Rescue of Survivors and Recovery of Bodies • MSHA 2206 • November 1981 • June 2005
Main Objective • To provide the mine rescue team members with recommended procedures and recovering bodies following a mine disaster.
Supportive objectives: • The team members will: • Describe the factors that aid in determining the location of possible survivors during a mine emergency. • Describe the proper procedure for entering a refuge chamber or a barricade behind which survivors may be located. • Be aware of the possible physical and psychological condition of survivors during a mine emergency. • Describe the proper procedures for transporting survivors out of the mine.
Supportive objectives: • The team members will: • Describe the proper procedures for marking locations and identities of bodies that are found • Be aware of possible conditions encountered when recovering bodies following a mine disaster. • Describe the correct procedures for extricating, disinfecting, and tagging bodies, and placing bodies in body bags following a mine disaster.
Introduction • This training session is about how to rescue survivors and recover dead bodies from a mine in which a disaster has occurred. • Rescuing survivors might very well be the most rewarding part of your job as a mine rescue team, while recovering bodies is a task everyone hopes they never have to face. • There's little that prepares you emotionally for these two tasks. However, by learning about what you might see and conditions you might encounter during this sort of work, you should be better prepared to handle the situation.
Objective 1 • The mine rescue team members will describe the factors that aid in determining the locations of possible survivors during a mine emergency.
Locating Survivors • Before going into the mine to search for missing miners, there are several questions that you should have answered to: • How many miners are missing? • What areas were they supposed to be working in? • What areas were the escape routes in the mine?
Locating Survivors • Before going into the mine to search for missing miners, there are several questions that you should have answered to: • Where are miners likely to barricade? • Are there any refuge chambers in the area? • Are there any ventilation boreholes in the area where miners might go to obtain fresh air?
Locating Survivors • Survivors may be found in open passageways, perhaps along the escape routes, injured and unable to walk out of the mine. • They may be trapped behind falls or other obstructions, or trapped under a piece of equipment or debris. • Or, they may be found in refuge chambers or behind barricades.
Locating Survivors • When you search for survivors, it is important to both look and listen for clues. • Miners who barricade themselves into an area will usually try to leave indications of where they are barricaded to aid rescuers in finding them.
Locating Survivors • For instance, they might put a note in a dinner bucket. • Or they might draw an arrow along the side or mark a rail to indicate in which direction rescuers should look.
Locating Survivors • On the outside of the barricade itself, the trapped miners will probably have written down how many people are barricaded, along with the time and sate that they barricaded themselves.
Locating Survivors • Another clue to look for would be articles of clothing or possessions, such as the case or cover of a self-rescuer, dropped along the way. • While locating something like this would not indicate the direction in which the survivors were traveling, it would show that someone had been in that area.
Locating Survivors • When listening for clues, you should be on the alert for any noise, such as voices or pounding on rails or pipes. • When survivors are located, their location, identities (if possible), and condition should be reported immediately to the command center. • The command center can then send in a backup team with any equipment that may be needed, such as stretchers or breathing apparatus.
Locating Survivors • Also when survivors are located, the location, time, and date should be marked on the team’s map and marked on the side in the passageway where they were found.
Objective 2 • The mine rescue team members will describe the proper procedure for entering a refuge chamber or a barricade behind which survivors may be located.
Entering Refuge Chambers or Barricades • When you have located survivors in a refuge chamber or barricade, try to establish communications with them as soon as possible. • If you don’t get an response, don’t assume that the miners are dead; they could merely be unconscious. • If you do get a response, try to find out how many miners are inside and what condition they are in. • Then you will have a better idea of what medical supplies you may need when you reach them.
Entering Refuge Chambers or Barricades • Other questions to ask are: • Have they used their self-rescuers • And how long have they been inside.
Entering Refuge Chambers or Barricades • The safest procedure for getting survivors out of the refuge chamber or barricade is usually to advance the fresh air base to the refuge chamber or barricade by the quickest means possible. • Once the fresh air base is advanced, the refuge chamber or barricade can be entered.
Entering Refuge Chambers or Barricades • Sometimes, however, it may be necessary to rescue the survivors before fresh air can be advanced to them. • For instance, fresh air cannot be advanced to the survivors if a fire is spreading and moving in their direction.
Entering Refuge Chambers or Barricades • In these cases, an air lock should be established outside the refuge chamber or barricade before it is entered.
Entering Refuge Chambers or Barricades • The command center will determine whether to advance fresh air or build an air lock. The command center will make its decision based on all existing conditions in the area and whatever information is available on the condition of the survivors.
Entering Refuge Chambers or Barricades • It is decided to establish an air lock, the team will have to build a bulkhead with a flap in it as close as possible to the refuge chamber or barricade.
Entering Refuge Chambers or Barricades • You should try to keep the air lock small in order to minimize the amount of contaminated air that will enter the refuge chamber or barricade once it is opened. The air lock should be just large enough to allow all team members to move comfortably and to allow all their necessary equipment, such as a stretcher, to fit in.
Entering Refuge Chambers or Barricades • Once the bulkhead is constructed, the refuge chamber or barricade can be entered. • When entering the barricade, an opening large enough to admit the team members and a stretcher should be made in the barricade and covered immediately with canvas so as to keep the air within it as safe as possible. • When anyone goes through the air lock, every effort should be made to admit as little outside air as possible.
Objective 3 • The mine rescue members will be aware of the possible physical and psychological condition of survivors during a mine emergency.
TRIAGE SYSTEM • When several survivors suffering from physical and/or psychological trauma have been located, the accurate sorting of priority victims may mean the difference between life and death. • This sorting of victims is commonly referred to as a “TRIAGE” system.
Survivors can be categorized into three priority groups according to their condition or injuries: Examples of “FIRST” priority conditions: Airway or breathing problems Severe bleeding Deep shock TRIAGE SYSTEM
Examples of “FIRST” priority conditions (continued): • Unconsciousness • 2nd Degree burns covering more than 30% of the body • 3rd Degree burns covering more than 10% of the body involving hands, feet, or face • Inhalation of poisonous gases • Dismemberment • Chest injuries • Severe head injuries
Examples of “SECOND” priority conditions: • Multiple lacerations • Multiple fractures • 2nd Degree burns involving 15 to 30% of the body • 3rd Degree burns covering less than 10% of the body (not including hands, feet, or face)
Examples of “SECOND” priority conditions (continued): • Moderate shock • Moderate heat exhaustion • Back injuries with or without spinal injuries
Examples of “THIRD” priority conditions: • Mild hysteria • Abrasions • Minor bleeding • 1st Degree burns of less than 20% of the body (not including face, hands, and feet) • 2nd Degree burns involving less than 15% of the body
Examples of “THIRD” priority conditions (continued): • 3rd Degree burns involving 2% of the body • Fractured arm, hand, or foot • Mild heat exhaustion • Obviously dead (DOA)
TRIAGE SYSTEM (continued): • It is recommended that an EMT be a member of the rescue team, since he or she has the training to determine the extent of injuries, especially if there are several individuals injured.
TRIAGE SYSTEM (continued): • Ideally, the emergency medical services established on the surface should include physician above ground at the command center. • This physician could communicate with the EMT or team member who is attending those injured. • This is especially helpful for those victims who need immediate medical attention.
TRIAGE SYSTEM (continued): • If you ever find a survivor who has heavy debris on the abdomen, pelvic area, or legs, you must be extremely cautious when you remove the debris. • The rescuer must realize that the victims blood pressure to the critical area has been maintained by the pressure of the debris. • Once the debris has been removed, the victims blood pressure may drop sharply and death could ensue very rapidly. • If you encounter this type of injury, you should request directions from the surface on how to maintain the victims blood pressure.
TRIAGE SYSTEM (continued): • In all instances, whenever possible, victims should be stabilized before they are extricated. • One thing to remember when dealing with any injury is to remain as calm as possible. Sometimes when faced with a gruesome or unnerving sight, the best thing to do is take a deep breath and continue to breath fully and deeply until the job is done. • It helps to try to concentrate on the fact that what your doing is a “job” and that “job” is helping someone else to continue living.
PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS • Psychologically, when survivors are found, their behavior may range from apprehension to uncontrollable hysteria.
PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS • The best way of relieving psychological stress in survivors is to try to communicate with them as soon as possible. • Most importantly, the communication must be continued with the survivors. • If they lose this communication with the rescue team, they may feel abandoned and may try to escape to the fresh air base.
PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS • If you locate a survivor who is acting irrationally, it may be necessary to restrain him or her in order to protect the person from injury. • Nevertheless, whether survivors are showing signs of hysteria or not, they should never be left alone. • Every effort should be made to assure them that they will be helped.
PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS • Similarly, survivors should never be allowed to walk out on their own even if they appear to be in good shape. • They will need your assistance and support in leaving the mine • You may need to restrain an individual to prevent that person from “bolting” into fresh air as it is neared.
Objective 4 • The mine rescue team members will describe the proper procedures for transporting survivors out of the mine.
Miners Found in Open Areas • If survivors are found in contaminated or questionable air, they will need to be given breathing protection if they are to be transported to fresh air.
Miners Found in Open Areas • If a survivor is able to walk, he or she should be positioned between two rescue team members and guided out to fresh air. • If the person is unable to walk, a stretcher will have to be used to bring that person out.