Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS) crew commander, based at Leon Ferreira Fire Station in Boksburg, Phillip Jacobus “PJ” Reid, has been appointed a judge for the 2018 World Rescue Challenge to be held in Cape Town from October 21 to 26.
The World Rescue Challenge is an international firefighters’ competition.
The World Rescue Challenge is the premier global rescue event, and is hosted by different countries each year.
It is hosted by the World Rescue Organisation, and the 2018 edition will be co-hosted in conjunction with the South African Medical Rescue Organisation (SAMRO).
The teams from across the world compete in extricating a patient from a wreck of a vehicle at a staged accident scene.
The teams will be assessed on three safety categories: incident commanding, technical rescue (using of tools to take out a patient) and on medical technique they use. They will also be assessed on professionalism, speed and care.
The categories include general approach to the scene, survey of the scene, casualty care and assessment and communication among the team and the patient and also the assessors. All these have to be done within a specified time-limit.
Reid stressed that although the main aim in an emergency is to extract the patient from danger, safety of involved emergency personnel is also key. He said being selected as an assessor is the highlight of his career spanning 26 years.
“These kinds of competitions are good for training and having a readily deployable team of emergency personnel.
“My shift is already benefiting from it as we are currently doing training on how to extricate a patient from a motor vehicle accident safely and on time,” said Reid.
He added that mastering communication at the scene is one of the key things in emergency situations.
“Sometimes you get to vehicle accident scene, and find that there is no one trapped but there is person still sitting in the wrecked car. We constantly train our crew to know how to talk the patient out of such situations,” he said.