Shillong, Dec 3: Following up on their Certified Cave Single Rope Technique (SRT), Cave Leadership, and Cave rescue Training in the UK and Republic of Ireland during the month of July-August 2023, by a seven-member group of the Meghalaya Adventurers Association (MAA), which was sponsored by the Government of Meghalaya, a Cave Rescue Mock Drill was organised at Krem Mawmluh on November 12, 2023.
With the tremendous increase and interest in cave tourism and cave exploration, incidents and accidents inside the cave should not be overlooked. Sooner or later, mishaps are bound to happen, MAA general secretary Brian D Kharpran Daly said in a statement on Saturday.
“The Association feels that they have a great responsibility to oversee and take care of any such accidents should they happen. With that in mind, the Association is gearing itself up to meet such eventualities. Therefore, the importance of this Cave Rescue Mock Drill which is also the first such exercise of its kind in India is of the utmost importance,” he said.
Giving details of the Cave Rescue Operation, Kharpran said, “20 members from the MAA along with Robin Sheen arrive at Mawmluh Cement plant by 10 am; 2 casualties were briefed by the Overground Controller immediately and entered the cave by 10:15 am; An Overground Base Control Camp was set up at 10:30 am and role delegation was completed by 10:45 am; The Search & Rescue Team (S&R) along with their kits entered the cave by 11 am to start searching; Casualties were found by the S&R team at 12:10 pm in the middle of the river passage section; Casualties’ conditions as per the First Aid medic were noted and attended to accordingly; All vitals like Blood Pressure, Oxygen Levels, and Temperature were noted immediately and thereafter every 30 minutes by the First Aid Medic; Other injury conditions like bleeding, head injury, dehydration, etc. were also noted by the First Aid Medic.”
Simultaneously the S&R Team created a Hot Point to comfort the casualties, feed them with hot soup, tea, and biscuits/chocolates, and also change them to dry warm clothes; As per the background setting details, Casualty Mohan Das had bruising on the left hand, BP was 180/100. Temp was 38 degrees Celsius, with no Bleeding, and possible fracture on the right ankle which made him immobile, he said.
On the other hand, Casualty Hari Singh was in a much better condition. His BP was 150/89, temp was 38 degrees Celsius, no Pain, and he was just exhausted, cold, and dehydrated. Basis the above findings, the First Medic called out for a Stretcher for Mohan Das via the runners who then passed on the information in person to the Cave Entrance Communication in-charge who in turn relayed the information via a VHO wireless phone to Base Control; The Stretcher Team entered the cave by 12:25 pm and reached the Hot Point by 12:45 pm;
Meanwhile Hari Singh felt much better after being fed and was escorted out of the cave to the Base control camp by one of the runners at 1:15 pm;
As per the background setting details again, once the Base Control Co-ordinator found out that a stretcher was needed, he called out for an Ambulance around 12:30 pm and the Ambulance arrived at the Camp at 1:15 pm;
Stretcher reaches cave entrance by 1:45 pm, leaves the rigged cave entrance section by 2 pm, and reaches Base Control camp by 2:15 pm, thus concluding the successful operation within 5 hrs.
The entire exercise was overlooked by Robin Sheen, a member of the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation, Ireland, who was very impressed with the professionalism of the 21-member team that took part, he said.
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