Monthly Drill: Rescue/Extrication Skills
By Vice President / Lieutenant Scot Best
February 27, 2023

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

The first station 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 station 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 station was ring cutting. This drill was used to teach how to carefully remove a tight ring from a patients finger. We learned to use various tools and techniques, to include; lubrication (dish soap), rubber-band removal, vise-grip squeeze, and Dremel cutting.

All of these stations 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.