Friday, September 14, 2018

License to be stupid?

It could very well be that I'm remembering incorrectly or the social media coverage is more focused for this storm.  It seems to me that that there is (was) more of a preemptive response of rescue assets going to the Carolina's for Hurricane Flo.
From what I remember seeing with Harvey last year, the majority of rescue teams arrived post-storm. One of the reasons for the arrival of the Cajun Navy, which came about from a lacking response in Louisiana.

So, back to my point and if accurate, makes me ponder some questions.  Is this pre-staging of resources an attempt to discourage groups like the Cajun Navy?
At a water rescue conference I attended two years ago, one of the speakers made some comments regarding the civilian response.  While lauding their efforts, he also commented on the potentially dangerous precedent it set.  If you recall, the media was all over this story of the "heroics" of these civilians coming to the rescue of their neighbors.  The concern in the rescue community is people meaning well but then getting into trouble themselves.

There are several points that were made to which I completely agree.  I elaborate on those points (and add a couple of my own) below.

  • There is a command and accountability system in place for rescue agencies, whether it be on a single family house fire or a large scale incident.  It's there for the safety of those responding.  If a team of three go out, those three need to come back.
  • Not being part of the command and accountability structure leads to what is called "freelancing".  On the a fire scene, it can quickly get someone injured or killed.  Examples; a hose stream placed in the wrong place at the wrong time can give another firefighter steam burns, a window or room ventilated at the wrong time can cause a flashover or induce fire spread.  In a flood situation freelancing may not have the immediate consequences as on a fire scene, however the lack of accountability (who and how many are where) runs a higher risk of the would-be rescuer needing to be rescued.  Perhaps there is a noted hazard in an area the freelancer does not know about.
  • Water rescue is dangerous.  It is considered a high risk, low frequency event, although there has been no shortage of water rescue stories in the news this past year.  Many hours of training are needed to become proficient.  Flowing water is relentless and unforgiving.
  • Awareness and adherence to proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).  ANY flood situation is a giant haz-mat situation.  Take everything under your kitchen and bathroom sink and dump it the swimming pool.  Now add raw sewage and a bunch more stuff you don't know about and that's what's in floodwater.  Drysuits are a must, regardless of ambient temperatures.  I cringe every time I see people playing in floodwater.  If they only knew...
Back on point to this post title.
Does the ever-increasing FEMA team response to disaster tend to propagate a dependency on that response?
If people were more self-responsible for their own safety, would the response from rescue agencies need to be as great?  Are we as a society enabling personal irresponsibility?  "I don't need to prepare or evacuate because the government will take care me."

Saturday, August 4, 2018

WV home invasion trial (link)

A compilation of info put together by an attorney regarding a self defense home invasion shooting.

https://wvcriminaldefenseattorney.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/forget-what-you-heard-the-reality-of-the-law-of-self-defense-with-a-firearm-in-west-virginia-what-does-castle-doctrine-or-stand-your-ground-actually-mean-in-wv/

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It's been a busy several months

This spring, once it arrived, has brought forth much rain.  So far, this summer is following suit.

Flooding across the region has been widespread with varying consequences, depending on location. Sometimes there has been only a short distance between a brief rain shower and torrential downpours that brought flash flooding and washed out roads.

As a member of my county's Swift Water Rescue team, we have been busy in ways that are atypical for us.  Our typical call volume is recreational tubers and rafters getting into trouble on the rivers.
The local geography, with two major rivers, typically lends itself to pretty rapid drainage with minimal flooded roads.  Exception being the roads adjacent to the rivers which flood all the time.

In the ten years I've lived in the area, this is the first year I have seen water rolling like a river down some roads, or flowing over certain roads for days on end. 
Several weeks ago, we were dispatched to go two counties away to assist them with flash flooding.  It happens so rarely in that area that they did away with what minimal resources they had years ago, because those resources never got used.  While en-route, we had our own rescues dispatched that our minimal staffing that stayed behind had to mitigate.

All that rain in the neighboring county came to us a day later in the form of river crests that haven't been seen since 2010.  Fortunately we did not see more rain during this period, as the local emergency management heads had been dragging their feet.  We instituted a door-to-door resident check/ accountability exercise in several neighborhoods that were cut off by the flooded rivers.  This should have been done 2-3 days prior.

The high river levels have given a slow start to this year's river recreational use.  The local outfitters have been running their rafting trips, but tubing has been at a minimum.  The white water kayakers have been out in force, but they seldom need our assistance.

This past weekend has been making up for lost time, it seems.
Friday morning we were dispatched for a boat stuck on a rock.  We arrived on scene to find two people in a jon boat in an area of rapids.  They had been fishing in slack water.  Don't know exactly what happened or the sequence, but they had a motor malfunction and the current took them into the rapids where they got hung up on a rock.  They had no oars and their pfd's were just enough to keep from getting a ticket from DNR.  As we started the transfer of the first person from their boat to ours, the buoyancy of course changed and their boat started moving, so we had the 2nd person hop on our boat.  It floated past us and lodged onto another rock.  In an uglier spot.  We tried to retrieve it after getting the two subject to shore but were unsuccessful.  It was not worth risking our lives and beating up our boat.

Saturday brought forth three rescue calls.
The first was a report of a man with a dog struggling in the river.  As it turned out, he was swimming with his Chihuahua when something took the dog under.  That's when he started yelling for help.  Who takes their Chihuahua swimming?  In a river?!  He self extricated and didn't need our help.  I'm unsure if he ever found his dog.  I suspect something had a big lunch.
Second call of the day was a report of a person on a rock in a gnarly part of the river.  It was soon reported to be two, then three, then five.
Short story, (I know, too late!) three young girls had been rock hopping.  They mis-stepped or slipped and the current carried them downstream about 200 yards to the rock they were able to climb.  Two guys that were would-be rescuers heard them and waded/ swam to them.  That area has a lot of rock with deep pools and swift current.  We had a foot- entrapment body recovery two years ago only a few dozen yards away from these girls.
As we were making ready to get our boats out of the water at the conclusion of the call, we were dispatched for another disabled boater call on the other end of the county.  We responded, but our boat was not deployed.  A boat from a stand-by team deployed and retrieved the disabled boaters.  A young guy and girl, likely local college students, in a woefully under-equipped flat bottom boat got into some trouble.  I did not see the location or situation, but they looked very relieved to be back to the boat ramp.

Given the activity level of Saturday, Sunday was surprisingly quiet, call wise.  Maybe people were being responsible in respect of Fathers Day.  Ha ha.  Not likely.
We still had a full afternoon, though.  Seemingly last minute, we were requested to provide some staged rescue activity for another volunteer recruitment video.
Our county received a grant from somewhere about a year ago for volunteer fire department member recruitment.  One video has already been done and now they are doing another.
It was somewhat fun and the weather was good to be on the water.

Last night we were requested to assist in the search for a missing person.  Foul play is not being ruled out.
I felt that our efforts were a bit of an exercise in futility, as our search area didn't have any real basis of information.  We did, however, inspect an RV that was found in the river.  From all evidence, it was dropped there by the floodwaters the other week, carried as of yet unknown miles to where it was laid to rest.  It had tags from the neighboring state.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

3 words changed EVERYTHING

HE is risen!

When The Christ breathed his last breath on that cross, designed for maximum torture effect, one of the supernatural things that happened was the thick curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple was torn open.

Thus, as Paul states in 1 Timothy 2:5; For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Through no initial actions of my own, in fact, in my natural born state I was incapable of any action, Christ bore the righteous wrath of God for my sin.
I love Him, because he first loved me.
It is about a relationship, not religion.


Happy Easter

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Purge... and other ramblings

Word is, that the tube of you, or should it be called Ewetube (for the sheeple) is going to be purging all firearm related sites and postings.  We already know the book of about-face has some pretty serious conservative-filtering Al Gore-rythyms.

How long, do you suppose, before google and other blog hosting sites start doing the same?  After all, Ewetube is google.

Wouldn't it be an interesting experiment to search for videos that are posted of people's "World of Warefare" and similar gaming sessions and start tagging all of those as "inappropriate"?
Of course, all the movie trailers that glorify "gun" violence from the movies that make the hypocrites wealthy would need to be tagged as well.
I wonder how that would go?...

Rhetorical question; Why separate and specify "gun" violence?  To me, that implies that other forms of violence are acceptable.

Saw a great meme yesterday.


It's also a bit disheartening, as I see this as a way that the statement of "A good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun" will get twisted to make currently lawful firearm owners outlaws and "bad guys"

I saw a short conversation on social media yesterday where someone claimed to know (not in a happy way) that this March For Our Lives movement is VERY well funded (Gee, what a surprise!) with meetings in towns and cities across the country.  This may be an astroturf movement that retains some perceived legitimacy.
What's that saying?  "Beware the power of large numbers of stupid people"?

It seems to me that this country's drain-circling is getting a tighter and faster trajectory.

OK!  Enough depressing thoughts!  Easter is this weekend!
HE IS RISEN!!  HE IS RISEN, INDEED!