Monthly Drill: Rescue/Extrication Skills
By Lieutenant Scot Best
April 19, 2022

Ridge VFD firefighters gathered last evening for our monthly training drill. This month we worked on our rescue/extrication skills; stabilization, cribbing, air bags, and Hurst tools. The focus was safe and proper tool use, precision work, crew communications, and teamwork. We used several games to make this drill fun and educational.

The first game was the Lifting Maze. Firefighters had to maneuver the maze board so a ball could get from the starting point to the end. The rules for the crews were: use the various lifting tools available on the Squad (pry tools, cribbing, airbags, spreaders, etc.) to move the ball; no touching, banging, or blowing on the maze or ball to make them move; crib all lifts. The purpose was to practice stabilization skills with multiple types of lifts and tools.

The second game was Extrication Tool Jenga. The purpose was to refresh members on extrication tool operation, and to improve the firefighter’s physical skills with the tools. We stacked 4x4 cribbing and then worked with Hurst spreaders to remove the blocks. This drill helped our members work with our tools and focus on making small, careful, and precise movements.

The third game was the Egg Carry. This drill was used to teach how to “finesse” our tools by picking up (plastic) eggs without crushing them, and placing them elsewhere without dropping/breaking them.

All of these games emphasized the delicacy that may be necessary when combined with the brute strength of the rescue tools to prevent injury to trapped occupants of vehicles.