Cadets under 18 shall not be exposed to conditions in which their health isjeopardized by exposure to decomposing bodies and hazardous materials.
*edit*As a member of one of the mentioned "non-CAP ground teams" (we were actually inserted and recovered by helicopter) that spent time in downtown New Orleans in the first couple of days after Katrina and a certified CISM debriefer, I can vouch that a disaster "hot zone" is no place for cadets; it's not really a good place for adults either, but sometimes we have to suck it up and deal with it. For that matter, neither was coastal Mississippi for the first few days, especially until they recovered all the deceased. By the time that my 16yo and I travelled to Waveland, MS (3 weeks after the storm) to perform communications duty, it was marginally better - at least nobody was shooting at us. We were still prepared and willing to limit his activities to the ICP if we determined that it was too emotionally intense in the field. One important training issue that I'd like to talk about is "Task #O-0422 Direct Team Actions on Find". This often-overlooked task (when I do GTL evaluations, I am often told by the student that this covers getting all the information off of the ELT and the first time that a team found our real aircraft crash, the team fell apart as everyone went every which way) covers some very specific actions to take that should protect our cadets from experiencing anything they shouldn't. This is an important task for Officers to master and for cadets to understand as not only does it affect their physical and emotional safety, but the preservation of valuable evidence at a crash scene and the viability of cadet participation in Emergency Services itself. There is a persistent rumor that regulations or policy (according to who you are hearing the rumor from) prohibits cadets from participating in actual ES missions, which as can be seen from the General's letter is not true. People not realizing that there are safeguards in place or not following those safeguards not only jeopardize cadet's mental health, but the entire concept of cadet participation in ES. What Task O-0422 basically states is that the first thing a team does on locating a find (either a crash site or a missing person) is halt in place and only the team leader (and a backup safety person, although this is not in the task) should approach the find itself. They survey the area for both physical and emotional safety hazards, doing a complete 360 walkaround and only call other team members in as needed; if everyone is already dead, there is no need for further direct actions by the team and nobody else should enter the area until emergency personnel arrive. On the other hand, if there are survivors, the team leader will have to make a decision as to who is qualified to provide assistance, a decision that should be made in advance. He may have to accept that in the course of providing life-saving first aid and stabilization, they may see something they shouldn't; this would probably not be a suitable job for a 13yo cadet with Advanced First Aid. Perhaps an older cadet or two or a couple of Officers with medical training would be better-suited for such a responsibility. At any rate, only those deemed necessary for saving lives are allowed inside the perimeter. Not only does this preserve the scene (which also may or may not be a crime scene), but it limits the number of people exposed to a potentially traumatic incident and preferably eliminates cadet exposure altogether. The rest of the team is used to form a perimeter far enough away that direct view of the crash is not likely, to set up a staging area and guide emergency responders into the area, and to scout a path and clear it of debris and branches to make medical evacuation easier; as you can see, these are perfect jobs for cadets. Larger cadets can also be used to assist the emergency responders as relief litter bearers if the patient has to be carried for some distance to a clearing for vehicular or helicopter evacuation. The remainder of the task goes over some of the other actions to take such as positively identifying the target (you may have found a pre-existing crash site), notifying mission base etc...all important steps but not as relevant to this memo from General Pineda and not as important in the context of keeping ES participation as a safe option for cadets. Many of these same concepts can be applied to disaster relief, ie the team leader putting the team on hold and scouting ahead (with backup - the buddy system is absolutely mandatory) for possible physical and emotional hazards before taking the team into any situation where there is the slightest risk. This does not mean that it is OK to use our cadets for hardcore Urban Search and Rescue as long as we follow the above guidelines, only that not all disaster zones are going to be on the scale of Katrina and good judgement and common sense should always prevail whether we're responding into a disaster zone to work at the ICP/EOC, doing welfare checks on our neighbors or deploying to a POD to hand out food, ice, and water. Emergency Services is one of the few things that sets us apart from JROTC, Aviation Explorers, Young Marines, Sea Cadets etc and is what keeps many of our cadets involved in CAP. It is also one of the most effective tools we have at not only teaching leadership skills to our cadets, but giving them a hands-on environment for practicing those same skills (as opposed to simply reading about them from a book) and teaching them that there are much greater things to be concerned with than their own comfort and convenience. If we are not careful in following the guidelines laid out for us, not only do we run the risk of possibly scarring a young person for life, but we also endanger this valuable opportunity for cadets to grow, learn, and feel proud of themselves, all while helping others.*edit*
QuoteCadets under 18 shall not be exposed to conditions in which their health isjeopardized by exposure to decomposing bodies and hazardous materials.Hmmm, this would seem to preclude using cadets on ground team activities involving missing airplane searches. Most of these searches end with finds of deceased passengers and pilots. It is general policy (at least where I am -- I don't recall if it is an actual CAP reg) that only adults actually walk into the crash site itself leaving the cadets on the perimeter. However, even if you take that precaution it would not be unheard of for body parts to be scattered about generally and for cadets to come in contact with them.
What about cases of hypothermia? I live in the North and it's a possibility. What if there was a faint pulse or the patient was in some kind of extreme bradycardia and the senior member checking it didn't check long enough?
I see what you're saying, but I can't imagine you wouldn't go check for yourself. It's just an assurance.
And it's not as though you would be scarred because of it. You've likely seen worse in your ten years as a firefighter/EMT.
Again, 150+ hours of training for an EMT vs. ~8 hours of basic first aid and CPR.
Another example of CAP the Corporation getting in the way of the Mission of CAP the USAF/AUX. As a CAP GTL on a mission I will make the decision at that time who is qualified and who isn't to accompany me into a target site, not some lawyer in Alabama. If that means I take an 18 year old EMT and a 16 year old First Responder who are cadets in to a crash site then NHQ, Incorporated can deal with me afterward.