Welcome to European Union project CoSafe.
CoSafe in major accident exercise in Finland
Together with the Finnish authorities, the
Finnish partners of the CoSafe project organized a major traffic
accident rescue exercise in Taivalkoski (road No. 8631), Northern
Ostrobothnia. The accident scenario was as follows: due to bad
weather and icy roads, a school bus had slid into a ditch beside the
road, and landed on its right side. The air temperature was 0 °C at
the time of accident, and there were 20 young students (aged 16-19)
and a driver (aged 57) on the bus. The driver was unconscious and
two persons had walked off into forest in shock. One of the
casualties had become trapped under the bus and died. Four of the
students were badly injured (requiring immediate transportation or
medical attention), two were moderately injured (transportation
could be delayed) and 14 were minimally injured. The rescue
operation lasted 1h 35 min starting from when the emergency call was
made, but the arrival time of units was actually half of what it
would be in a real situation. About 70 persons took part in this
recue operation exercise.
The CoSafe project
Protection of the
casualties from cold.
Removal from the bus resulted in
a rapid fall of 1 - 2 °C in mean skin temperature (see Figure). Legs
and hands cooled in particular. Therefore, covering the patient is
essential, even during a short transfer.
Physical workload was moderate to heavy on average, with short
bouts of high intensity work, such as sawing the windscreen,
carrying casualties, or running. Rescue personnel perspired due to
heavy fire protective clothing and physical activity.
new risk assessment tool
was also tested during the
rescue exercise. Specialists observed the exercise at the scene, and
participants from different authorities and organizations were
interviewed later. Participants were asked if adequate factors were
taken into account in the new model of the risk assessment tool.
Their opinions varied greatly. The future challenge for development
is to integrate the risk assessment of major accidents with the risk
assessment of daily accidents, and to embed them into the incident
management and safety management of fire departments.
overall conclusion of the exercise was that there were sufficient
resources for the rescue operation in the accident area, that
communication and management should be more structured, a warmed
casualty collection point is needed, and that the logistics of
stretchers and covers for the casualties must be developed.
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