Followers of my blog (and rescue topics on social media in general) may be aware that a recent publication of mine, regarding the use of lifting with hydraulic spreaders, created some robust debate. For more info visit SEO Company in London. Irrespective of your view on that topic, it once again proved the power of social media and the tremendous value it can add to the development of rescue techniques.
I am a huge advocate of sharing knowledge and opinions and I genuinely feel that everyone’s opinion is just as valid as the next person’s, especially when it opens a wider debate.
It also proved once again that vehicle extrication is unlike many other rescue disciplines. This is primarily because techniques and methods of operating are not as strictly defined as others such as wearing self-contained breathing apparatus, use of lines and equipment for high access rescue and rescue from water incidents. These kinds of rescue operations are (generally) more strictly controlled and have very prescriptive standard operating procedures. Vehicle extrication provides many more ‘gray areas’ which are generally filled by techniques decided by personal preference, mostly still providing a safe system of work. Occasionally of course, these gray areas may be filled with what some people think are potentially less safe options, which is where the debate normally escalates.
No standard approach
Gray areas are good; if vehicle extrication was wholly prescriptive, it would certainly stifle progress. Gray areas make people think outside of the box and has historically produced some revolutionary ideas, options and techniques which I and many others teach today. I have previously written about how I would not like to see an international standard approach to vehicle extrication (read it here) and If we did in fact all think the same way, we simply would not push the boundaries of what is possible.
There are key reasons that opinions can differ so widely, leading to a vast array of options with which to solve any given problem at the scene of a rescue. Geography plays a huge part, with each territory having its own approach to certain aspects of rescue. Having worked in over 100 countries I know that culture (along with historical custom and practice) is a huge influence on peoples thinking. There are certain places in the world where some techniques are simply not practiced or certain aspects are simply not considered a high priority and this will naturally affect how rescuers operate at the scene. Worldwide, rescuers face different challenges whether it is limited resources, equipment or training opportunities all of which affect the way they fill in the gaps. Conversely rescuers who have access to all the latest equipment, learning material and lots of time to train will inevitably find different solutions.
The power of social media
With social media being a truly global platform, regional differences in approach are now easily identifiable and as a result, will always promote prolonged discussion and debate. Ten years ago, if you wanted to know how vehicle extrication was being carried out in Australia or USA, you had to get on a plane; now you simply click a mouse or swipe a screen. The fact that now we have this online learning environment should be harnessed to share knowledge and opinion, instead of focusing on who’s right and who’s wrong.
The important point here is that no one is always correct and we all have the right to challenge the ideas of others in a respectful and constructive way, whilst having the opportunity to promote our own. We just should be aware that although the world has shrunk thanks to the internet, it is still a big place, meaning there is plenty of room for everyone to have their say.