by Latoya Burnham
A large part of the Roving Response Team is now even better equipped to effect rescues from high places.
That’s because last weekend 20 of them received refresher training in knots and rescue at the Barbados Rifle Association’s club house, Paragon, Christ Church.
Team member Ricardo Patrick explained that refreshers in the numerous skills required of the unit were nothing new, but said it was all important for the overall effort.
“People see us around, but a lot of the time they don’t know that there are a lot of different things that we can do and are required to do.
“It is important that we learn these knots because they are essential to most of what we do,” said Patrick, adding that on Sunday it was crucial to the rescue a number of team members were learning.
He explained that the rescue involved the injury of someone on a roof, and with the aid of a ladder and stretcher, the team was responsible for bringing the individual to safety on the ground for treatment.
“It required the processing of that person, then the back board stretcher was brought into play, then the knots to secure the stretcher and then they lower the person to the ground using the ladder.
“With this training, if someone gets into trouble on a roof, we can aid in that rescue,” he said.
The particular style of rescue, Patrick said, was one used by the California Fire Service and was taught to himself and teammate Stevenson Elcock on a recent training course.
He added that a number of the other members did not get a chance to learn the intricacies of the technique, so the training session at the weekend began with a refresher in knots in order to lead up to the teaching of the rescue technique.
“Sometimes we get to accidents and other emergencies before the fire and the police and this knowledge helps in those early moments. It helps us to be efficient in what we do,” Patrick noted.
No room for error
“When you are out there in the field there is no room for error. The majority of these guys are able to pick up information relatively quickly. We train tying these knots with our eyes closed because if you are in a well or somewhere with no light, you have to know what to do.”
Secretary of the team, David Binks added: “We’ve done radio message, first aid/CPR, incident command, rope work, fire fighter training, chainsaw training because we have to do a lot of work during the hurricane period.
“We see what we do as very essential because right now we end up at a lot of accident scenes before other emergency officials because we are always on the road, always on call. These guys are volunteers who do it for the love of it. We don’t expect to get anything out of it but the satisfaction of helping,” said Binks.
He said there was only one female on the roving team currently but they would welcome additional applications and expressions of interest.