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arajca
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« on: July 24, 2007, 05:30:22 PM »

This just came out on the COWG list:
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isuhawkeye
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007, 05:53:02 PM »

This type of clarification is way past due. 

Very few people understand the age restrictions set by our clients, and even fewer recognise the age restriction set forth in our  federal insurance
« Last Edit: July 24, 2007, 07:27:48 PM by isuhawkeye » Logged
JohnKachenmeister
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 01:00:59 PM »

What really needs to happen now is this letter policy should be translated into training guidance.  Why not incorporate into the Ground Team task manual Flight Line Marshaller skills and mission base support tasks?  That way a GT arriving with a GT leader and some cadet GT members could be used for SAR, or put to work at the base.
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floridacyclist
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 01:21:26 PM »

Some of it is already in the task guide. check out O-0422 - Direct team Actions on Find. We've expanded a little on this on our squadron and group mailing lists.
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Gene Floyd, Capt CAP
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JohnKachenmeister
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 07:17:50 PM »

I was considering actions such as flight line marshaller, public affairs/information, communications, and new areas such as food service and other support functions.
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Another former CAP officer
RiverAux
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 10:19:15 PM »

Quote
Cadets under 18 shall not be exposed to conditions in which their health is
jeopardized 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. 
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ZigZag911
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2007, 01:30:16 AM »

RiverAux, the precautions you take with your cadets seem to be generally accepted.....it will be interesting to see if this procedure meets National's understanding of the Nat'l CC's policy letter....I just got a chance to read it, and was happy to see this spelled out in some detail, I think we've lacked clear guidance on this subject.

As to utilizing younger cadets, cross training in a mission base specialty (flight line marshaller, mission radio operator, mission staff assistant) or getting some Red Cross training in disaster mitigation (like shelter management) can help with this.
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floridacyclist
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 06:53:25 AM »

In answer to your questions about policy, This is part of the discussion that we had on our group list yesterday. I left it as intact as possible except that I edited out the parts before and after my email reply
Quote
*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*
« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 07:04:57 AM by floridacyclist » Logged
Gene Floyd, Capt CAP
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Jolt
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2007, 10:25:24 AM »

Quote
Cadets under 18 shall not be exposed to conditions in which their health is
jeopardized 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. 

I don't know about other squadrons, but none of our senior members have medical training (just basic first aid).  We do, however, have medically trained cadets to include one EMT-I (19), one MRT (15?), and I'll be an EMT-B in a little while (16).  I have a little bit of a problem with non-medical senior members (officers, whatever) being the only ones to walk into a crash site.  What if they walk up, see a pilot hunched over the controls and not moving, come back to the rest of the team and say, "There's no reason for anyone else to go in, the pilot's dead," (or some such) when really he's just unconscious?  Someone that the GTL thinks is dead may be someone that a trained cadet would try to resuscitate.  I'm not talking about obvious signs of death (decapitation, etc.), but just because the victim's not breathing and doesn't have a pulse doesn't mean you should tape up the area and stay out because it's a crime scene.  That's a distinction I'm not 100% sure everyone could make.

Take it for what it's worth.  The bottom line is that I would rather the 19 year-old cadet EMT-I with a few years of experience walk into the crash scene to assess the situation than the senior member that took a basic first aid/CPR course a few years back.
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arajca
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2007, 11:05:43 AM »

Legally, your preferences are moot. CAP has made the determination. Besides, it takes how long to get to the crash site? One, two, three, hours? A day? More? What is the likelihood of a pilot not breathing for that length of time being a viable patient. Or even half that length? Let's assume, for a moment, you happen to witness the crash while out on a training mission. The SM's make a check and find the pilot not breathing, no pulse. Do you carry the necessary equipment to do anything more than CPR? Is your team capable of doing CPR for an extended period of time until EMS arrives? What came first - the crash killing the pilot or the pilot dying and crashing? That is one reason why - at least in my area - trauma death is a contraidicator for AED use.

First Aid also teaches the basics. You remember A B C's. If I arrive at a crash scene and see the pilot slumped over the wheel, I check ABC's. If the ABC's are failed, that's as far as I go.

I'm an EMT with 10 years of fire department experience. If a First Aid qualified member tells me they checked the ABC's and found nothing, I'd take their word for it in this instance.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2007, 11:26:52 AM »

You do bring up something that wasn't adequately addressed by the letter -- the fact that we have cadets over the age of 18.  If they're old enough to go to Iraq, they should be old enough to do all CAP ES work.  Now, if the requesting agency says "No cadets" that would knock out those over 18.  And using the term cadet for those of that age is somewhat misleading.  While ROTC and the academies use cadets for their members, who are over 18 we use for all of ours no matter their age.  The CAP cadet program should end at 18 and those 18-21 should be full senior members if they're in CAP. 

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Jolt
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2007, 11:51:45 AM »

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.
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arajca
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2007, 02:59:18 PM »

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?
Do you carry the proper equipment to do something about hypothermia? Remember, without proper rewarming, the transport out can kill the hypothermic patient. I'm very familiar with the "warm and dead" rule.

I'll see your "I live in the North" and raise you one "I live at 9300' above sea level". Add hypoxia to the mix. Most of the SAR mission around me (non-CAP) start in the valleys (9000'+) and go up rapidly.

Quote
I see what you're saying, but I can't imagine you wouldn't go check for yourself.  It's just an assurance. 
I would, but only after the rest of the sceen has been secured. Although, as an EMT, I would most likely be the one checking in the first place.

Quote
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.
True, and becuase of that, I wouldn't put a cadet - regardless of their qualifications - in a crash site with bodies.

Quote
Again, 150+ hours of training for an EMT vs. ~8 hours of basic first aid and CPR.
How much of the 150+ hours is spent on ABC's? True, EMT's may get more practice, but the classroom component of ABC's is about the same. More time is spent on the initial "Sick/Not Sick" judgement.
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Jolt
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2007, 03:09:06 PM »

I know I'm starting to stray from the topic at this point, but could there be an additional set of training added to the GTL tasks that includes recognition of obvious signs of death (rigor mortis, dependent lividity, obvious mortal injury) so that we know the GTL is making the right call about whether it's a crime scene or not and no one goes in unnecessarily?

Just a thought.
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arajca
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2007, 03:56:50 PM »

It's a good thought.
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ZigZag911
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2007, 04:29:19 PM »

Agencies requesting CAP assistance generally don't care about the individual's status within our organization, just their age & training.

Requests with age limitations generally come in 'over 21 only' (very rare), 'over 18', or 'over 16'.
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Johnny Yuma
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2007, 09:10:40 PM »

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.
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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2007, 11:57:14 PM »

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.

The 18-year-old cadet EMT would probably be okay in most situations, but it depends on whom you're working for.

On the ground, there's the whole other nonspecific can of worms that NHQ was actually trying to address with the policy letter.

The point is this:  Many of our missions aren't direct "AFRCC Says March, So Go Find Me An Airplane" missions.  We're doing ground work to support other agencies (FAA, state EMA, local sheriff's department, local EMA, you name it) -- and those agencies do not (and often legally cannot) support the structure for volunteers under age 18. Period. Game, set, match.

They don't want under-18 volunteers on site -- not because they hate kids, or don't respect our training procedures (though some do, and some don't, obviously), but because their regulations and insurance limitations simply don't cover that specific case. And in a vacuum, they choose to exclude those volunteers -- which they're well empowered to do.

It's not NHQ you'd have to answer to here -- it's the local Sheriff, the EMA director, or another past, present, or future "client."  Their response isn't going to be "Johnny Yuma's a real gung-ho character, using all available assets to complete the mission," it's going to be "who is this CAP guy, taking kids on a search when we specifically told them OVER 18 ONLY?!"  Next thing you know, CAP's officially uninvited to participate in the future.  Party's over, and we have only ourselves to blame. Or more specifically, the one officer who decided his personal needs outweighed the bigger picture.

I've seen several bridges burned in some sensitive places, and CAP is off the "invite list," sometimes permanently and irreparably, over things like this.  It's the real deal, not some paranoid NHQ PR strategy.  We train a lot of very qualified cadets, ones I'd be happy to have at my side, and who'd have my back on a mission -- but if the customers don't want them there, for whatever reason, it's our job to respect their needs and requirements.

"CAP the Corporation" has to lay down a lot of blanket rules and regs to cover the patchwork of local municipalities, overlapping jurisdictions, and individual egos.  That's a pretty big blanket -- essentially it's forming a policy to cover each case wholesale.  If the customers want 18+, it's our job to either provide 18+ assets, or to step aside. It's not our job to sell field-qualified cadets when the balloon goes up. It's our job to do our taskings within the parameters we're given, be that weather, timing, or local policy.

As the GTL, you can pick any qualified asset you want on your team -- within the limits of any local policies and procedures for the lead agency.  If you're working for the state EMA, and the state EMA says "adults only," you'd better start carding your team at sign-in.  Or you'd better have brought a good batch of Starbucks, cause you're staffing the coffee pot for the duration.
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ZigZag911
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« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2007, 01:33:32 AM »

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.

How about the IC running the mission?  Time permitting (and realistically, by the time we find survivors, if they've made it that long, a few more minutes probably won't matter) will you consult with IC?

If so, what if you did not like the answer?

The policy letter is meant to describe broad parameters.

Exceptional circumstances may demand extraordinary decisions & actions.

But I would expect this to be the exception rather than the rule.
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isuhawkeye
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2007, 09:02:26 AM »

this letter did not dictate policy, it simply asked for people to take these item into consideration when deploying your team. 
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