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Un dia con los Bomberos

The San Clemente and Bahia fire departments conducted a training today in el centro in San Clemente Ecuador.

The purpose of the exercise was to practice scene safety, chain of command, vehicle stabilization, patient care, patient extraction from a vehicle and a quick patient assessment.

Being new to the San Clemente Fire department, I was quite impressed with the knowledge of the instructor, the chief from Bahia.  He has trained in the US and is a well rounded trainer.  He was training with proven procedures in chocking, blocking, raising and stabilizing the vehicle using simple wood blocks.  We use the same process in the US.

We then went on to train how to remove the patient from the vehicle.  This is a delicate procedure that ensures the C Spine (Cervical Spine = neck and back) stay in alignment to prevent further injury to a patient during extraction.

The “art” of scene safety and chain of command were practiced a couple of times during the scenarios.

It was fun to get my feet wet again with a familiar topic.  In the past, I was a training officer for High Country Fire Department, so it was nice to be a participant, rather than an instructor.  Anyone in San Clemente or Bahia should feel quite comfortable with the Fire dept’s ability to manage this type of situation.  We even trained the police what role they should take in this type of incident.  Im not sure they paid attention, but you gotta try!

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Preplan ideas

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Setting up a safe scene.

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The start of using the cribbing to stabilize the vehicle.

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Stabilized vehicle.

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Patient after removal.

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The second scenario / practice.

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Making sure all 4 points are stabilized sufficiently.

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Me holding the backboard for the patient to be loaded onto.

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The C Spine collar being put on.  This is always difficult.  They had 1 size of a collar and they will reuse the it for a real life scenario.DSCN2252

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Eida was a good patient.

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“Does it hurt here?”  … “How about here?”
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As is in any real life emergency in South America, the bystanders are closer than the Emergency personnel sometimes, this guy was filming for quite a while.

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Onlookers!

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Chicas wanting a photo.

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This exercise scenario had a patient under the vehicle.  We raised the fire truck up about 7 inches to gain clearance to remove the patient.DSCN2263

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Group photo time.

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Here is a picture of the truck from Bahia.  Notice the “Donacion Gobierno Japones” painted on the truck.

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Ok, this next section is mainly for my fire fighter friends.  We all commented about “how hard our truck was to figure out”, or “how easy it is to work”

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Here is an example of a “hard to figure out pump panel”

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Clockwise or counterclockwise?

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Ok, I get the “vacuum” part, but what is the knob for????

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This panel is pretty easy to figure out.

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And, the sleeping quarters / changing room.  The bundles in the back of the pictures are mosquito nets.  Eat your heart out Timberline Station 3!

It was great to train with these guys and I am quite confident that they can handle many emergency situations here in San Clemente Ecuador.

I cant decide which term I like the best.  Bombero or Firefighter.  Both are great things to be.

They even issued me gear to wear in the future.  I cant wait to help out my new community.

Figuring it out…  1 bombero at a time.

5 thoughts on “Un dia con los Bomberos

  1. I didn’t see any extrication tools. When I joined High Country, we had farmers’ hand-operated hydraulic tools on the old (1980 IH) engine. Do they have those?

  2. Yeah, there was one hand jack that we used to jack up the truck to put in the cribbing. We had to move the jack to provide room to pull the patient out from under the truck. They have one set of extrication gear, but I think it is in the town 1/2 hour away.

  3. Trucks seem to be a little smaller. Have fun firefighting. I wish I was there to respond with your food, I miss my hugs

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