I.S.A.C. course.

Today our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and team Call Out list member (and Regional MR Water Officer) Fred Taylor journeyed to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services HQ and Training School at Sadler Road, Winsford, to take part in an Incident Safety Assessment and Control (ISAC) course, organised and facilitated by ATACC (Anaesthesia Trauma and Critical Care) and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

This is the second time team members have participated in this excellent course, the first being 19th November 2009, when our Team Doctor, Clare Whitney and Steve Nelson attended.

The ISAC course concentrates on incident scene safety, the safety of the emergency responders, increasing incident scene awareness and multi agency working.


Twelve students attended including our Garry and Fred, made up of Accident and Emergency Nursing Staff, Doctors and an NWAS (Merseyside and Cheshire) Paramedic.

The very experienced instructors team comprised Doctor Mark Forrest, Medical Director-Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Doctor Dave Wilson, ATACC Co-Ordinator, Firefighter Dave Cobson from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Ian Dillon, ATACC member and Alistair Greenough, ATACC Co-Ordinator and Accident & Emergency Nurse, Warrington Hospital.

The morning started with a lecture session on ’kinematics,’including the mechanism of injury and the energy forces likely to be involved with particular emphasis on RTCs.

A session on incident scene approach and safety then followed, accompanied as in the first session by many slides illustrating all aspects of the presentation.


All present then took part in a open session demonstrating PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in use by all the various organisations present.
An excellent lunch was followed by sessions on casualty assessment methods, sectorising incidents and SRS (Safety Restraint Systems) in use on modern vehicles.


Putting all the theory into excellent practice, the students present were split into two groups and then worked through a very varied programme of practical exercises, each followed by a detailed ’hot debrief’ session. The exercises included extricating casualties with potential spinal injuries from buildings (stairways), incident scene hazard identification and various RTC scenerios including multiple casualty incidents.

Throughout all the exercises, the role of casualties was played to full effect by a fantastic group of young men and women from ’For Real Simulation,’ (website for-real-simulation.co.uk) who put all their drama student background into acting out the role of injured persons fully testing all the ISAC students involved.


The intensive full days course ended with more debriefs and the presentation of Certificates to all the student attendees.

Both Fred and Garry would like to take this opportunity to thank all the instructor staff for their patience and excellence of their presentations, all members present (Instructors and students alike) for their welcoming, friendly and inclusive nature, and last but not least the members of ’For Real Simulation,’ for their important contribution.

Note; this course is recognised by the NHS, The Royal College, NWAS, AFRLEMA and the Cheshire Coroner.