Rats.co.nzSpecialist First Response Team to the Canterbury Region


Good morning of training!


James organised training for Saturday morning 11 August. It started out as a typical morning - people arriving in "RAT time" (i.e. about 10 minutes late) most with takeaway coffees in hand. Ended up being 15 of us which is a great turn out.

And then the fun began... James took a couple of team members away to be "patients".  Now many of us think we know the old CHCH Women's Hospital pretty well by now but no...James had found an area that only Rats of the four legged kind had been before.  A reccie team located the missing "workers" in a roof space 
Roof space Mita looking after Geoff
Roof space Mita looking after Geoff

pretty quickly but then we had to work out how to get them out through the very small 
manhole.  A standard RAT 2 line system was rigged and used for both rescuees.  One (Chloe) 
was able to be convinced by Jude that she could walk over to the manhole and then the system used as a back up as she helped herself down the ladder.  The second casualty (Geoff) needed to be stretcheredfor which we used the wrap around style evac utilising the vertical lowering straps.

Just as we were thinking about patting ourselves on the back for a job well done I got a call that there was another "job" that might need a dog and could I get Cairo ASAP and report to another area of the hospital.  Geoff (miraculous
Window lower Chloe & Ross
Window lower Chloe & Ross
recovery) and Jude were sent to help me. I set Cairo off at the double doors that I though signified the start of our search area and Cairo immediately started jumping around barking.  I thought he was just over-excited and tried to settle him down by heading down the corridor and sending him into rooms.  Jude and Geoff were asked to follow behind checking for doors etc where there might not be any scent (at least I have learnt something in the last few years) and when we reached the end of the area we sort of looked at each other going "huh" if there was someone here we should have found them.  As I tried to get Cairo to recheck some of the rooms he looked at me with his "you must be kidding I have already looked here" look at and took off back to the double doors, pushed them open and proceeded to alert at a door that was closed.  He was right and grabbed his reward toy with a slight "dork, tried to tell you this before" look.   The door could not be opened as the "patient" has collpased against it but we were getting some verbal response.  Brian quickly worked out we could access the room from the level above.  An improvised anchor was created by putting a solid door, that the SAS conveniently has ripped off it's hinges, across the doorway.  Three team members were sent down and assessed the patient, stretchered them and they were then lowered to the ground. Thanks to Geoff for providing the entertainment with his very impressive commando style entry into the window - some may suggest that he did not actually intend to kick the piece of wood jamming the window open thus closing it just as he was trying to go through it.  Times like this we really needed the video! 
Window lower Geoff about to commando in window
Window lower Geoff about to commando in window

Finally we were told we had to all get out of the hospital without using the stairs so a system was set up in an emergency exit stairwell and we all abseiled down.

A great mornings training with lots happening.  It is mornings like this that will mean we continue to have such a good turn-out to training with everyone getting to play a part.

View Slide Shows Extrication from Roof Space old CWH Aug 07
                          Lower out window Old CWH Aug 07




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Updated Wednesday, 22 December 2010