Structural Collapse Rescue

Aims of the Course

To provide the student with the necessary knowledge, skills and insight needed to safely and effectively co-ordinate and or participate in a Structural Collapse and Rescue. This is one of the most dangerous types of emergency response activities that can be performed, it exposes the team members to many hazards for which they have little training and virtually no experience to combat mostly due to exposure. The application of the most current SCR techniques and safe methods of operation are vital to the accomplishment of that mission.

Course Duration

Rescue should not be attempted by individuals who have not been formally trained. Local Rescue Authorities, Fire Departments, Departments of Defence, Emergency Medical Services, etc. may be able to provide information on Structural Collapse and Rescue training, practice, equipment and organizations that are actively looking for members to employ within their organization. The Structural Collapse and Rescue course will take between 2 to 3 weeks to complete, this will include theory classes as well practicals which will be carried out within and outside the college premises.

Course Description

Urban search and rescue (USAR) involves the location, extrication, and initial medical stabilisation of victims trapped in structural collapse due to natural disasters, mines and collapsed trenches. The causes of USAR incidents can be categorised as accidental and deliberate. Structural collapse incidents can comprise unstable or collapsed structures in an unsafe position. Usually collapse incidents leave voids inside the debris that can result in numerous casualties trapped under large amounts of very heavy and often unstable debris.

USAR services can be faced with complex rescue operations within hazardous environment. Incidents experience shows that people are often found alive many hours and days after rescue operations commence, and the corresponding services should be planned accordingly.

Rescue technician will need to gather facts and make decisions on the course of action. For example, what types of structures are involved, the extent of damage, the layout of the building(s) involved, what hazards are present (such as downed power lines, natural gas leaks, flooding, animals, hazardous materials, or a structure susceptible to additional collapse during the rescue), and what rescue personnel and equipment are available. Structural damage can be categorized as light, moderate, or heavy.

Techniques for searching for potential victims are based on identifying possible locations of victims, or areas of entrapment. Areas of entrapment inside damaged structures are called voids. Trapped victims are removed and medical aid rendered as necessary. The triage system can be used to prioritize medical aid with those needing immediate attention aided first. Removal or stabilization of debris is often necessary to remove victims.