Author Topic: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue  (Read 3585 times)

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2017, 07:16:39 am »
If I broke my arm again I would rely on my own resources and the people with me.

Offline BradW

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2017, 09:46:53 am »
We didn't want to call the rescue as we shouldn't have been there  :)

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How serious does an incident have to be, or become, before the matter of trespassing becomes less important than someone's ultimate well-being, or even their life?

Offline Laurie

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2017, 10:51:51 am »
I think it depends on where you are as much what the injury is. There must be places where a broken finger is potentially fatal.
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Offline paul

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2017, 12:31:42 pm »
Agreed. An easy self-rescue. Even substituting "common sense" or "foresight" for "coaching". Calling for rescue in a case like this would be the equivalent of calling for roadside assistance because of a flat tire... which happens all the time. Many drivers and many cavers, especially vertical cavers, take no responsibility for themselves and depend on the "trip leader" or cave rescue to resolve minor incidents. In such cases cave rescuers ought to make it clear to the "victim" that they are unqualified and should be ashamed of themselves.

Cave rescue in the UK is carried out by cavers acting on support of the Police who have the primary responsibility for inland search and rescue. Cave rescue is all about helping others who need help, and usually only other cavers can render that help. Luckily we have relatively few call-outs in the UK, especially in comparison to Mountain Rescue.

There is a tradition of not passing judgement on the reasons which ended up with a rescue team being called out in case it would deter someone inf the future from calling out for help when they really need it.

And in response to your previous comments, " enjoy the excitement, the politics, and the ego games of a rescue situation. Lots of them say that this isn't so, that they are selfless volunteers who care about nothing except the well-being of their fellow man. Lots of them are liars. " I don't think that when you are stood in the freezing rain on the side of a moor after having got out of a warm bed in the early hours of the morning, putting on cold and dirty caving gear from earlier in the day and wondering when you will get back to that bed before having to get up again at 6 am to go to work that "excitement, the politics, and the ego games of a rescue situation" is in the forefront of your thoughts.

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Offline Cave_Troll

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2017, 01:03:16 pm »
I had to call out the AA once for a flat tyre.
The AA man eventually had to use a sledge hammer to free the seized wheel nut.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2017, 02:11:42 pm »
There have been 3 times when me or others have considered calling out in the last 24 months.

The first, I actually called out my fellow teammates, All the Information pointed towards a potential callout situation.
 There was no callout on the board, but I knew where they were going.
 I'd been around in the morning and all the team were up and out of bed.
I spoke to the farmer mid evening, and asked him whether he thought the team had gone down in the morning. (which he did)
I then proceeded to ask advise from one of the controllers, and after a few shuttles up and down the hill, I'd worked out that they were neither in the hut nor in a pub.
 Together, we called the team out, typically as soon as the car lights were seen the first member of the team was heard.
 A false callout, I felt rubbish for dragging people out of bed, but I didn't hear many bad words about calling the team out. The experience has changed my attitude towards people who don't leave callouts though (they can wait until morning!)

The second, I received a call from a member of a team up at rowter farm, the team-member had exited Titan on a Sunday with an injured leg, but had managed to get himself across the hill towards the farm without incident. After the slow walk back (injured Leg) and a further 30mins-1hour wait the individual became worried about the rest of his team.
 I packed up a 70m rope into the car, with a stop and my SRT kit and drove to Rowter. I found the individual at the farm, and we proceeded (without rope) toward Titan, to check the entrance. as we arrived we heard someone coming up the shaft.
 It transpired that the person who lent them ropes had arranged the ropes such that there were two knot passes on Titan, this provided some "fun" for the team exiting whilst tired.

The Third, an infamous caver did not leave a callout, thus enacting my self-inflicted "don't callout till morning" rule.
 Morning arrived, still no sign, two people set out to check the layby and the mine, no ropes down the entrance but the car was still there.
 Much fun was had for the individuals going to check the mine, calling-out, but being delayed whilst details were corroborated. A similar call was made the night before, but by the individual, who required assistance down the hill. The individual was escorted/forced to A&E by an overland rescue team, leaving a distinctive car in the layby.

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2017, 02:59:39 pm »
The AA man eventually had to use a sledge hammer to free the seized wheel nut.

Can you use a sledge-hammer to free a stuck fresher Twebb?
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Offline alastairgott

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2017, 03:34:34 pm »
There is another view which may be relevant to the OP.

"Please could I have some rescue training because I'm going on Expedition".
 It's a logically sound proposition, but some people may believe that this training should take place as a matter of course.
 The question should be, when should this training take place and at what level of SRT proficiency should an individual be introduced to Rescue techniques.

At university this was typically a late second term and third term topic. So (I guess) within the first year of someone's caving "career". Unfortunately, non university cavers tend not to have their lives segmented by these terms, so how is it best to introduce these topics?

Offline andrewmc

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2017, 05:14:24 pm »
At university this was typically a late second term and third term topic. So (I guess) within the first year of someone's caving "career". Unfortunately, non university cavers tend not to have their lives segmented by these terms, so how is it best to introduce these topics?

The other consideration is that generally people are OK at what they normally do, i.e. 'normal' SRT. As soon as people go outside that they at first struggle (just watch someone trying to do something familiar in a new way or with a different type of equipment). Secondly people will inevitably be less competent in the panic/rush of a rescue situation. So actually I think any kind of complex rescue is a way, way harder skill to use in practice than simple SRT. The risk of screwing it up is potentially large, or even doing it safely but faffing so much/rigging everything into a cluster that they would have been better off just looking after the casualty and waiting for rescue...

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2017, 06:19:36 pm »
There is nothing that has not been involved in rescuing me -

Helicopter, Lifeboat, Fire Brigade, Ambulance, Cave rescue, HART Team , Fishing boat, Paramedics, Ambulance, Duncan Price. I have been taken to at least 4 different hospitals. I am an expert at being an idiot. I would still do my utter best to get out of the situation myself as I am fully aware what the complete and utter rescue overkill and ensuing bad publicity are like.

Offline glyders

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2017, 06:58:15 pm »
My worst self-evacuation (no jokes about curries) was in a group of three when I dislocated a finger. The hardest bit of that was changing gears on the drive to the hospital!
Luckily when leading a group, the worst I've had to deal with was an exhausted person from the first sump in Swildons (turned out he'd lied about eating breakfast). That was resolved with a lot of bullying on the flat bits, short-roping up scrambles and a haul up the pitch.

In the example of a badly twisted ankle, such that it cannot bear weight, I might well consider summoning help. That would be true on a hillside or in a cave. Helping someone who cannot walk to travel any distance will rapidly tire even a decent-sized group. I would certainly get them moving towards the surface if at all possible, and in fact a vertical pitch is likely to be one of the easier parts of that to accomplish.

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2017, 08:44:48 pm »
Agreed. An easy self-rescue. Even substituting "common sense" or "foresight" for "coaching". Calling for rescue in a case like this would be the equivalent of calling for roadside assistance because of a flat tire... which happens all the time. Many drivers and many cavers, especially vertical cavers, take no responsibility for themselves and depend on the "trip leader" or cave rescue to resolve minor incidents. In such cases cave rescuers ought to make it clear to the "victim" that they are unqualified and should be ashamed of themselves.

Cave rescue in the UK is carried out by cavers acting on support of the Police who have the primary responsibility for inland search and rescue. Cave rescue is all about helping others who need help, and usually only other cavers can render that help. Luckily we have relatively few call-outs in the UK, especially in comparison to Mountain Rescue.

There is a tradition of not passing judgement on the reasons which ended up with a rescue team being called out in case it would deter someone inf the future from calling out for help when they really need it.

That's a foolish tradition. No one has a right to be rescued, and no one has a right to ignore their personal responsibilities. If it is obvious that gross ignorance or negligence was the cause of the incident, then the "victim" should be told in a very staightforward way that they have put or are putting themselves at risk. A judgment-free rescue only encourages more ignorant behavior.

Paul, are you claiming that the forty-seven million cavers and emergency personnel that show up at a cave rescue are all there because they want to help the victim?

Offline droid

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2017, 08:50:03 pm »
Paul meant *public* criticism.

CRO are pretty good at putting people's hats on straight about their failings, from what I've heard.
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Offline cavemanmike

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2017, 08:51:31 pm »
 a few years ago a small group where going into swildons when one of the group slipped and broke his collar bone. the same small group got him up the short 20 and out to a&e in no time .
like i said it depends on who you are with.(and pain killers hep)

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2017, 09:00:59 pm »
Paul meant *public* criticism.

CRO are pretty good at putting people's hats on straight about their failings, from what I've heard.

I see. That's good to hear.

Offline Ian P

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2017, 10:29:01 pm »
Quote:

 "The question should be, when should this training take place and at what level of SRT proficiency should an individual be introduced to Rescue techniques."



As a continuous process of learning, from how to put a harness on continuing on to more advanced techniques ?
Where do people get their SRT/ ladder lifeline training from now ?  Rescue type skills and other "advanced" skills could just continue from there ?

I suppose as Andrewmc says, people are generally comfortable with what they know and are happy with their skill set.

Accessible training can only help people increase their skill set ?

Training grants are available for clubs, but I don't think they are very well taken up ?

Maybe a change of the grant system, whereby individuals can apply for a small grant to go towards a training workshop of their choice. Intro to SRT, rigging for SRT, Ladder and Lifeline skills, surveying, boulder moving, photograpy, first aid etc etc.

Various training workshops put on by ANYBODY who has the necessary skills. (Obviously "necessary skills" could be subjective  !)

As a "relative" newcomer to the sport I would have liked the opportunity to go on a couple of workshop days, and would have been happy to pay a small fee (£40 - £50 per day ?)

Peer teaching has an important place in British caving, but can sometimes be difficult to access, and teaching people can be very time consuming, and requires a bit of personal sacrifice.

(Self disclosure : As a part time instructor I am "pro training" but none of the above has anything at all to do with getting more work. Banging nails into bits of wood is far more profitable !! :-))

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #41 on: November 14, 2017, 02:53:27 am »
What's wrong with self-training? SRT is not complicated. Since this is a thread about responsibility, why can people not take responsibility for their own skills?

Peer training is appropriate too of course, but there is more than enough published material, online and in print, to allow anyone (along with practice and experimentation) to become proficient without ever having a moment's personal instruction from anyone. As evidenced in my own case. I'm timid in physically dangerous situations and tend toward defeatism, pessimism, and cowardice. But no one taught me SRT or rescue techniques. I learned them on my own because I wanted to be safe and capable of dealing with difficult underground situations.

So training should take place whenever a person decides to take responsibility for themselves. And no matter how they are trained they have no business on rope underground until they accept that responsibility.


Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #42 on: November 14, 2017, 07:44:45 am »
Pretty sure people join clubs because they want to progress into caving and to learn how to become a caver; the obvious source of coaching is therefore within a club. Clubs that do not provide structured or progressive tutorials to new members are missing a trick and should raise their game.

Offline BradW

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #43 on: November 14, 2017, 08:32:24 am »
What's wrong with self-training? SRT is not complicated. Since this is a thread about responsibility, why can people not take responsibility for their own skills?
Nothing if that's what someone prefers. Some people prefer others to help them. And some are happy to pay for that. Cavers have the freedom to choose. Long may it stay thus.


Offline cavemanmike

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2017, 08:34:33 am »
I agree with some of what Kenilworth is saying.are club has a srt training program and the last part of that training involves rescue techniques.
Although rescue techniques Are just touched on not everyone carry it on after the initial training but the ones that do are the ones that show leadership skills.not everyone what's to take responsibility for anything some people just want to follow

Offline Ian P

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #45 on: November 14, 2017, 09:40:10 am »
What's wrong with self-training? SRT is not complicated. Since this is a thread about responsibility, why can people not take responsibility for their own skills?
Nothing if that's what someone prefers. Some people prefer others to help them. And some are happy to pay for that. Cavers have the freedom to choose. Long may it stay thus.

 :thumbsup:

Offline cooleycr

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #46 on: November 14, 2017, 10:16:58 am »
I expect that many of us have at least an understanding of basic First Aid techniques, and would be able to assist colleagues (or oneself), making them comfortable and hopefully preventing further complication, but in these days of people making stupid claims against every Tom, Dick and Harry, would this cross one's mind when attempting treatment/ self-rescue, or would we leave it to those most proficient?

What about if there are members of a Cave Rescue Organisation present on the trip, should they act alone, in good faith, or call their colleagues to assist?

Drawing analogies is good, however, as already raised, each and every situation is, though invariably similar to others, unique to that situation.
Everyone who drives a motor vehicle should have the basic understanding/ ability to change a wheel, however, one should NEVER attempt this on a motorway when it is the offside that is affected - you have to call the rescue company of your choice, and the same applies to caving situations - sometimes you have to shrug off the bravado / embaressment and JFDI.

Would you buy a house without knowing, in an emergency, how to isolate the water supply, the gas, the electrical circuits etc.?
Basic things that everyone should know, the same as applies to caving, climbing, putting on a condom...

I can see that, perhaps initially, there is a certain feeling of "I am a Cave Rescuer" as there is in any similar position in any walk of life - I, for example, am the Building Incident Controller at my place of work and the first time I was called upon, I threw on my high viz. (emblazoned with BIC on the front and back), grabbed my duty clipboard and raced to the scene (complete with imaginary "blues and twos") and set to it.
And yes, it was exciting.......the first time.....and then it became, as previously mentioned, not so much fun in the snow, in the middle of the night and then up again at 05:40 for work.
It takes dedication to be a volunteer and everyone involved should be applauded, NOT derided.

Would I call the local C.R.O. if the situation arose? - hell yes!
Would I feel embaressed when people I knew (and often caved with) turned up to help me? - probably, but definately glad.
Would they take the piss ? - I would bloody well hope so!

So the most important issue to focus on here, is that the C.R.O. maintain details of any call-out / rescue and in the long term, we, as cavers, benefit from the experiences and lessons learned.




Offline Kenilworth

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #47 on: November 14, 2017, 11:54:29 am »
What's wrong with self-training? SRT is not complicated. Since this is a thread about responsibility, why can people not take responsibility for their own skills?
Nothing if that's what someone prefers. Some people prefer others to help them. And some are happy to pay for that. Cavers have the freedom to choose. Long may it stay thus.

I agree completely. Only let's not confuse the right to choose with the "right to be trained" or the right to let someone else be reponsible for our ultimate safety.

Offline paul

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #48 on: November 14, 2017, 12:14:57 pm »
Paul, are you claiming that the forty-seven million cavers and emergency personnel that show up at a cave rescue are all there because they want to help the victim?

Mostly and definitely Yes.

Usually there may be a single member of the Police in attendance (as I already said rescue is their responsibility but they quite rightly pass on the task to those who are competent to deal with the incident, i.e, cavers). Obviously if an ambulance is required at a later stage then it will be requested. Sometimes Fire and Rescue personnel will be involved on the surface, maybe to provide lighting or to help pump excess water. But the vast majority of those who turn up by far are cavers.

They are cavers who want to help other cavers when they need that help. Usually they are just trying to put something back into caving and live near a popular caving area, and are all too aware that on occasion, they too might be grateful that some fellow cavers are only too willing to turn up and help them if they ever need it.

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Offline Peregrina

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Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2017, 12:23:43 pm »
I expect that many of us have at least an understanding of basic First Aid techniques, and would be able to assist colleagues (or oneself), making them comfortable and hopefully preventing further complication, but in these days of people making stupid claims against every Tom, Dick and Harry, would this cross one's mind when attempting treatment/ self-rescue, or would we leave it to those most proficient?

I believe first responders have been successfully sued in the USA a few times, despite the Good Samaritan laws that are supposed to prevent that. Legal issues were discussed on first aid courses I have done and if I remember correctly the take-away message was that you will be fine unless you do anything really irresponsible that worsens the situation, and act within your level of training. You should have asked for consent before giving any aid to a conscious person, which I imagine helps protect you.

The instructors on my first aid course in the US also suggested, if helping strangers, that you don't actually tell anyone your name and then quietly leave when emergency medical services turn up.