all eventualities, and our OICs (Officers in Charge) undertake extra training in order to be competent to run a rescue. But there are some decisions that cannot be rehearsed and need to be made, often under pressure and often at short notice, on the spot and at the time.

We always have a debrief afterwards and discuss what went well and what could have been done better and we look to put that learning into our next job.

Our aim acheived: a safe and successful rescue and a happy team.

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