英文翻译:消防:救援技术的传承困境

Fire Corps: The Difficulty of Passing Along Rescue Techniques

San Lian Shenghuo Zhoukan, June 30, 2008 pp. 98 – 99

http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2008-06-26/114615821257.shtml

“In most Chinese provinces, earthquake rescue teams are located in the fire corps.” Political commissar Zhong Jian of the Sichuan Province Fire Corps 四川消防总队政委仲健 says, “We have expert rescue personnel and equipment, therefore the most difficult rescue missions are given to the fire departments.” In this earthquake, 14,434 officers and men of fire corps from throughout China were involved. From the ruins 8335 people were taken of whom 1721 survived. Of these the Sichuan fire departments took 6319 people, of whom 1300 survived. Li Guohui, a senior engineer of the Sichuan Province Fire Corps said that fire fighting personnel in China are nearly all active duty military. Fire fighting and rescue techniques depend greatly on the accumulation of knowledge. The Fire Corps needs to devote much thought to how to make up for the losses in the fighting strength of th Fire Corps as its members return to civilian life or transfer to some other specialty.

An hour after the earthquake, the Sichuan Fire Corps learned where the earthquake epicenter was and sent the first special team of about 60 to Wenchuan county. Zhong Jian looked at the map and tried to contact fire units or fire brigades in nine area but was unable to reach any along a corridor running several hundred kilometers in length from the southwest to the northeast. “Then we realized that these regions were in bad shape.”

As disaster information came in from one place after another, Zhong Jian directed troops to go to one or another disaster area. “We realized that the disaster was much greater than we had thought, and that although this was the largest fire corps deployment in history, it was still utterly inadequate.

We sent in all 4500 rescue troops of the Fire Corps and reached the limit of troops we could deploy.”

The 800 troops of the Chengdu branch of the Fire Corps were all deployed to Dujiangyan. The number of disaster areas that needed help reached 150. “Our troop strength was inadequate, so we had to choose areas where there were large concentrations of people such as schools and hospitals for our deployments. This was a serious decision, but we had no alternative.” Among the 150 areas needing disaster rescue assistance, only 76 were chosen for deployment of rescue troops. “Since the Fire Corps has special equipment and techniques, on some very difficult missions only the Fire Corps can take the assignment. In this widespread earthquake disaster, our troops were simply overwhelmed.”

“In Yingxiu Township, we only saved 41 people, but all of them were saved from deep within the ruins, from places where the specialized knowledge and equipment of the Fire Corps was essential. Rescuing an individuals took an average of three hours each, with some rescues lasting as long as two to three days. Faced with this large a rescue task, personnel without special training would be simply unable to accomplish it.”, said Xie Baiyang, the vice director of training for the Sichuan Fire Corps.

The earthquake trapped many people. When the earthquake hit, 13 tourists were caught on the funicular at Dujiangyan. Due to mountain slides, the supports at both ends of the cable way had loosened. Li Guohui lead firefighters to the road beneath the funicular. The road rose at a steep angle with the tourists trapped at different heights of between 30 and 60 meters. Li Guohui immediately devised a rescue plan. Over ten firefighters put on safety belts and began climbing the support at the middle of the cable way. Some of the troops pulled a rescue line. One team members crawled along the line to the cable car and attached a tourist at one of the lower cars to a device that would gradually lower them to the ground. The weight of the tourists themselves was used to lower them. This device could not be used for tourists on the higher cars, so they were tied to a rescue line and gradually lowered, with several troops holding onto the line. On the evening of the earthquake 13 tourists were rescued, 11 of them were Taiwan compatriots.

“This was an unusual rescue, most of them were done in the ruins.” said Li Guohui. In a building that has collapsed, one cannot move carelessly. People buried at a shallow layer of the ruins who can be rescued using simple tools. For people buried deep in ruins, special equipment and even more experience and special techniques.

  Upon entering a disaster areas, the fire corps personnel need to evaluate the situation and be guided by local people to schools, hospitals and factories where people are concentrated. Then they need to search for signs of life. The simplest is to yell, and if people respond to determine their exact position. If nobody answers, than use search and rescue dogs and life sign detection equipment to look for survivors. Fiber optic snakes can be inserted into cracks in ruins to look for people. If a person is found but it is not clear if they are alive, then a radar life sign detector can be used to check for signs of life.

At the same time, another group does a study of all the ruins to find out the principal support points and to determine if there is loose soil in the vicinity. “Only after these survey results are obtained can a rescue plan be devised. If not, and a support point of the ruins were to be damaged, there could be another collapse which would not only harm survivors but endanger rescue personnel as well.”

  People who are trapped in a shallow layer of the ruins can be rescued by removing the top layer of the wreckage. For a large building, a crane can be used or a special pneumatic drill, which uses air pressure to turn the concrete into small pieces that are convenient to remove. Once rebar is encountered, a special metal cutter is used. If the trapped person is buried relatively deeply, especially in the very difficult case of a high rise building, then a path into the ruins needs to be made.” Once a rescue path has been cut, rescue personnel crawl into it. “This is very dangerous. If an aftershock comes, it is all over for us.” Therefore while cutting the rescue path, the fire corps personnel need to pay close attention to the support points of the ruins. Since the limbs of victims are often caught by the ruins, rescuers sometimes need to use hydraulic or pneumatic equipment to lift a part of the ruins.

“Our rescue philosophy has changed considerably over time. Formerly we focused entirely on saving lives and on getting victims out as quickly as possible, and so paid little attention to saving the limbs of the victims. Now that we have many kinds of advanced equipment, we have been able to make a big change in our approach. Working together with the provincial health department, provincial rescue center, and the rescue centers of each city and prefecture, we have been giving medical and nursing training to our front line rescue workers and giving more thought to the various needs of disaster victims. For example, during the rescue process we constantly spray the ruins with water so that small dust particles will not hurt people trapped in the ruins. We also give special attention to the health of the limbs of the victims, and give the victims psychological counseling during the rescue process. During this very long and difficult process, we need to encourage the trapped person to hold out.”, said Li Guohui.

  “Other armies have the philosophy “train for a thousand days to be ready for one moment” but for us, we “train for a thousand days to fight a thousand days”. Zhong Jian said that Fire Corps troops are on the battlefield almost every day. With the development of fire rescue work, new equipment and new techniques are being adopted and rescue concepts are developing constantly. An important rescue concept is “integration of people and equipment”. The biggest issue after getting a great deal of advanced equipment is how to use it most effectively. Xie Bai says, there are 4000 – 7000 items of equipment that a special rescue team has. All this equipment is useless if the team members haven’t experience in how to use it. Simple memorization doesn’t work. It takes five to ten years to train a top rate special rescue team member.

  “Fire rescue and even more special rescue is not simply a matter of being in good physical condition. A rescue team member has to have relevant knowledge of buildings, physics and the ability to respond in an emergency. Firefighting is itself a multidisciplinary science.” says Li Guohui.

Therefore there are great demands placed on developing the rescue ability of firefighters. In rescue efforts during this earthquake, the specialized rescue workers of the fire corps played a major role.”

  In developed countries, firefighters are one per thousand of the population. In developing countries, this number is between two and five per ten thousand. In China the average  level is 0.9 per ten thousand. Considering differences in urbanization, the level in Chinese cities is only two per ten thousand, at the very bottom of the range for developing countries. In addition to the inadequate numbers, is the problem that retaining trained personnel is difficult. In China, firefighters are active duty military assigned to public security, in addition to some firefighters who work for government, enterprises and some volunteers. The biggest difference between Chinese and foreign firefighters is the the average length of service of specialized firefighting personnel is different.

  In China, a firefighter gets three months of basic military training followed by six months of training about the area of assignment and firefighting equipment as well as technical training. Then they are assigned to firefighting teams as assistants. During this period they accumulate experience with emergency response, equipment and firefighting techniques. At the end of the second year, some members return to civilian life, transfer to military schools to work at becoming an officer. Yet there are not many officer positions, especially at the higher ranks. Therefore after the second year, many firefighters gradually return to civilian life. Some join government or enterprise firefighting units and greatly strengthen civilian firefighting capacity. All this is a serious loss to the specialized firefighting techniques and experience to the public security fire rescue teams. The transfer of skilled personnel affects fire rescue.

  Xie Baiyang said, in this rescue process, the young firefighters showed great dedication. They all ran to their task. In the early stages they used up much of their physical strength and so their energy level declined rapidly. The more experienced firefighters better knew how to husband their strength.

“During 9/11, U.S. firefighters climbed buildings in an unhurried manner, not because they were not in a hurry but because they know, that climbing will get harder and harder and they will need to conserve their strength. This is the way a mature firefighter behaves. Therefore, most foreign firefighters are between the age of 30 to 45.” In this situation, half of the fire corps troops were non-commissioned officers. Li Guohui said, “If all the Fire Corps troops had been non-commissioned officers, the troops would have had much greater fighting strength”. After the earthquake, the firefighting teams accomplished great things in rescue work. The big question facing them after the earthquake is how to retain the valuable skills and experience that they learned.”

  “As a commander, if I were to say what I regret most about this earthquake, it is that we didn’t have more equipment and more skilled non-commissioned officers. If had, we could have saved even more people.” said Zhong Jian.

消防:救援技术的传承困境

http://www.sina.com.cn 2008062611:46 三联生活周刊

  “全国大多数省市的地震救援队都设置在消防部队中。”四川消防总队政委仲健说,“我们拥有专业的救援人员和装备,因此最艰难的生命救援任务往往由消防部队完成。”此次地震, 全国共派出消防官兵13434名,从瓦砾堆中救出8335人,1721人生还。其中四川消防救出 6319人,生还者1300人。四川消防总队的高级工程师李国辉表示,我国的消防队员基本上是 现役军人,消防救援技术更多要依靠经验的积累,如何应对他们复员或转业之后造成的战斗力 流失,是我们灾后亟须反思的问题。

  ◎陈超

  地震发生后1小时,四川消防总队得知震中位置后马上派出首批约60人的突击队前往汶川救援。仲健看着地图上9个地区的支队或大队联系不上,通讯中断的地带沿“东北—西南”走向长达数百公里,“我当时就感到这些地区凶多吉少”。

  各地的灾情接踵而至,仲健不断指挥部队奔赴不同的受灾地区,“然而灾情远比我们想象得严重,消防部队这样大规模的兵力调动历史上还是第一次,仍然是杯水车薪。整个救援共调动总队部队4500人,已经达到我们调兵的极限”。成都支队将800多名队员全部投入都江堰,然而当地需要救援的地点多达 150处,“我们的兵力不足,不得已只能选择人口集中的学校和医院等地展开救援。为了突出重点,这是一个无奈的选择”。在需要救援的150个地点中,指挥部只能选择76个展开工作,“因为消防部队具有专业的救援装备和技能,一些高难度的救援任务只有依靠消防部队,这次地震点多面广,更使我们的兵力分配捉襟见肘”。

  “我们在映秀只救了41个人,但全都是埋在废墟深处,需要消防的专业人员和设备才能实施救援的。每救出一名被困者都至少需要3个小时,有的长达两三天。面对这样的施救难度,非专业人员是无法处理的。”四川消防总队战训处副处长谢百洋说。

  地震产生的复杂情况导致很多人被困,地震当天13名游客被困在都江堰索道上。由于山体滑坡,索道两端的地基已经松动,李国辉带着消防战士连夜赶到索道下方的公路。“上山索道呈一定的角度,游客分别困在30米到60米的不同高度。”李国辉立刻制定救援方案,十几名消防队员系好安全带,从索道中部的支撑架爬上去。几名队员在身后拉着安全绳,一名队员匍匐前行到缆车上,给位置较低的游客挂上缓降器,利用游客自身的重量缓缓落到地面。而位置更高的游客不能使用缓降器,只能给他们系上安全绳,几名队员拉着他们缓缓下落。地震当晚,成功救出13名被困游客,包括11名台胞。

  “这只是地震救援的一个特例,更多的救援是在废墟中展开。”李国辉介绍,房屋垮塌之后的救援不能盲动,除了在浅表的受伤人员可以徒手或用简单工具救出之外,埋在深层的被困者救援不仅需要专业的设备,更需要经验和技术。

  进入灾区现场,消防队员首先要对情况做出判断,由当地人引导至学校、医院、工厂等人员集中的地点。接下来就要搜寻生命迹象,最直接的是喊话,如果有人回应就要判断被埋者的准确位置,无人回应就要运用搜救犬、生命探测仪来确定是否有生命存活。库玛蛇眼探测仪的前端可以弯曲,用于伸进地下深处的缝隙中观测是否有人被困,如果确定有人而不知是否仍然活着,也可以用雷达生命探测仪检测生命迹象。

  同时另外一组人员需要对整个废墟进行侦查,找到主要的支撑点,检查周围是否有松土。“结合这些侦查状况才能做出救援方案,否则一旦破坏废墟的支撑点,造成再次坍塌,不仅造成被困者的二次伤害,还给救援人员带来生命危险。”

  对于埋在浅层的被困者,消防队员要把覆盖在上边的建筑残骸清理掉。较完整的大型残块可以利用吊车,或者使用专业的风镐,利用强大的气压将水泥砸成小块,便于搬运,遇到钢筋还要使用金属切割器。如果被困者埋得较深,特别是施救难度最大的垂直坍塌建筑下,就需要设计一条进入线路,锯出一条通道。谢百洋说,“废墟下的情况非常复杂,有时为了绕开支撑

点,不得不沿曲线前进”。锯出救援通道后,消防救援人员要沿通道爬进去,“这时其实非常危险,一旦有余震造成坍塌,我们的人就完了,后果不堪设想”。因此在开挖救援通道之后,消防队员要密切关注废墟的几个支撑点。由于被困者往往有肢体被压住,救援者这时还要用液压顶杆和气囊,向上顶起废墟的残骸。

  “我们救援的指导思想其实经历了巨大的变化。过去的救援中是以救生为主,为了尽快救出被困者,往往较少顾及保全被困者的肢体。引进多种先进的救援设备之后,近几年,我们的救援理念发生了很大改变,先后和省卫生厅、省急救中心、各市州急救中心对一线救援消防官兵进行基本的医疗救护知识培训,多方面、多角度为被困者的着想。例如在救援过程中我们要不停地喷水,以防扬起的粉尘给被困者造成伤害。同时尽可能保全被困者的肢体健康,在施救过程中还要给被困者做心理辅导。这种高难度的施救过程持续时间较长,我们必须鼓励被困者坚持下去。”李国辉说。

  “其他部队是‘养兵千日用兵一时’,我们是‘养兵千日用兵千日’。”仲健对记者说,消防队员几乎天天都有机会面对真正的战场,随着消防救援的发展,新的设备、训练方法不断被采用,救援理念也在不断发展。救援的重要原则之一是“人与装备的最佳结合”,在采用大量的先进救援装备之后,如何更好发挥这些设备的作用就成了关键所在。谢百洋说,一个特勤队的装备操作有40007000项,这些设备的操作靠死记硬背都没有用,只有在实战中积累经验,大约5 10年才能培养出一个优秀的特勤队员。

  “消防救援尤其是特勤救援绝不是简单的体力活,一个合格的消防队员应该掌握相关的建筑知识、物理化学知识以及很强的应急能力,消防本身就是一门多学科的交叉科学。”李国辉说。因此,对消防队员的救援能力就提出很高的要求。在这次地震救援中,消防的专业救援发挥了巨大作用。

  在发达国家,消防人员占居住人口的比例是千分之一,发展中国家这一数字是万分之二到万分之五,我国的平均水平是万分之零点九,即使考虑到城市化水平的差异,我国城市中这一比例也只有万分之二,刚刚达到发展中国家的下限。除了绝对数量上的不足,更令人担忧的是技术人才难以保留。我国的消防员由公安现役军人担任,同时结合政府、企业消防工作人员以及一些义务消防员。我国和国外消防体系最大的差异在于专业消防队员的服役期不同。

  在我国,一名消防战士在入伍后首先要经过3个月的新兵训练,分配到连队之后需要半年多的时间熟悉辖区情况和消防器材,以及基本的技术训练。然后才能编制到战斗班从事辅助工作,在此期间通过一次次的抢险熟悉设备的使用、战术的布置以及相关的各种救援知识。然而到第二年底,部分士兵就面临复员的问题,有的考进军校提干,剩下的努力升级到士官,但士官名额有限,特别是中高级士官更是少之又少,因此第二年之后,掌握一定消防技术的士兵开始逐渐退伍。一部分人进入政府、企业的专职消防队,极大地充实了民间消防力量,但对于专业的公安消防救援来说是技术、经验上的流失。技术人员的流动在一定程度上影响了消防救援。

  谢百洋说,这次救援过程中,年轻的消防战士都表现出极大的热情,一开始执行任务全部是跑步前进,前期的任务都是在运动中完成的,很容易导致体力迅速下降。而成熟的救援人员懂得合理分配体力。“‘9·11’事件中,美国的消防队员爬楼时都是采用不疾不徐的速度,并不是他们不着急,而是他们清楚地知道,越深入爬行越困难,必须保存足够的体力,这就是成熟消防队员的表现。因此,国外的消防队员年龄大多在3045岁之间。”这次消防部队投入的兵力中,全体战士中大约有一半士官,李国辉说,“如果参战士兵全部是士官的话,将极大提高部队的战斗力”。地震之后,消防部队在救援工作上取得巨大的成就,如何将地震救援中积累的宝贵技术、经验留在部队,是他们震后面临的一个新问题。

  “作为指挥员,如果要我说在这次地震中还有什么遗憾的话,就是没有更多的装备和更多具有专业技能的士兵。要不然我们还可以救出更多的人。”仲健说。

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