At the ALSAR conference I met with so many dedicated SAR responders and from many different organisations. Two of whom, Joanne Cracknel and Andy Harris, work with RAPID UK (Rescue & Preparedness in Disasters). They are both members of this volunteer based NGO, which deploys search and rescue response teams to any part of the world in the aftermath of sudden onset major disasters – and great work they do too, from the aftermath of the Tsunami in Japan to the earthquake in Haiti.
Joanne coordinates and works with the dog SAR section and Andy is one of the SAR responders sent into the disaster zones. Whilst talking about their work Andy told me of a simple technique to determine the safe working distance around a building that may collapse.
The technique involves finding a stick/ruler that is about 300 mm long, holding your arm outstretched with the stick upright and visually placing the bottom of the stick in line with the bottom of the building. Then walking towards the building until the top of the stick aligns with the top of the building, this defines the limit of approach to the building – brilliant, simple trigonometry at its best.
I will write up the work instructions for this technique and post them on the forum when I have talked more with Andy to make sure the operating instructions include safety perameters and I have understood the technique correctly.
As always, I salute you and your colleagues, great meeting the two of you.