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Operational Rescue

Operational Rescue: Avoiding The “Welfare Mentality” Of A Reliance Of First Responders To Get You Out

Recently, the tragedy in Oklahoma got me thinking that all the “prepping” in the world will not do the individual prepper a bit of good if they are not able to evacuate the structure they are in at the time of the disaster.  I will call it a disaster, but it could be an “event” (bombing, refinery explosion, train derailment ETC).

escape from building using sheetsAll preppers should have the ability to effect Operational Rescue and in an urban environment have an ability for fire suppression, even if it just for yourself.   The tenants of Operational Rescue consist of being able to use whatever is available to initiate a rescue in any environment.   Operational Rescue also involves selecting and training with multi-use items in order to template success. Operational Rescue is everyone’s responsibility, but not everyone has the ability to conduct a rescue.  Don’t think of “rescue” as you having to go in and save people after an event.  You might simply be rescuing yourself in order to distance oneself from the site. Additionally, you do not need complicated kits to effect rescue.  Use mechanical advantage at every opportunity; use things at the event site as much as possible.

It’s hard to lump all events into a simple category, as there are environmental factors like snow, rain, heat and wind which will effect or alter an extrication plan for a prepper. Additionally there will be geographic considerations as well.  For instance, the folks in Oklahoma are not planning on a hurricane and the associated disaster footprint.  Their focus is obviously in the tornado category, where as a California prepper will be concerned with the earthquake and tsunami variety of event preparedness.

So using the above criteria as a basis for planning, it might become necessary to have multiple “bug out bags” or at least a complex bag that evolves with the changing seasons and environment input.  An example would be that you wouldn’t carry a bunch of bulky warm weather clothing in South Carolina during the summer.

Flooded StreetThe single common thread that every environmental and geographic location has in common is a propensity to create obstacles in the path of a prepper’s desire to flee a dangerous event.  These can be man made obstacles; collapsed structures, fallen bridges, walls of flame and burning debris, streets strewn with piles of rubble, or even a loss of power in a tall building.  Natural obstacles could include snowdrifts, water (flooded roads or broken levies), mudslides, felled trees, ETC.

Determining an outcome for every single event would be nearly impossible.  The “glue that holds it all together” is the ability to think creatively to make a rescue/extrication opportunity.  For instance, you find yourself in your garage preparing your car, getting ready to distance yourself from an event and the power goes out, do you know how to disconnect the automatic garage opener and manually open the garage door? It is little things like that which can make an escape plan go completely south.

Did you know it is possible to escape from a high-rise building going floor-to-floor, especially if the floors have balconies?  All you need is a sheet/curtain and towel bar.  If you have only a short length of rope you can egress a multi story building/structure using releasable anchors. You can breathe through plumbing in a building fire.  Using a towel bar and some form of padding (towel, pillow, roll of toilet paper) you can “cut holes in drywall” and use it like a ladder to go through a ceiling.

Many preppers have extensive plans for sheltering in place or planning their bug out bag, but might not give actual consideration to the physical act of “getting out of the house” (so to speak) during an event.  There MUST be some consideration given to having an Operational Rescue capability and if you live in an urban area, fire suppression capability inherent to your bug out plan.

This post was generously contributed by our friend Chris Crossley from Speer Operational Technologies.

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