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grimmie

Drop Zone Emergency Preparedness

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I am posting this in response to some issues being discussed in some other threads in the incidents forum.

Every single drop zone in the world WILL have an incident of some kind. It can be as simple as a broken ankle and as severe as a canopy collision killing both jumpers.

Every single drop zone is situated in it's own unique setting for emergency response. My former DZ has an emergency evac helicopter on site and a firehouse across the street with full time firefighter/paramedics and three fire trucks and an ambulance stationed there. I have jumped at other DZs that have volunteer ambulance attendants drive 15 minutes to help.

Every single drop zone is run by different types of DZOs. Some are prepared for the worst and others could give a rat's ass and just call 911 and hope everything works out.

Every single FAA FSDO has either a good or bad working relationship with the drop zone.

Every single police department, sheriff or state police operate differently in each drop zone's jurisdiction. Some DZs have a great relationship and some a bad one.

Every single drop zone has a great pool of talent, such as police, firefighters, EMTs, nurses, etc., to help the DZO organize an emergency plan for injuries or fatalities at the DZ.

It's not the job of the USPA or the FAA to prepare your drop zone for an emergency. THAT responsibility rests solely with the DZO.

Responding emergency workers usually know NOTHING about skydiving, how parachutes work, the different mechanisms of injury (swoop, two out downplane, stall, canopy collision, etc.) and that is important in getting proper treatment at the scene.

I urge all of you to ask your DZO what plans are in place, and what training by the drop zone has been given to local responders AND to all of the DZ staff.

I have hosted training for Skydive Arizona and the Eloy, FD, Skydive Perris and Cal Fire, AMR ambulance and Mercy Air, and Skydive Elsinore and Cal Fire, Mercy Air and AMR and of course at my own DZ with Oceanside FD and REACH Air helicopter and Mercy Air and the local police departments in all of those DZ jurisdictions.

I also worked with the San Diego FSDO to improve relationships with the FAA during an incident.

These classes have greatly improved emergency responses and have helped jumpers get quick, efficient care without much issue with the local responders.

Speak with your DZOs to see what plan, if any, is in place.

I'm available on WhatsApp (I'm in Costa Rica) or by email to assist any of you with training.

Rich Grimm
tsunamiskydivers@gmail.com

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Great post. As you say, every DZ is a local operation, and should have good relationships with all the outside local authorities also.

Every DZ needs to have a dedicated drop zone safety officer in charge, whenever operations are proceeding. Either the Chief Instructor or one of his deputies. This happens at most DZs.

Back in the day, we initiated a specific DZSO rating. Needed a C licence minimum. There was an exam, which if passed, meant you had the rating. To hold the rating though, you needed to hold a current first aid certificate, issued by Red Cross or similar.

Holders of the rating were able to run the DZ in the absence of the Chief Safety Officer, and had all his authority, but for disciplinary sanctions, which were limited to 24 hours until the CSO could be informed.

The training involved all aspects of running a DZ, including investigating accidents and incidents, checking gear and paperwork for visitors, overseeing students, briefings, liaision with other airfield users and local authorities.

Sounds like a lot, but normally most of these systems were in place and didn't involve a lot of time on the day.

No DZSO or CSO present at the DZ? No jumping.

Nurses, EMTs, paramedics and rescue personnel weren't thick on the ground, especially at smaller DZs.

The DZSO rating was a stepping stone to higher ratings like instructor.

And a Tandem Instructor (as they are known these days) was actually a Tandem Master, and not an Instructor at all. Instructor was a much higher rating. A Tandem master didn't need to know anything about first aid, running a DZ etc etc.

With accidents most times, the professionals didn't like us messing too much with injured people apart from treating for shock, unless it was a life or death situation.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Take a look at the first aid section here and see a response from about 5 years ago. something about what should be in a first aid kit.


That said, the lack of leadership from the USPA is and has caused much of the sorry state of affairs as far as how your going to get treated if you suffer a casualty on a DZ. Some places drill and have trained individuals on staff and also have responsible, well thought out people that know what they are doing. Other places have no plan, no people, and just your lucky if they even call 911.

Too many DZ'z operate under the just call 911 cause we don't want anyone near someone who has been injured. This has in fact led to more than one drop zone being rightly sued, just ask Al King, BECAUSE tha injured person was literarily left alone in the middle of the field, while nearby trained and certified individuals were never notified,...even the individuals family members who accompanied the person were told to keep away. Obviously an insane response and the DZ is still facing a lengthy lawsuit and Judgment.

Lack of leadership as compared with thousands of other organizations and events that actually plan for contingencies. But apparently in skydiving the myth that DZs' are beyond the reach of even the most basic common sense still abounds. For too long the membership has been the victims of an organization that intentionally neglects their responsibility.

Every skydiver should know and understand who and what the plan is at a DZ. Too many horror stories from too many hurt people over the years. Too many individuals on a power trip as well. I have personally seen and witnessed trained people being told to mind their own business again and again,....this has to stop. all in the name of "Protecting" the involved DZ. And the USPA stands ideally by, doing nothing,...
Brett Bickford Did Not Commit Suicide.

He is the victim of ignorance and faulty gear. AND as in the movie: "12 Angry Men," of an ignorant and callous jury.

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Interesting point of view ChrisD.
I wonder if sometimes the fear of liability may make people deviate too far in a particular direction. "Let's not touch the injured guy, just call 911, don't want to be sued for doing the wrong thing!" ... which could then happen anyway for doing so little.

You mentioned in the Lodi Oct 14, 2018 accident thread:
Quote

When the EMT's, First Responders, medics, cops, arrive, we will either push you out of the way, unless your personally known to them, or you will be asked to move aside, unless of course you are actually performing "good" CPR.

As far as the gear, most responders don't give a fuck. We all have nice scissors that cut thru nylon straps like butter.

This subject of protecting gear at an accident scene is inane, stupid, and detracts from the injured individual.

Give it a rest, get out of the way, and spend time preventing injuries in the first place as compared with attempting the inane by protecting gear.



Seriously, that gets into grey areas.
What if the guy is conscious and says "Don't cut my effing gear.... take 20 seconds to unthread the leg straps."
Do you?

There are going to be plenty of cases where you might decide something is medically necessary, or that the injured guy doesn't realize the extent of his injuries. What sorts of criteria do you have?

Hope you aren't just jerks who don't give a shit about gear.

There are going to be cases you want to take full control. Like the guy trying to stand up and walk it off while there are concerns about spinal injuries. And does religion and believing in imaginary creatures matter? "I'm in a weird religion... I don't allow transfusions, or for paramedics to cut off any gear without my express permission. God forbids it!"

The normal strategy I guess is to get straps undone before the EMT's arrive....

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grimmie

A rig never needs to be cut off. The only thing that needs to be cut sometimes are lines that wrap an injured jumper that can't be moved.

It just takes proper training.



Sooo, I beg to differ. For the record, I have a strong background as a career Firefighter/EMT. BLS(basic life support) is just that, ABC's... The bottom line, if your not qualified to give aid, wait until the qualified people arrive. Easier said than done I know. While your likely to be covered under the "good Samaritan law" you really could do more harm than good. That really is the BIG take away here.

grimmie, how do you remove the rig when you suspect serious cervical/back injury? This isn't a trick question and anyone with any experience will tell you that every call is different. You can drill it all day and still need to think on the fly when it comes time to act.

You will know when the rig needs to come off quickly. Splinting is pretty straight forward, bleeding control is pretty straight forward. maintaining a patent airway on an unconscious person with a traumatic injury takes some know how to prevent further injury. Those last three words should stay with you.

Now put it all in to context: What types of injuries are we likely to encounter? Lower extremities from bad landings most of the time. Once you get into the core and head region is where it matters most.

Was the incident witnessed? This will help immensely. The ability to quickly differentiate between a medical and a trauma call could be all the difference.

Discuss.

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timski



grimmie, how do you remove the rig when you suspect serious cervical/back injury?

Discuss.



Well, the rig has to come off. The question is whether straps need to be cut in order for that to happen.

The simplest thing is to unthread the legstraps from the friction adapters (this can be done before EMTs arrive on scene).

That leaves the MLW over the shoulders. With the three ring release housings, no hook knife is going to cut through those easily, so either the rig is lifted off the victim or the backboard is slid between the victim and the rig and then the victim is lifted out of it.

This isn't speculation, it happened to a friend of mine. Swoop gone bad. The legstraps were undone before EMTs arrived. The rig was carefully and gently lifted off him by the EMTs. He was tangled in the canopy lines from tumbling after impact. Three lines had to be cut. That was it for damage.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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obelixtim




Every DZ needs to have a dedicated drop zone safety officer in charge, whenever operations are proceeding. Either the Chief Instructor or one of his deputies. This happens at most DZs.



I've been to about a dozen DZs on the west coast. Only one had a GSO, and only on the weekends. It certainly does not happen at most DZs from what I've seen. A DZ is a business intended to make money. I dont think many DZOs will see the value in posting someone out at the landing area to watch a bunch of licensed jumpers who by definition are authorized to jump without any supervision at all. I am not saying I agree with it. I think there is value in having a GSO, but I dont think many (any) DZOs are willing to pay for one and fun jumpers are not going to agree to a price increase to cover one.

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Westerly


I think there is value in having a GSO, but I dont think many (any) DZOs are willing to pay for one and fun jumpers are not going to agree to a price increase to cover one.



For what it's worth, if all other things were equal, I would rather go to a DZ that has a GSO or something equivalent and pay more per jump. Maybe not at a small single 182 DZ, but at a reasonable size/traffic DZ the extra cost per jump would be small.
Max Peck
What's the point of having top secret code names, fellas, if we ain't gonna use 'em?

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Westerly

***


Every DZ needs to have a dedicated drop zone safety officer in charge, whenever operations are proceeding. Either the Chief Instructor or one of his deputies. This happens at most DZs.



I've been to about a dozen DZs on the west coast. Only one had a GSO, and only on the weekends. It certainly does not happen at most DZs from what I've seen. A DZ is a business intended to make money. I dont think many DZOs will see the value in posting someone out at the landing area to watch a bunch of licensed jumpers who by definition are authorized to jump without any supervision at all. I am not saying I agree with it. I think there is value in having a GSO, but I dont think many (any) DZOs are willing to pay for one and fun jumpers are not going to agree to a price increase to cover one.

The DZSO/GSO doesn't need to spend his time standing around watching people. He can jump all he wants. Most days he will have little to do.

The DZ regulars are his eyes and ears, and, on a good well run DZ, are part of the safety system, and can take an active part in it. Everyone is responsible for what happens on a DZ, because everyone is affected by events on it.

Everyone is a "safety officer" if you like.

I would be pissed off if one of my senior jumpers noticed and ignored a potential issue.

The DZSO is just the "go to" person for anything to do with questions/answers anyone has on DZ etiquette, or to take charge and give direction if there is an incident or issue that crops up.

Its not that difficult. Most senior jumpers are capable of taking on some responsibility. It doesn't/should never be, about money.

And no DZ makes money by being shut down/sued off the planet, or having a bad reputation.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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obelixtim



The DZSO is just the "go to" person for anything to do with questions/answers anyone has on DZ etiquette, or to take charge and give direction if there is an incident or issue that crops up.



Is not that the S&TA's job? The S&TA is overall responsible for all aspects of safety and training for all fun jumpers, students and instructors at the DZ.

When I think of GSO I think of a guy standing at the landing area all day, changing the wind landing direction arrow and yelling at anyone who messes up the landing pattern or does something unsafe on landing. In other words, they are the canopy traffic police. That's what I've seen GSOs do. Anything that happens in the air or anywhere other than the landing area is usually handled by the S&TA or a senior instructor/ IE. The GSO may or may not be present during said discussion of events. That's just what I have seen though.

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A rig has three points to be undone. Two leg straps and a chest strap. You can undo them and wait for a backboard.

When I host the training sessions, it is for the professionals. Not folks at the DZ. I show them a mechanism of injury video, the gear and how to get it off without cutting. Also helmet types and removal techniques to hold c-spine. We also suit a jumper up in a wingsuit so they can see what that adds to the issue.

We put a person in a rig and cover ways to backboard and c spine in various positions.

I have developed these techniques after treating far too many injuries at various drop zones over the years.

Signed,Former DZO, Exotic boogie organizer and 31 year firefighter/EMT

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grimmie

A rig has three points to be undone. Two leg straps and a chest strap. You can undo them and wait for a backboard.

When I host the training sessions, it is for the professionals. Not folks at the DZ. I show them a mechanism of injury video, the gear and how to get it off without cutting. Also helmet types and removal techniques to hold c-spine. We also suit a jumper up in a wingsuit so they can see what that adds to the issue.

We put a person in a rig and cover ways to backboard and c spine in various positions.

I have developed these techniques after treating far too many injuries at various drop zones over the years.

Signed,Former DZO, Exotic boogie organizer and 31 year firefighter/EMT



Sorry man, but I have a big issue with your home brew opinions and training ideas.

So will any family, First Responder, or any individual responsible for another's treatment that isn't in the book. You want to "train" others to follow your point of view? AGAIN, your all alone on this one. You have neither the experience or training to create your own treatment protocols, nor do you have any authority to do so. But yet you persist in framing your opinion as some kind of sanctioned activity in a vain attempt at creating some kind of plausible conduct that does nothing to help the injured person. Again, your eloquent attempt to shift the care of the injured to protect gear is insane. You have your priorities messed up. Spend the same amount of time elsewhere, because believe me, I have seen the result of this kind of insanity many times,.... you will end up in court, alone. Attempting to explain why the damage you caused to a defenseless individual was so important. And when you start to explain you felt that saving the Gear was more important,.....Good luck with that.

Again, prioritizing gear instead of caring for a casualty sends an insane message. Your priorities are screwed up man!

Why do so many of you persist in saving gear, the can be easily repaired, is just a heap of nylon, Why do you continue to place such a high value on equipment, that isn't even yours, as compared to the pain and suffering, potential irreparable damage to someone else's health, and a delay of care? All to protect gear??? The logic is inane.

ESPECIALLY when this same amount of effort could be spent on actually doing something good?

And your comments about First Responders, and Medics don't know anything about skydiving is just irresponsible and irrelevant. Knowing how to care for an injured person has nothing to do with the activities of skydiving other than the MOI. Like I said, my scissors cut nylon like going thru butter. And if in my opinion a harness is in the way of actually caring for a fellow skydiver that harness is history and you will end up arrested if you interfere. You have NO RIGHT to interfere with another's care to save a nylon strap.
Brett Bickford Did Not Commit Suicide.

He is the victim of ignorance and faulty gear. AND as in the movie: "12 Angry Men," of an ignorant and callous jury.

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Quote

Sorry man, but I have a big issue with your home brew opinions and training ideas. So will any family, First Responder, or any individual responsible for another's treatment that isn't in the book.


I'm a first responder, and I'd take Rich's ideas over yours any day - especially since "removal of rigs" isn't in "the book." (either the one I was issued or others I have read.) He's thought it through, and more importantly seen it implemented in practice.

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billvon

Quote

Sorry man, but I have a big issue with your home brew opinions and training ideas. So will any family, First Responder, or any individual responsible for another's treatment that isn't in the book.


I'm a first responder, and I'd take Rich's ideas over yours any day - especially since "removal of rigs" isn't in "the book." (either the one I was issued or others I have read.) He's thought it through, and more importantly seen it implemented in practice.



Your entitled to your opinion. I will continue to provide care as I have done since I was first certified in the 70s'. As compared with your theories and opinions.
Brett Bickford Did Not Commit Suicide.

He is the victim of ignorance and faulty gear. AND as in the movie: "12 Angry Men," of an ignorant and callous jury.

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Actually, first responders have no clue about the mechanism of injury as it relates to skydiving. When I show them video of canopy collisions, canopy stalls, two out wrap landings, swoops gone bad , freefall collisions and other mayhem, they are surprised and also informed.

No one is going to let anyone die at the DZ by not cutting off a rig.

You can argue all you want and continue to use your 70's training.

I'll continue to train the responders and treat injured skydivers the way I, and a host of other professionals have done, to ensure the best care possible.

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ChrisD2.0

***A rig has three points to be undone. Two leg straps and a chest strap. You can undo them and wait for a backboard.

When I host the training sessions, it is for the professionals. Not folks at the DZ. I show them a mechanism of injury video, the gear and how to get it off without cutting. Also helmet types and removal techniques to hold c-spine. We also suit a jumper up in a wingsuit so they can see what that adds to the issue.

We put a person in a rig and cover ways to backboard and c spine in various positions.

I have developed these techniques after treating far too many injuries at various drop zones over the years.

Signed,Former DZO, Exotic boogie organizer and 31 year firefighter/EMT



Sorry man, but I have a big issue with your home brew opinions and training ideas.

So will any family, First Responder, or any individual responsible for another's treatment that isn't in the book. You want to "train" others to follow your point of view? AGAIN, your all alone on this one. You have neither the experience or training to create your own treatment protocols, nor do you have any authority to do so. But yet you persist in framing your opinion as some kind of sanctioned activity in a vain attempt at creating some kind of plausible conduct that does nothing to help the injured person. Again, your eloquent attempt to shift the care of the injured to protect gear is insane. You have your priorities messed up. Spend the same amount of time elsewhere, because believe me, I have seen the result of this kind of insanity many times,.... you will end up in court, alone. Attempting to explain why the damage you caused to a defenseless individual was so important. And when you start to explain you felt that saving the Gear was more important,.....Good luck with that.

Again, prioritizing gear instead of caring for a casualty sends an insane message. Your priorities are screwed up man!

Why do so many of you persist in saving gear, the can be easily repaired, is just a heap of nylon, Why do you continue to place such a high value on equipment, that isn't even yours, as compared to the pain and suffering, potential irreparable damage to someone else's health, and a delay of care? All to protect gear??? The logic is inane.

ESPECIALLY when this same amount of effort could be spent on actually doing something good?

And your comments about First Responders, and Medics don't know anything about skydiving is just irresponsible and irrelevant. Knowing how to care for an injured person has nothing to do with the activities of skydiving other than the MOI. Like I said, my scissors cut nylon like going thru butter. And if in my opinion a harness is in the way of actually caring for a fellow skydiver that harness is history and you will end up arrested if you interfere. You have NO RIGHT to interfere with another's care to save a nylon strap.

I don't think he's seriously suggesting that a severely injured jumper can be cared for properly by DZ personnel. Nor do I think anyone is going to jump all over an EMT doing his job.

They wouldn't have the equipment anyway. That is the job of the professionals, and I think people with the basics in first aid would not get involved with anything but treating for shock and giving reassurance to someone with a suspected spinal or head injury.

But standing around with your finger up your arse while someone is lying injured and you are waiting for the EMTs isn't a hell of a good option either.

But a broken leg might be met with a bit of arguing if you pull out your butter cutting knife.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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> I will continue to provide care as I have done since I was first certified in the 70s'.

Really? Wow. My first training was via PADI in the 1980's. Since then I've been to about two dozen new training classes, refreshers and talks. CPR alone has changed at least half a dozen times I can remember. There was a precordial thump, then that went away. Then the rescue breathing to compressions changed. Then they stopped recommending you check for pulse. Then the anatomical landmarks changed. Then they commonized child and adult. Then they made rescue breathing optional. During that whole time, you haven't changed what you do? (not a criticism, really just curious.)

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billvon

> I will continue to provide care as I have done since I was first certified in the 70s'.

Really? Wow. My first training was via PADI in the 1980's. Since then I've been to about two dozen new training classes, refreshers and talks.



Heh, heh, I think ChrisD might just be short a comma.

"I will provide care, as I have done since..."
vs.
"I will provide care as I have done since..."
:)

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I do try to refrain from a CV. Never claimed my spelling was the greatest eithr. But I have attended more continuing education classes over the years than I care to remember.

My point still stands, people come first,....HECK,... gear isn't even on my list. And ya ought to see the crap we used to have to remove ski boots. Just sayin,.... Heck even grabbing a jack the ripper once on a victims harness did the job before you all knew what was happinin,....
Brett Bickford Did Not Commit Suicide.

He is the victim of ignorance and faulty gear. AND as in the movie: "12 Angry Men," of an ignorant and callous jury.

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I've always understood there was a basic rule on this. If you are hurt but awake and aware enough to get your gear off, either by yourself or with help from friends before the EMTs arrive, good for you. If not, it's going to be cut. Most everyone I know just accepts that. It's only gear and they do not and should not care how much it costs.

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I definitely second this.
With the exception of possible spinal injuries.
But in that case, there is the risk of a dumbass, stubborn (or shocked) jumper resisting his gear being cut, thereby causing as much dangerous movement as just cautiously removing it.

That being said, very good OP, thank you Grimmie!

P.S.: I have seen a very good Youtube video about how to safely remove gear, as part of an EMT training, but I cannot remember who did that. Anyone has a link?

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