Brotherhood Instructors, LLC. is proud to announce our new "Man-in-the-Machine" (MITM) class. This 8-hour interactive course gives students a look into machinery entrapments and extrications. The first hour and a half is spent in the classroom reviewing case histories, lock-out/tag-out techniques and procedures, tool kits, and medical considerations. All of the props used for this course have been designed by Brotherhood Instructors, LLC. in conjunction with H&R Machine. The props and tools are all owned by Brotherhood Instructors, LLC. allowing us to bring this class to your firehouse or training ground.
Following the classroom presentation, students were broken up into four groups to participate in the following rotations:
Morning Rotation 1: Tool Familiarization. Previous generations of firefighters brought a tremendous amount of trade experience and mechanical ability to the firehouse. Modern firefighting recruits seldom possess the mechanical skills as those before. This rotation allows students that are unfamiliar with hand, electric, and pneumatic tools to gain these skills and gives experienced students a refresher. This rotation included: cutting with the wizzer saw, drilling and punching rivets, sheering rivet heads off with the air chisel and punching, removing bolts with an air chisel, cutting with a dremel tool in a confined area, impact gun use, and snap ring pliers use. Each of these skills would be necessary to perform the simulated extrications later in the day.
Morning Rotation 2: Size-up. Size-up is one of the most important aspects of any firefighting operation and is especially important when dealing with machinery entrapments. Students used a search camera to look inside this simulated machine to determine the associated hazards. Inside they found electrical and chemical hazards that were evaluated using facility information and the hazmat emergency response guide book.
Morning Rotation 3: Torch Use. The torch is a very quick and effective cutting tool in the hands of a skilled user. At this rotation students discussed the pros and cons of using a torch as well as hazards that would preclude the use of a torch. Each member was then afforded the opportunity to cut various pieces of metal using the torch under the supervision of an instructor.
Morning Rotation 4: Lock-out/Tag-out. One of the most important steps in a machinery extrication is to ensure the machine will not operate while we are working on it. Students practiced locking and tagging out various types of valves, switches, cords, hoses, and controllers.
Afternoon Rotation 1: Meat Grinder Entrapment. Supermarkets, delis, and butcher shops are all prime locations for a possible machinery entrapment. Grinders, saws, and conveyors are just a few of the common items found in these facilities. At this station students practice locking and tagging out the equipment before moving on to assessing the entrapment and beginning the extrication. To disassemble the meat grinder, members had to drill or air chisel and punch several rivets, cut with the angle grinder, and use various allen wrenches, screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets, and prying tools.
Afternoon Rotation 2: Fence Impalement & Auger Entrapment. If you have any doubt that this type of thing happens, google search "fence impalement'… just be sure not to do it right after eating. While this may be a rare occurrence the tools and techniques can be applied to this and other impalement scenarios. Students used both the torch and sawzall to cut sections of the fence while cooling the metal to prevent heat transmission to the patient. Augers have many uses in farm and industrial settings. Lose clothing or a misplaced limb can easily become entrapped in these devices. Students practice stabilizing this heavy section of auger before beginning to cut it and continually support it as it is lifted.
Afternoon Rotation 3: PTO & Finger Entrapment. Power Take Off or PTO's are commonly found on tractors, trucks, and some marine equipment. Just a single thread from a piece of clothing is enough to get caught on the spinning shaft and cause an entrapment. Students practiced cribbing the PTO and then employed various disassembly techniques to free the trapped limb. Finger entrapments are one of the most common "man-in-the-machine" incidents emergency responders will encounter. Don't believe this… google search "finger stuck in" and you will be quite surprised at what you find. This rotation reviewed procedures for removing rings that the patient can not remove due to swelling or the ring being crushed as well as a finger stuck in a gasoline fill spout of an automobile. We first heard about this type of incident while reading an article by Lt. Tom Kenney from Hyannis MA FD and as luck would have it, Instructor Kevin Legacy responded to an identical incident in New York City about a week after this class.
Afternoon Rotation 4: Real Machinery. This rotation used a rescue manikin and some foam hands to recreate entrapments in real machinery. Snowblowers, riding and push lawn mowers, and a tilling machine provided the students an opportunity to use the tools and skills in complex scenarios. Students worked together to size-up the situation, stabilize the patient and machine, discontinue power, release or render stored energy safe, and extricate the patient.
This course has been developed over the last several years with the assistance of several key people. Co-Owner Andrew Brassard spearheaded the course development based on his firefighting, metal fabrication, technical rescue and millwright experience. He enlisted the assistance of Jamie Hiller from H&R Machine to provide technical assistance as he has a long background as a millwright and welder/fabricator and firefighter. Jamie Morelock from the Toledo OH Fire Dept. also assisted with course development adding his skills as a firefighter/paramedic as well as an iron worker and a millwright. Mike Tesarski is a firefighter in Mississauga Ontario Canada as well as an Air Ambulance Paramedic. Mike spearheaded the medical portion of the presentation. The comprehensive group of instructors made for a great presentation and extremely realistic class.