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Experienced search and rescue personnel have found the search procedures listed below to be effective.

1. Begin the search by shouting something like, "If anyone can hear my voice, come here." If any victims respond, give them further directions such as "Stay here" or "Wait outside" (depending on the condition of the building). Be sure to ask victims for any information they may have about building damage or about others trapped in the building.

2.Be Systematic. Use a systematic search pattern to ensure that all areas of the building are covered. For example:
Bottom-Up-Top-Down Searching from the bottom of the building up and/or down is well suited to multi-story buildings. Right Wall/Left Wall. Moving systematically from one side to the other is well suited to single -floor structures and avoids repetition.
The wall is the rescuer's lifeline. If you or your partner become disoriented, reverse your steps, staying close to the wall until you get back to the doorway. Throughout your search, maintain voice contact with your partner so you do not get separated. Using a CB radio and a channel provided by the Command Post, also maintain communication with a Search & Rescue buddy outside the building.

3.Listen Carefully. Stop frequently and just listen……..for tapping sounds, movement, or voices.

4.Triangulate. Triangulation enables rescuers so view a single location from several perspectives. Three rescuers, guided by victim's sounds, for a triangle around a designated area and direct flashlights into the area. The light shining from different directions will eliminate shadows that could otherwise hide victims.

5.Use The Buddy System. Working together, two rescuers can search a structure more effectively and provide an additional measure of safety to each other. Buddies should also use a web belt to connect one another, especially in dark or smoke filled areas.

6.Mark Searched Areas. Marking searched areas prevents duplication efforts and identifies where rescuers are and have been. Make a single diagonal slash on or next to the door just before entering. Make an opposite slash, (creating an "X"), when all occupants have been removed and the search of that area is finished, the four quadrants of the "X" can be used to indicate the initials of the searcher (left quadrant), the time/date of the search, (top quadrant), personal hazards, (right quadrant), and the number of victims still inside, (bottom quadrant). Use a zero if no victims are found. Put a box around the "X" if it is not safe to conduct search and rescue efforts in the room or building.

Following these steps will avoid duplication of effort and will help rescue operations. Use lumber crayon to mark your information.



Search Completed Dangerous, do not enter


Rescues involve three primary functions:

1. Creating a safe rescue environment. Creating a safe rescue environment may involve liting out of the way, using tools to move objects, shoring up walls, and removing debris.

2. Triage or stabilizing victims.

3.Victim's removal. Search and rescue teams will remove victims immediately from moderatly damaged buildings, after head-to-toe triage assessment and treatment.

The goals of victim rescue operations are to:

1. maintain rescuer safety.

2. Triage in lightly damaged buildings

3. Stabilize (airway, bleeding, and shock) and evacuate as quickly as possible from moderately damaged buildings, while minimizing additional injury.

None of these goals can be achieved without first creating as safe an environment as possible prior to beginning extrication. There are, therefore, certain precautions that CERT rescuers must take to minimize the risk involved in rescue efforts.

Know Your Limitations

Many well-intnetioned volunteers have been injured or killed during rescue operations simply because they did not pay attention to their own physical and mental limitations. As a CERT rescuer, you must know your limits and monitor your condition. Take time to eat, drink fluids, rest and recuperate so you can return with a clear mind and refreshed energy. Remember: Fatigue leads to injury.

Follow Safety Procedures

Always protect yourself by wearing and/or using the safety equipment required for the situation and following established procedures, including:

1. Working in pairs.

2. Never entering an unstable structure.

3. Following recommended procedures for lifting and carrying.

Lifting should always be done in a way that protects the rescuer's back from strain or other injury. To lift safely:

1. Bend your knees and squat.

2. Keep your head close to your body.

3. Keep the load close to your body.

4. Keep your back straight.

5. Push with your legs.

Never put your own safety in jepordy. You can only be valuable as a rescuer if you remain healthy and uninjured.



Identify Tool and Equipment Requirements

Rescue tools may be anything that can be used to find and reach victims or move large objects out of the way. Tool and equipment requirements will vary somewhat depending on the type of disaster and rescue requirements. Identify probable tool and equipment requirements during planning so that appropiate tools and equipment will be more readily available when needed.

Leveraging And Cribbing

When a large object such as a collapsed wall or heavy debris needs to be moved in order to free victims, leverage and cribbing may be used.

1. Leverage is obtained by wedging a lever (pole or other long object) under the object that needes to be moved, with a stationary object underneath it to act as a fulcrum. When the lever is forced down over the fulcrum, greater force is obtained to lift the object.

2. A crib is a framework of wooden or metal bars used for support or strenghening. Box cribbing means arranging pairs of wood pieces alternately to form a stable rectangle. In a disaster situation, debris may be available to use for cribbing.

Leveraging and cribbing are used together by alternately lifting the object a little (using the lever) and placing cribbing materials underneath the lifted edge to stabilize it. The process should be gradual: "Lift an inch-crib an- inch." When leveraging and cribbing one end of an object, make sure that you are not creating an unstable condition at the other. You may have to leverage and crib both ends.

When sufficient lift is achieved, remove the victime, reverse the procedure, and lower the object. Never leave an unsafe condition.


Removing Debris

When you must remove debris in order to locate or extricate victims, a "human chain" may be used. Have volunteers line up so that they can hand down debris from one person to the next, away from the rescue site. The chain should be located so as not to impede victime removal or restrict any path of travel.

Removing Victims

Basically, there are two main methods of removal that rescuers can employ to get victims out of a structure. They are:

1. Self-removal

2. Lifts and drags

Self-Removal Or Assist

Ambulatory victims may be able to get out, with or without assisstance, once obstacles are removed. Even when a victim is capable of self-removal, provide assistance and support as the victime vacates the area to avoid the possibility of additional injury.

Lifts And Drags

If a victim cannot get out on his or her own, size up the situation to determine the most appropiate means of removal. The extrication method selected depends on the number of rescuers available, the strength and ability of the rescuers, the condition of the victim, and the stability of the immediate environment.

DO NOT USE THESE TYPES OF VICTIM REMOVAL. If you suspect a closed head, neck or spine injury. Victims with injuries to the head or spine should be fitted with a cervical collar, stabilized and on a backboard before removal.

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