I.S.A.C. Course., Cheshire FRS, Winsford

Today very experienced Team Call Out list member Chris Tennant and Trainee team member Nick Berry, 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 third 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, with the second being on 22nd April 2010, when our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Team Call Out list member (and Regional MR Water Officer) Fred Taylor attended.

Team Call Out list member Alistair Greenough, who in full time employment is an Accident and Emergency Nurse at Warrington Hospital, is an instructor on this excellent recognised course.

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

There follows an account of their day written by Chris Tennant;

On Thursday 15th July, team callout list members Chris Tennant and
Nick Berry set out early in BM1 for an 08:30 start at Cheshire Fire &
Rescue Service’s HQ and Training Centre, in Winsford. This was to take
part in an Incident Safety Assessment and Control (ISAC) Course
arranged by ATACC (Anaesthesia Trauma And Critical Care) & Cheshire
Fire & Rescue Service.

The course is designed for emergency service personnel attending major
incidents, providing them with the necessary skills to establish safe
working practices and to cooperate safely in multi-agency response
environments. Chris and Nick joined with two of our colleagues from
Cheshire Lowland SAR Team and eight NHS staff (Doctors and Nurses from
Liverpool & Warrington), and gained much valuable knowledge of the
varied equipment and protocols used, along with experience of dealing
with some very realistic casualties (performed by members of the ’For
Real Simulation’)

The course commenced with an introduction by Dr. Dave Wilson (ATACC),
this was followed with a short talk by the Cheshire Coroner. After a
lecture from Dr Jason van der Velde (ATACC and now working in Ireland)
on Kinematics (what can result from a given action), there was a
session on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which the two Bolton MRT
team members ’passed’ with flying colours having worn all the right

After the first two exercise scenarios, including one with a very
stroppy ’bystander’, identified the requirement to assess non victims
as a potential hazard, a fact noted in the debrief afterwards.

The course continued with a mixture of practical demonstrations and
exercise scenarios all followed by ’hot debriefs’, along with a
welcome tea break. The exercises involved very realistic single and
multi casualty situations involving vehicle collisions, a difficult
extrication from a building stair-well, and various rescues from
confined spaces.

After an excellent and well deserved lunch in the Staff Canteen and
now joined by team member Alistair Greenough, wearing his ATACC hat; it was back
to work with more exercises and training to reinforce the knowledge
gained in the morning.

After a full exercise/demo involving six of the students with the Fire
Service in full “cutting mode” i.e. let’s get the roof off!

We then proceeded to a multi casualty exercise incident which included one
burning building casualty with additional hoax casualties and three
victims who had been struck by an emergency vehicle responding to the
burns victim. This resulted in one person dead on scene plus one with a very
serious injury and one victim that had been thrown over a hedge and
down a steep bank. – All good fun!

The day concluded with a debrief, certificate presentation and a last brew.

Chris and Nick would like to thank all the lecturers and their
helpers, and also their fellow emergency services colleagues on the
course for welcoming them so openly, thanks also to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for providing such excellent facilities; they both found it a very
enjoyable and highly informative day – despite the odd heavy shower of

Please also see Website ’news’ articles dated 19th November 2009 and 22nd April 2010.