A Sidekick's Blog

Disaster Drill: Just like Old Times

April 3, 2014
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Law Enforcement escorts a “Walking Wounded” patient

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I observed the Disaster Drill at College of Central Florida today. Every such drill I have ever taken part in always has one common issue: Noisy, clamoring “walking wounded” who get in the way; and the temptation to give them higher priority than more critically injured victims seems to win out. Several “Green-tagged” victims get transported off the scene before “Red and Yellow-tagged” ones do just to get them the heck out of the way. You have Law Enforcement people there, use them to corral these noisy people. Set up a little lemonade stand for them and for goodnessakes, don’t let them wander around talking to the Press! In Triage, you can’t let the “squeaky wheels” steal grease from those who need it far worse.

Multi-agency scenarios bring unique problems when everyone is wearing an orange vest, but what was the Staging officer doing at the west entrance bringing victims out of the building?


His vest is marked, “Staging.” But he’s at the entrance to the building.

“Oh, I’m not the Staging officer,” he says.
“Where is the Staging officer? Where is the Staging area for that matter?”
“I dunno.”

Someone tagged “Medical Supply Officer” wasn’t replenishing medical supplies or seeing to it. He was busy talking to observers – ?

Play the assigned role, don’t “help” the other guys out. If they need more resources, they know to ask for them. If you need them, ask! That’s what Command is for! To get resources to where they are needed. When rescuers start swapping personnel, duties, and supplies to meet immediate needs, the plan falls apart. Command isn’t just there to look pretty. Put those fancy-pants white shirts to work getting you what you need!

No designated rehab area? That’s far too common a mistake, but overworked rescuers quickly become victims themselves, especially in hot weather like today. Assign one Medical Rescue unit to nothing but Rehab and use a PASS (Personal Accountability System) to keep track of rescuers and make sure they don’t become a liability themselves. Like this firefighter:


The deceased need to be moved out of sight as soon as it’s practical. Don’t let the “walking wounded” and rescuers step over the deceased to get to the Treatment area for goodnessakes. Treat the deceased with dignity as much as possible. I didn’t see any area designated as a temporary morgue at all. Commandeer a refrigerated truck if you have to, but at least don’t let the deceased become a threat to the safety of other victims.


The Press has telephoto lenses, y’know. And everyone in sight has a camera-equipped cellphone!

Perimeter security. Just thought I’d mention it.

What benchmarks were in use at the Command Post? Not a peep from Command about those… Rescuers were told to stay out of the building until it was safe to enter, but the announcement of that benchmark never actually happened. But there were plenty of rescuers in the building. Were they acting in defiance of orders? When was the Loss Stopped benchmark reached? I guarantee it was later than the rescuers thought.

Very nice job by a Law Enforcement student who had to deliver a baby herself for lack of an EMT in the area. Nicely done, whoever you are! Oh, and a half-dozen EMTs were less than 10 meters away having some kind of confab or something, sorry about that…


This CJ Student was awesome. I’m sorry I didn’t get video of her performance when the “pregnant victim” was brought out in labor! This hearty soul took it all in stride.

These drills are always a tough learning experience, I know, and everyone worked very hard. But it need not be so confusing. And if it’s this bad at a drill, think about why this stuff matters. I’m talking to officers here (white shirts), not so much the rank-and-file blue shirts.

-Lieutenant Robin Arnaud (Retired),
Broward County Fire Rescue



Another Sidekick Felling Giants

March 9, 2012

Sidekicks can inspire other sidekicks too, y’know, not just heroes. Take Spidey’s little-known tiny sidekick, seen here confronting an army of evil:

It just looks like Little Spidey is merely talking to the bad guys, doesn’t it? But when your Hero is the Lord Jesus, His words are all a sidekick needs! No matter how little I am. Even my Hero Jesus used His Father’s words against the immortal enemy, Satan, in His trial in the wilderness. And Jesus Himself is the Living Word – the Logos of God, the Father’s word sent in flesh, small and born under the Law in the tyranny of Rome.

He is my example. And Little Spidey knows the Sidekick’s best weapon: The word of God.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
2 Timothy 1:7-9

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Revelation 12:10-12

We have His own testimony, the testimony of the Apostles, of history, the testimony of nature itself, the Church, and of course, our own testimony of His mighty and gracious work in our own lives. Sure our enemies might kill the body, but we overcome both now and in the world to come, by the word of our testimony.

What’s your testimony? What do you tell the armies of evil when they try to coerce you through fear, or guilt (illegitimate for the Redeemed – Christians are not guilty!), or deceit? Share it here with a comment!

The Lord’s own little Sidekick,