RESCUE: Life-size exercise for SNSM rescuers

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It was on a Saturday afternoon like any other that a large-scale exercise was launched for the operational rescuers of the Saint-Martin station.

The CROSS Antilles-Guyane, engaged jointly with the SNSM in this exercise, has  requested the rescuers of Saint-Martin for a distress call made by boaters. Their boat, launched at full speed, appears to have struck a floating object. The impact caused two serious injuries and their boat had engine failure. The alert has been sounded!

Fifteen minutes later, the mobilized rescuers arrive at the station, equip themselves and take the rescue and intervention equipment on board the Rescue Star. The departure is quick because the CROSS specifies that one of the boaters suffers from an open fracture with hemorrhage and a second from trauma to the back and one leg.

While two teams of rescuers are formed and the equipment is prepared, the Rescue Star speeds at full throttle towards the GPS position of the boaters. Ten minutes later, the two pairs of SNSM boarded the boat and took into account the injured.

First aid is in progress, the bleeding has been stopped. Tourniquet, cervical collars and vacuum splints are applied. The health checks are quickly transmitted to the SAMU, which asks the rescuers to evacuate the injured person who has lost a lot of blood as quickly as possible. The second victim suffering from a back and a broken leg will be kept immobilized on the floor of the boat while waiting to be brought back to shore.

Despite a significant swell, the good coordination of the team members made it possible to transfer the first victim onto the Rescue Star. A pair remains on board with the second victim while the Rescue Star rotates towards Marigot in order to hand the victim over to the firefighters.

Once back at the scene of the accident, the second victim, given his various traumas, cannot be transported. In agreement with the SAMU, the decision was made to tow the boat to the Fort-Louis marina. The victim, conscious, is therefore stabilized and under active surveillance by rescuers during the maneuver.

After a few miles of towing, the exercise ends. All stakeholders meet at the station at the end of the afternoon for a complete debriefing which will highlight areas for improvement but above all the many positive points of this exercise.

The SNSM thanks all participants, rescuers and victims  who gave their time and energy for this larger than life training!

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