In pictures: Hazardous environment firefighters trained at Chateaudun Castle

Chateaudun Castle doesn’t just have a cultural appeal. The building, which dates back to the 12th century, was transformed this Tuesday, September 13 in the morning, from 9 am, into a training place for the Reconnaissance and Intervention Group in the perilous environment of Eure-et-Loir (GRIMP 28). A first for specialist firefighters from Châteaudun, Dreux, Chartres and Nogent-le-Rotrou, who used to maneuver in the department’s monuments, such as Chartres Cathedral three weeks ago.

A visitor was evacuated from Chartres Cathedral after being hit by a height of 25 metres

If, in appearance, an air of calm prevails in the castle, “it is also a place to visit where there can be falls, suicides, sick workers…” Dominic Schaeffer, one of the six heads of the unit in the department, enumerates. A survey of the place was conducted a few days ago.

“When maneuvering in a historical monument, there is an additional limitation: you must not damage the building. This is not a typical situation, everyone is deep in thought.”

Dominic Schaeffer, Unit Head (empty)

For the first maneuver, which was conducted on the bank of the Loire, it was one of the GRIMP members who played the false victim.

The profile is given by the head of the unit: at the age of 39, this guy fell more than twenty meters. He was hit in the back, and he’s also a multiple-traumatist. Very quickly, the seven scattered GRIMP members put on their belts.

Withdrawing from this exercise, the unit head, known as IMP3 (Intervention Hazardous Environment Level 3), carefully examines the actions and gestures of his teammates.
“There is always an IMP3 that monitors the maneuver, in order to ensure safety but also to give feedback so that the exercise is as close to reality as possible.”

After the firefighter’s intervention has descended for an initial assessment with the victim, it is the turn of a nurse trained in Emergency Care Nursing (PISU) protocols to intervene, with the approval of the regulating physician. A rescue gallows, also called “la Suédoise”, was installed on one end of the castle.

Firefighters, canine team and GRIMP 28 trained at the former Kellermann Barracks in Châteaudun

At this point, Alain Desnos, the head of the assigned maneuver unit, gives his instructions. In this case, it takes only 45 minutes to lift the victim. Says:

“In this exercise as in real life, we always work quietly. »

Alan Desnos

The whistles only come to break the team’s systematic gestures.

“Whistles operate by the number of syllables. For all GRIMPs in France it is one and the same language: one button for “stop”, two for “up” and three for “down”. This avoids giving directions in all directions. »

Alan Desnos

After perfusion and helmeting, the victim was lifted on a stretcher using an electric hoist. When the maneuver is over, pay attention to the release. Dominic Schaeffer asserts that “an accident can happen very quickly.” If we make a mistake, we pay for it on both sides. »

save zip line

As the second and final maneuver of the morning, GRIMP 28 stretches, in a few minutes, two ropes as a zip line to Grands-Moulins Park. The nurse, in turn, plays the role of the victim. “There is no feeling of dizziness in the stretcher, whether it is moved from the castle or from the ground,” the unit head reassures.

Rigor is required, even after the exercise is over: the equipment used is listed and checked before being stored in vehicles, before the next intervention.

Julie Giloy

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