5th EUROPEAN CAVE RESCUE MEETING, PAKLENICA, 2011
Darko Bakšić, Lana Đonlagić, Ivica Ćukušić
Photo by: Ronald Železnjak, Ivica Radić, Darko Bakšić, Dinko Novosel, Dalibor Paar
From 15th to 18th September in Starigrad Paklenica fifth European cave rescue meeting was held. The organizer of this year's meeting was the Cave-Rescue Commission of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service.
Topic of this meeting was "testing of techniques and systems in cave rescue", but due to the large interest the meeting was expanded and included physicians and divers-cave rescuers.
The meeting participants came from 12 countries: Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Austria, Romania, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, and Croatia.
The meeting was formally opened on Thursday evening at hotel Alan where Vinka Prizmića, Head of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service welcomed more than a hundred participants together with Stjepan Huzjak, Civil Protection Commander; Đani Bunja, deputy prefect of Zadar County; Krste Ramić, Mayor of Starigrad and Darko Bakšić, Head of the Cave-Rescue Commission of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service.
After the opening of the conference three working groups were formed: medical, technical and diving. Therefore short reports will be separately presented for each of the 3 groups.
Technical group – leaders: Darko Bakšić, Giussepe Conti, Christian Dodelin
Technical group for testing techniques and systems in cave rescue began its work the previous day (September 14th). They tested manoeuvres used on Tyrolean traverses.
Although the Italians, French and Croatians prepared dynamometer for testing and portable computers, it was decided that all testing is to be performed with the Italian equipment. Testing team from Italy was well-coordinated and brought 12 dynamometers and had all the necessary equipment. Rescuers from the Cave Rescue Commission of Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and Slovenian Cave Rescue Service performed all manoeuvres that were jointly tested.
On Wednesday, 14th September straining Tyrolean traverse was tested with various pre-defined lengths from 10 to 30 m. The traverses were strained through stop descender and Italian hitch.
On Thursday, 15th September testing of the Tyrolean traverse diameter of 30 m of length was performed. Configuration of the traverse was as follows:
- 3 stainless steel fixes Raumer size 8 * 78 mm placed in the tops of an equilateral triangle at the distance of 40 cm;
- - 3 L-shaped aluminium Petzl’s plates, 3 OK carbiners, 2 AMD carabiners, anchor rope 10 mm Rocca;
- Horizontal (anchorages set by clinometers), length 30 m;
- Rope on the traverse and rope for pulling Blue Water 10.5 mm;
Following situations were tested. For each situation 3 repetitions were made.
- Transport of stretcher on a Tyrolean traverse;
- Breaking of an anchor point while carrying the victim in the middle of the traverse ;
- Breaking of the load rope while stretchers with victim are in the middle of the traverse ;
- Manoeuvre of raising stretchers on a Tyrolean traverse using counterweight technique.
On Friday, 16th September, Italian team presented the preliminary results of tests on Tyrolean traverses while more detailed report on the test results will be released after processing of the acquired data.
In addition three more presentations were held:
- Presentation of results in testing of equipment, techniques and procedures – Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico – Commissione Tecnica Speleologica lecturer Giuseppe Conti;
- Tests Material and Cave Rescue Techniques – Speleo Secours Français – lecturer Christian Dodelin;
- Cave rescue mission from Cave system Kita Gaćešina – Croatian Mountain Rescue Service – lecturer Darko Bakšić.
Medical Group – leaders Lana Đonlagić, Ulrich Nageli
As a part of the fifth meeting of European cave rescuers, on 16th and 17/09/2011, a meeting of the medical group was held which involved 17 rescuers, doctors and paramedics from 9 European countries. The meeting was organized by physicians Ulrich Nagel and Lana Đonlagić.
Idea of the need for this form of cooperation was created last year in Saalfelden, Austria, when the topic of the fourth meeting of European cave rescuers was treatment of injured in caves. At this meeting, a group of rescuers – physicians was created who realized the existence of common problems in providing medical assistance in caves and created a list of issues worth further discussion, which was achieved this year in Paklenica.
Topics of this year's meeting were the treatment of trauma in the underground, indications for specific types of therapy such as antibiotic, analgesic, prophylaxis, etc. due to the potential several days rescue operation. Emphasized the pursuit of providing medical assistance that will enable the injured person to independently exits the underground facility, in order to reduce the possibility of secondary incidents, facilitate and expedite rescue and solve problems such as the need for expanding the narrow passages.
Problems are presented in the form of workshops, each having two technical leaders. At the end of each workshop conclusions were made, which were at the end of the meeting eventually formed into a consensus.
Further more, the need for a tight international cooperation of medical personnel was defined in case of major accidents and the question of legal / financial possibilities of achieving such cooperation was opened.
At the end participants’ need and wishes for further working meetings in this format were brought up and it was proposed to hold next meeting the following year in France, with subject being medicine in cave diving, where they would have the opportunity to discuss the specific features behind the rescue in siphons and rescuing after a long stay in a water.
The success of this conference is perceived in the fact that the consensus was reached on all the discussion topics and the Internet basis was founded for the purpose of a continued exchange of experiences and information.
► ECRM Paklenica-Medical Consensus paper
Cave diving rescue group– leader Ivica Ćukušić
This group consisted of cave diving rescuers from three countries: Italy, France and Croatia. After a two-day working meeting the following conclusions were adopted:
Better connections between people performing cave diving rescuing in Europe is needed so that they would be able to help each other in cases of larger and more complicated accidents. Also to be able to intervene in other countries that lack such a highly specialized type of rescue and the ability to exchange experience and participate in joint courses and exercises. Meeting in Paklenica during the 5th ECRM (as far as the participants knew) was the first such meeting organised only for the topic of cave diving rescue which at the end resulted with many conclusions that will significantly improve cave diving rescue in Europe.
1. Inform all European countries that have cave rescuing regarding this initiative to include all countries that have the resources for cave diving rescuing or have an interest to develop it;
2. In all countries mentioned in the Item 1 to designate one person who will be the contact person (national coordinator) for questions cave diving rescue;
3. To list national resources in terms of cave diving rescue such as the number trained divers, specialist equipment, depth / length / complexity of diving;
4. Establish procedures for calling cave divers for help from other countries via national institutions, but also have the option of direct communication between the national coordinators to exchange information faster and more urgent preparation of people and equipment;
5. It is necessary to exchanged statistical analysis of incidents and interventions in order to exchange the data to learn and prepare for future similar situations;
6. It was agreed that once in two years there will be a joint meeting organised which would include practical exercises. The term of the first such meeting will be in October 2012, hosted by France. The whole event would last four days of which two days would include meetings, presentations of national resources, exchange of statistics and analysis of incidents, while two days would be reserved for practical exercises on the field where a certain procedure in Cave Rescue would be jointly trained. Topics of practical exercises would include a search for injured person in an area with more siphons (multi-siphon), where each country would have their part of tasks to solve.
In addition to this historic meeting, participants had the opportunity to a mutual dive in the submarine near Paklenica where we exchanged experience using different techniques of diving.
Members of CNSAS from Italy presented their mobile pressure chamber which was already operational for a year and serves only to secure their cave diving interventions. Also they presented us their book "Soccorso Speleosubaqua" which should soon be published in English. This book is the first such book in the world dealing with the cavediving rescue.
ECRA round table
Apart from the working meetings, a round table on the organization of the European cave rescue association was held where the next steps were agreed which should lead to interconnection of cave rescue services of European countries.
► ECRA Meeting - Conclusions
On Sunday, 18th September, two presentations about cave communication systems were shown:
- Felix Ziegler about Cave link communication;
- Pete Allwright about Nicola III cave communication system
European meeting of cave rescuers was held under the auspices of Zadar County and the Municipality of Starigrad. Sponsor of the meeting is hotel Alan.
► ECRM Paklenica 2011 - list of participants
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