The Incident Command system is a routine used by Search and Rescue (SAR) organizations all over the world. Commonly known as ICS, it prevents panic and pointless ‘running around the bush.’ Three important questions about ICS are to be answered here.
- What is ICS?
ICS is a routine program that is used to prevent confusion. It is a series of commands, routines and non-panic calmness that allows for an operation or mission to be done flawlessly.
- Why is it important?
Without it, SAR operations would be a mess of panicky chaos. ICS enables a smooth mission that can be performed on schedule and with cool, smooth precision.
- ICS’ main functions:
The whole mission is presided over by an officer called the Incident Commander (IC). He gives the orders.
Under him are sub-officers who take care of security, medical services, etc. No officer, except the IC, is allowed to order more than seven people.
The routine is flexible, allowing the number of SAR personnel on the team to increase or decrease according to needs or codes.
ICS is an essential part of SAR. It keeps out panic, it helps the person in trouble better, and it helps the mission get done quicker. Without ICS, SAR would be a mess. It is utterly fundamental to the safety of people all around the world who call on SAR for help.
A swimming or going rescue is one of the most dangerous rescues that can be performed. Many rescuers have drowned because they were caught by the person they were supposed to rescue. There are eight steps that take place within seconds in the mind of the rescuer. These are listed below.
- Assessment. You need to assess the water for depth, in order to decide how to enter the water, for current to decide where and how you need to swim, for obstacles, to know how to surmount them, for temperature, what gear you need and if the person you are rescuing is in danger of hypothermia.
- Equipment. Find a rescue aid (e.g. life jacket, surfboard, inner tube, a shirt or even a beach mat) and attach it to yourself with a rope.
- Entry. Based on your assessment, decide how to enter the water; if you need to walk in, dive in feet or head first, etc.
- Approach. Keep your eyes on the person who you are rescuing if possible, the breaststroke is one of the best strokes for keeping your eyes on the person. Encourage the person as you are swimming. Reserve as much energy as possible for the return trip.
- Ready Position. Stop to reevaluate the situation 6-10 feet away. Back up if approached by the panicking person.
- Assist. Determine how to rescue the person. Offer the rescue aid and avoid contact if possible. Give simple instructions on how best to get the person and yourself back to shore safely.
- Landing. Direct the person to shore if he is able to make it himself, if not, assist him. Help the person out of the water.
- Aftercare. Verify that EMS (Emergency Medical Services) has been called and that it is on the way. Treat the person for shock or hypothermia and perform CPR if necessary.
So, remember that the person who is in the water and needs help, has about 20-60 seconds before he submerges. So be quick, efficient and by all means ask for help if you feel you are inadequate or let someone else do the job if he is more trained than you are. Don’t let want for personal victory get in your way. Remember, the life of a person is in your hands.
Astronomy is the study of the stars. It is one of the oldest sciences. It is also one of the most complex and thrilling.
Ptolemy was a Greek philosopher who taught the geocentric theory. Geo means earth and centric means center. So what Ptolemy was teaching was that the earth was in the center of the universe and that the stars and the rest of the heavenly bodies were revolving around it. This was the lasting theory until another scientist called Nicolaus Copernicus changed it.
Nicolaus Copernicus (b.1473 d.1543) was a Prussian who invented his own theory to counteract Ptolemy’s. His theory was heliocentricity. Helio means sun and centric is center, as mentioned before. Thus it was the sun in the center of the universe instead of the earth. The Catholic Church didn’t like his theory.
Galileo Galilei was a one of the most famous astronomers, both of his time and ours. He improved the science of the stars by discovering Jupiter’s moons. By this he proved heliocentricity, showing that not all things revolved around the earth.
Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer who advanced this science by publishing a series of books on The Laws of Planetary Motion. He, along with a contemporary named Tycho Brahe, confirmed that the planets moved in oval orbits instead of perfect circles, as was the former belief.
Isaac Newton added to it by forming the Law of Gravitation, which solved the mystery of why the planets stayed in orbit. Continue reading “Astronomy History, Astrophotography and Telescopes”
Layering is a fundamental part of the outdoors. If you are not properly layered, frostbite or worse can occur. You can be frozen if you’re not properly layered, and yet your companion can be warm and comfortable because he knows how to layer. Continue reading “Layering”