Six members of CARS attended a 2-day course on how to rescue trapped firefighters. The Mayday! Firefighter Down course is being taught around the state by instructors from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and was developed by the Henrico County Fire Department. Topics included are the legal and operational requirements for a VIOSH "2in/2out" program and how to meet this standard, self-rescue techniques, flashover recognition, how to train and use a rapid intervention team, tactical considerations for RIT's, building construction for firefighter safety, firefighter accountability, and other safe fireground operations.

Here are some pictures of our members as they attended the various drills...

Charlotte Menk and Kori Hudson make ready for a long day of practical scenarios.

Some of the practical scenarios are re-creations of events leading to the actual death of a firefighter and is named after the city the incident occurred in. In the Columbus drill, students are sent in to rescue a firefighter who has fallen through a floor and is trapped. The students are taught to use teamwork and rope to pull the firefighter through the hole to safety.

In the "Denver Drill", a firefighter becomes incapacitated inside a narrow coset space with an opening to the outside. Two rescuers are sent in, one braces himself against the wall and acts as a wedge while the other lifts the firefighter to the window sill. A third rescuer reaches in and in unison, all three lift in increments to move the victim outside.

Of course, lessons taught in FF-I are re-emphasized and practiced. Here, an incapacitated firefighter is handed out a 2-story window to a waiting rescuer.

The most intimidating of all the drills was the "ladder bail". Here, students are taught to bail out a window onto a ladder and swing themselves upright and then slide the beams to the ground. By hooking your right arm under the 2nd rung and then using the left hand to grab the ladder, this evolution is simply and safely performed. The purpose of this drill is to teach students how to exit a building quickly in case of flashover or collapse.

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