Friday, January 8, 2016

Up Close And Personal View Of Roosevelt Island NYC Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Member Assisting Bronx CERT In Fire Disaster Simulation - Do You Know How To Properly Use A Fire Extinguisher?

Roosevelt Island NYC Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member Frank Farance participated in a December 28, 2015 disaster simulation drill at Hostos College in the Bronx. Mr. Farance shares these photos and reports on the Bronx CERT Drill.

Bronx (New York City) Disaster Simulation for newly graduating CERT members. Consistent in drills over the years: MANY ADULTS DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER.

Use of a Fire Extinguisher is something people should really learn. And liquid flammables become even more dangerous when they are spread via improper use of an extinguisher.

If you have a grease fire in your kitchen and don't know how to put it out quickly (i.e., 1-2 seconds) with that 2.5 pound kitchen extinguisher, you are going to be out of propellant by the time you've figured out how to use the thing ... and you might have made the fire worse!

The first photo is a random victim who is wandering about, 

suffering from psychological shock: us existing CERT members were playing victims with different injuries and different roles - to make it harder for the graduating team.

The next four photos show what happens when you use a fire extinguisher improperly on liquid fires. The Responder is not aiming at the base of the flames (rightmost of three fires), but INTO the flames, which causes the liquid to spread,

and then they finally put it out.

But while they are putting it out, another Responder is making the same mistake in the middle fire, which results in a huge fireball.

COMPARE these photos to the first photo of the random person in a daze, look how small these fires are then, and now look how big they can get when the flammable liquids are spread around.

The next two photos show how to properly put out the fire, and it is extinguished in 1-2 seconds.

The next four photos should be obvious: if you're extinguishing a fire, pay attention to what's behind the fire:

that would be ME, I had dry-chem all over me.

Next photo is the randomly walking person receiving "psychological first aid" from a Responder,

i.e., hoping to stabilize them enough to get them out of the danger zone. To the left is an "electrified car", which has a body under it (see dummy's legs) and the car crashed into a utility pole with power lines on the car.

Although there isn't actual electricity in the car, if the Responder touches the car, the Simulation Controller pulls the person out of the "game" and they disappear ... hoping some other Responder will notice the missing person (this happens if your Buddy System breaks down). Then every time someone touches the car, they get pulled out of the "game", until someone in the response team finally figures out: Oh, The Car Is Electrified, Stay Away!

That night, my role was: I was a 47-Year Old Male burn victim with first and second degree burns on my face -- and I was trying to distract the emergency Responders (the people who are being tested in this simulation) from their actual jobs so they could come take care of me ... pretty much as it would happen in a real emergency.

Last two photos: the dummy next to me,

who was thrown from the car that hit the utility pole (he is triaged as a Black Tag, which means he's dead), and the group photo of the "victims team":

we had 9 "victims" distracting and faking and doing everything possible to make it difficult for the emergency response team.

A very good drill, everyone learned a lot!
The New York City Office of Emergency Management has more information on CERT Teams at their web site including how to become a member.

This video shows December 2013 Roosevelt Island CERT Team emergency

disaster training. Also, prior posts about Roosevelt Island CERT Team Tram Evacuation Drill and Traffic Control Training.