This Blog Post was originally published on adagia.org.
Another day is over and so only two more are upcoming. I never expected the week to progress so quickly.
In the morning we had a small theoretical unit before two guys from the search dogs department showed us how god their bois (well, one boy and one girl) are. :)
Obviously our hearts were melted by the two dogs they've got with them. It was really interesting to hear how the team (human and dog) worked together to find people and how trained a dog can be.
Normally when I'm encountering dogs in my uniform they react to the red tones of the uniform (yes dogs are color blind, but still) and go crazy around us.
Not with those trained search dogs. No barking unless somebody was sitting or laying down. They are trained to signal people sitting somewhere or laying down. Interestingly as soon as they find someone they start to bark really loud (so the human part of the team can find the dog), but also back off a little from the "patient" (or searched person) so that the person isn't panicking because of the dog barking. They lay down one or two meters from the patient and keep on barking until their human counterpart reaches them and tells them to be quiet again.
I was really fascinated with the bond of the owners to their dogs. No loud shouting of commands, no crazy running around of the dogs. It felt almost like they had a mental connection.
Afterwards, a guy from the ÖBB (the largest train service provider in Austria; Tracks; Trains and Infrastructure) told us about the problems that can occur around train tracks and how the communication ways are to make sure you're not hit by a train while working to rescue peoples of a (for example) derailed train.
The afternoon started with a quick look into planning a training session before we had a practice lesson on it. We were grouped and had to think about a paramedic training session and how to promote and organize it.
Then we dug deep into major emergencies (for example if a bus hits a truck). Loads of injured people and we had to think about how to triage them (there is a neat structure for it, called STaRT). After triage we had to think about how to bring them to different hospitals with only a limited amount of vehicles and personell.
Tomorrow a bunch of other emergency services will show up to teach us how we work together in larger emergencies and generally how they're handling them. I think it will be really interesting and I almost can't await it. :)