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Surface Water Rescue
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Surface Water Rescue

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  1. Surface Water Rescue

  2. Environments Rivers Streams Canals Pools Lakes Gravel Pits Storm drain systems Causes Weather changes Overconfidence No PFD Cramps Submerged debris Boat collisions General Background

  3. General Background • Most incidents preventable • Essential Practices • Know how to swim • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) • Training

  4. Water Temperature • Body cannot maintain temperature in water <92oF • Heat loss occurs 25x faster than in air

  5. Water Temperature • Immersion can lead to hypothermia • Hypothermia can lead to • Inability to self-rescue • Inability to follow simple directions • Inability to grasp line, flotation device • Sudden immersion, laryngospasm, drowning

  6. Water Temperature • Personal Flotation Devices • Slow heat loss • Less energy expended for flotation • Heat Escape Lessening Position (HELP) • Head out of water • Body floating in fetal position • 60% heat loss reduction • Huddle together in groups

  7. Basic Rescue Techniques • REACH • THROW • ROW • GO ALWAYS WEAR YOUR PFD!

  8. Basic Rescue Techniques • Never wear your Structural Turnouts for water rescue ALWAYS WEAR YOUR PFD!

  9. Moving Water Some parts of the Yakima River and some irrigation canals

  10. Moving Water • Most dangerous water rescue • Requires proficiency in: • Technical rope rescue skills • Crossing moving water • Defensive swimming • Use of throw bags • Shore-based and boat-based rescues • Ability to package patient in water

  11. Recirculating Currents • Develop as water moves over uniform obstructions (rocks, low head dams) • “Hydraulic” forms, moves against flow • Recirculating water traps people against object

  12. Recirculating Currents DROWNING MACHINE

  13. Strainers • Partial obstructions that filter water • Downed trees, gratings, mesh • Creates unequal force across itself • People become pinned water’s force

  14. Strainers • Attempt to swim over object • Do NOT put feet on bottom

  15. Foot/Extremity Pins • Walking in moving water over knee depth ALWAYS is hazardous! • Foot, leg may become entrapped • Person can be knocked below surface by water’s force • Extremity held in place by water’s weight, force

  16. Intakes • Height is no indication of danger • All dams may have recirculating currents • Intake grates serve as strainers

  17. Avoid entering water except as last resort! Cover mouth, nose Protect head, keep face out of water Do NOT attempt to stand up Float on back, feet pointed downstream Steer with feet, point head toward near shore at 45o angle Water moves slower on inside of bends Look for obstructions Eddies on downside of objects may flow slowly upstream, moving you toward river’s edge Moving Water Self-Rescue

  18. Flat Water This is what most of the water in the Tri-Cities qualifies under.

  19. Flat Water

  20. Factors Affecting Survival • Age • Position underwater • Lung volume • PDF use • Water temperature • Mammalian diving reflex ???

  21. Factors Affecting Survival • PFD Use • 89% of all boating fatalities are related to lack of a PFD • PFDs should be worn when working in, on, or near water • Swimming pools, flash floods can be water hazards even in arid areas!

  22. Mammalian Diving Reflex Water <68oF Bradycardia, intense peripheral vasoconstriction Blood, oxygen shunted to core organs, circulated very slowly Hypothermia Slows metabolism Conserves oxygen Only protective if it occurs BEFORE cardiac arrest occurs Factors Affecting Survival

  23. Cold Water Drowning YOU’RE NOT DEAD UNTIL YOU’RE WARM AND DEAD!

  24. Location of Victims If the victim has left the surface of the water, we need to identify a Last Seen Point (LSP) so Dive Rescue can take action quickly on arrival

  25. Location of Victims • Interview witnesses from the spot that they witnessed the accident • Interview witnesses separately

  26. Location of Victims • Identify • Last Seen Point • Number of victims • Timeline

  27. Location of Victims • In flat water, location of average patient under average conditions: Within a radius equal to water depth • Example: • Water is 10 feet deep • Patient will be within a circle with a 10 foot radius centered on spot where patient went down

  28. Location of Victims • In moving water (most of our local water does not qualify as moving water), patients will be within 100 to 150 yards downstream • Common locations: • Deep holes • Eddies downstream of large objects • Strainers

  29. Rescue vs. Recovery • Time submerged • Age • Physical condition • Known/suspected trauma • Water temperature • Estimated time for rescue/removal

  30. In-Water Patient Immobilization Assume cervical injuries in drowning victims until proven otherwise

  31. Phase 1: In-Water C-spine Stabilization • Splint victim head, neck with arms • Roll victim to face-up position • Assure open airway • Maintain position until cervical collar applied

  32. Phase 2: C-collar Application • Primary rescuer maintains airway, c-spine • Second rescuer sizes, applies collar • Second rescuer secures patient’s hand to patient’s waist

  33. Phase 3: Backboarding • Maintain airway and manual c-spine • Submerge board under patient’s waist • Allow board to float up to victim • Secure victim with straps

  34. Phase 4: Removal • Move to extraction point • Extricate patient head first • Pass from water to rescuers on land