No one likes to think about the possibility of a disaster. The truth is, though, that things can and do go wrong all of the time, especially in high-risk jobs or environments. Rather than turning a blind eye to the potential for a crisis, you should start planning now to ensure you’re equipped to respond to a disaster and know how to keep yourself safe so you don’t go from a rescuer to another victim.
Here are 7 ways to stay safe during a rescue mission:
A lot of safety measures relating to rescue missions are actually actions that need to take place before a disaster strikes or a rescue is underway. One of the most important ways to ensure rescue safety is to make sure you and your team are properly trained ahead of time. Look for places like Sydney Rescue (SydneyRescue.com.au/confined-space-training/) that will provide training specific to your environment and needs.
Another important pre-disaster safety measure to take is to ensure you have an action plan. The middle of a crisis is not the time to start trying to formulate rescue protocols or procedures. Instead, evaluate your setting and the most likely scenarios you will have to face, and develop a disaster response plan now.
- Proper Tools
When mounting a rescue mission, you should always make sure you’re equipped with the proper tools to help you navigate any obstacles you may encounter. The best way to do this is to assess your unique circumstances, determine the most likely disasters you may be facing, and extrapolate from there what you may need to ensure a safe and successful rescue. Tools can include things like flashlights, crowbars, non-conductive wrenches, and so on.
- Personal Safety Equipment
You should also make sure you have the right safety equipment on hand to keep yourself safe during a rescue mission. Specific equipment will vary depending on circumstances but can include things like steel-toed boots, fire-resistant jackets, eye protection, masks, and hard hats. Be sure to assemble your equipment in one easily-accessible location so you can act quickly when a crisis occurs.
- The Right Team
A rescue mission should never be mounted by a single person. Even if circumstances dictate that only one person can enter a specific area at a time, you still need to assemble a support team to help troubleshoot problems and provide backup in case the rescuer needs to help themselves. Organize a team now and ensure all members have had proper training, have the right safety tools and equipment, and are familiar with operational protocols before a rescue mission needs to take place.
- Good Communication
Team communication is vital during a rescue mission to ensure everyone is apprised of the situation as it develops. This will make it easier for the team to assist each other in case something unexpected happens. Good communication can only be accomplished with good equipment. Don’t rely on cell phones as a means of communicating during a rescue. Instead, have radios, walkie-talkies, or another form of short-range transmitting devise – preferably hands-free – as a backup in case something happens to impede cellphone signals.
- First Aid Kit
And finally, the staple of all rescue missions and disaster response operations: the first aid kit. This might seem like an obvious inclusion, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t think to have their own medical supplies on hand during a rescue. Make sure you have a well-stocked, comprehensive medical kit in an easily-accessible location and notify all team members of where it’s located.
Also, keep in mind that things like medicines, salves, and even bandages will expire. To ensure your kit is effective when the time comes, be sure to check it periodically – every 6 months is ideal – to make sure everything is still in good shape and hasn’t expired. Throw away anything that is out of date, and be sure to replenish your kit once it’s been used so you don’t find yourself lacking medical wraps or cold packs the next time you need to mount a rescue mission.