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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure

Rescue of a casualty from unstable ground

TRAINING SPECIFICATION

Knowledge and understanding

Control measure element Learning outcome

Access and egress

Understand:

  • The need to plan and implement rescue paths for access and egress for rescues on or near unstable ground

Safe system of work

Understand:

  • Put in place a safe system of work, which is capable of recovering casualties and emergency responders
  • The methods or equipment that can be used to recover casualties and emergency responders
  • That specialist resources may be required to provide or advise on the equipment and safe system of work appropriate to the type of unstable ground

Spread the load

Understand:

  • The methods and equipment that can be used to spread the load, reducing weight and pressure
  • That spreading the load may help to stabilise the casualty’s position before rescue activity

Stabilise and extricate the casualty

Understand:

  • The need to stabilise the casualty before rescue activities commence
  • The methods and equipment that can be used to stabilise and extricate a casualty
  • What precautions should be taken when extricating a casualty from mud or unstable ground
  • When it would be beneficial to request the attendance of a technical rescue team
  • The need to check that the casualty is not entangled below the surface or their limbs in an unexpected position before extrication
  • When it is necessary to prevent the casualty from walking or standing, and instead evacuate them in a horizontal position and hand them over to medical responders

Practical application

Control measure element Learning outcome

If carrying out a rescue on or near unstable ground, plan and implement rescue paths for access and egress

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Plan and implement rescue paths for access and egress

Ensure personnel working around an unstable surface are secured using an appropriate safe system of work

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Put in place a safe system of work that is capable of recovering casualties and emergency responders
  • Consider the use of a rope recovery system

Consider requesting specialist resources to provide equipment and safe systems of work appropriate to the type of unstable ground

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Request specialist assistance to assist with appropriate equipment and safe systems of work for the type of unstable ground

Use appropriate equipment to access and extricate a casualty from unstable ground

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Select equipment that can be used to access and extricate a casualty

Consider spreading the load to reduce the risk of unstable ground

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Avoid movement on or adding pressure to unstable ground if possible
  • Consider spreading the load to reduce weight and pressure – this can include removing unnecessary equipment or adjusting the position of emergency responders
  • Use appropriate equipment to assist with spreading the load

Consider stabilising a casualty before commencing rescue activities

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Stabilise the casualty to prevent further their further deterioration
  • Use appropriate equipment to stabilise the casualty

Ensure that caution is exercised when using tools to extricate a casualty from unstable ground

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Take care when extricating the casualty
  • Reduce the effects of a vacuum in mud or similar unstable ground
  • Consider requesting a technical rescue team
  • Avoid the use of excessive mechanical force
  • Avoid digging close to a casualty

Check the casualty for entanglement or unexpected limb positions prior to extrication from unstable ground

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Before extricating the casualty, check for:
    • Entanglement
    • Limbs being in an unexpected position

Consider preventing the casualty from standing or walking after extrication from unstable ground, and their need for medical attention

Demonstrate the ability to:

  • Prevent the casualty from standing or walking after extrication to avoid post-rescue collapse
  • Evacuate the casualty in a horizontal position
  • Hand the casualty over to medical responders for treatment