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Logo del Dipartimento della Protezione Civile On November 20, 2009 I attended, along with colleagues from the Green Cross of Villa Rosa, a local civil defense exercise on the search for missing people. The simulation took place at the border between Alba Adriatica and Martinsicuro and, specifically, at the mouth of the river Vibrata.

Participating in the simulation, in addition to the mentioned Green Cross of Villa Rosa is within the area "civil protection" is within the area "health", including the protection of civil Mosciano Sant'Angelo, the White Cross in Alba Adriatica and a detachment of the army Italian.

Simulazione protezione civile - Spieghiamo le regole del gioco

I am part of the fourth course, the research team called "Team Delta". With me, who plays the role of rescuer of the group and then fitted with the backpack of emergency

zaino_emergenza

is the foreman and another "veteran" of the Green Cross. Completing the group two new elements which have just completed the course of civil protection.

Here is the account of the operation as experienced by myself and my team.

[20:30 Zulu Time]

At the initial briefing we receive instructions from one of the elements of the Joint Operations Center (COM) set up at the rotunda in Villa Rosa.

Simulazione Protezione Civile - Briefing

The instructions are to go to the first round of the promenade of Villa Rosa, to reach the shore and continue towards the mouth of the river Vibrata searching for two missing, a man and a woman were seen, the last time, on a river boat.

Once you reach the river, the instructions are to divide the team into two and then go up the river on both sides of the two and looking for any traces left by their clothes or what else.

[21.00 Zulu Time]

We reach the roundabout and look, by radio, the positioning of the other teams and the way of operations

[21:10 Zulu Time]

Got the green light, we begin the reconnaissance of the beach equidistanziandoci with each other and began research on the ground to comb. We begin to find various clothing possibly belonging to two missing; sweaters, men's pants, a hat and then a bag lady. Indeed, in a real situation I would almost think that played to nine and a half weeks along the beach. COM Comuque communicating continuously with the various findings and points where the garments were found.

[21:30 Zulu Time]

Reach the mouth of Vibrio and divide us. Team Delta / B formed by the foreman and the other member of the Green Cross over the river and begin to scan the river south and the two novices as I'm going to form the Delta Squad / A and we begin to fathom the north side.

The fact that we divided it seems strange because first of all having a single radio we have to scream from one bank to another and also, being myself, rescuer of the team, on the north side, in case of discovery of the missing or health problems the other half of the team could not help it. Moreover, being the first simulation in which many of us involved, it seems strange that they sent half the team composed of experts not just in jeopardy. However, these were the guidelines and we standardized.


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[21:45 Zulu Time]

We have now risen more than halfway river before the bridge of Via Roma. On the way is the Delta / A that the Delta / B have found several traces refer to the two missing. The fact of the COM that we are finding stuff is on the north side than on the south bank became suspicious the operator. Oh yes, it is now clear. The information received in the initial briefing was not accurate. The Delta team was not in fact divide. Directives are therefore of COM is obviously impossible to meet before reaching the bridge in Via Roma. Then continue along the river to rejoin the team.

[22:00 Zulu Time]

Reached the bridge of Via Roma. The slope of the bank on the south side is difficult and the team Delta / B asks for our help. Fortunately, from the north side, on the embankment of concrete, there is placed an iron ladder that allows you to easily lift. But they are hampered by having to wait for the two "novices" and my sense of responsibility obliges me to remain there until the two are not on the roadway. Meanwhile, the team Delta / B, after a long climb has reached the roadway.

We reunited and we head on Via Magenta, corner Via Roma, where there is a rest for reconnaissance teams. We communicate with the COM informing them of our position. The COM tells us to wait there.

[22:10 Zulu Time]

While we're refreshed, we listen to the situation on the radio. It seems that a team has collected the testimony of a person who says he saw climb the bank by a couple. Maybe you are not missing much more dispersed.

But in the meantime, the question evolves into another direction. A team needs urgent medical intervention as one of the rescuers has been done to a bad ankle. Another team announced they had found a car crashed into two people on board with. Then leave immediately but two autombulanze communication problems leading either with us since the COM announced that the person with pain in the ankle and the team Delta.

The confusion increases because actually one of our team complained about pain in the ankle from the start, a situation that has worsened with the route, but not so much from seeking medical support and also do not understand those who have requested this support.

Simulazione Protezione Civile - Mezzi di soccorso

[22:20 Zulu Time]

Subsequent requests to the COM to understand that the ankle problem is in the Mail Beta team embankment south of vibrato. The ambulance team to reach this part.

[22:30 Zulu Time]

Bored by the fact that things are happening elsewhere and we are still catering to ask the COM guidelines about what to do. Apparently, once again, someone has misunderstood or someone has explained badly. Did not have to stop. The control unit then communicates to return. Then take Via Magenta to return to base camp.

[22:35 Zulu Time]

At the intersection of Via Balbi and Via del Pineto, we meet a civil defense volunteer who asks us if we saw several ambulances because, just along the country road before they crashed a car with two people on board who have applied for assistance but still nothing has arrived. We understand at this point that both ambulances went to help the volunteer with the ankle and that none has arrived here. Decide to continue as health care, along with Team Delta, along the country road to help relief efforts.

[22:45 Zulu Time]

As you approach the car crashed with the ambulance. There is then requested from the central return to base camp. Inclined to believe that the road we are traveling to reach the promenade continue.

[22:50 Zulu Time]

The road continues to deteriorate to a close, less than thirty meters from the seafront Italy. For those who are watching the map on Google Maps. The last stretch of road that on Google joins the promenade on "La Villa Srl" simply does not exist. We decide to continue along the campaign by making its way through weeds and shrubs.

[22:55 Zulu Time]

We are now about five meters from the road. A separation, a deep ditch about five feet and a hedge. We reach a point where the hedge is sparse, we descend into the ditch and not easily able to reach the road and return to the car.

[23:20 Zulu Time]

The simulation is over. We expect the mezzemaniche with seafood, ham, cheese, bread, hot tea, water, tiramisu offered by the Green Cross of Villa Rosa and the legendary chef of the restaurant Nicola La Palma.

Simulazione Protezione Civile - Cena Post evento

What can I say to conclude and sum up the record of this experience. Surely something very beautiful and educational. I never imagined that one day I went up the creek at night Vibrata and still be left with no problems is already perceived as a victory marked by the fact that for over half an hour, I was still in charge of a mini -team with two novices, and even then nothing happened irreparable.

A little 'disappointed rethinking the work done by other clubs compared with the marginal operated by us. Surely the problems of communication during the briefing and during the entire event have weighed on this, but on the other hand, practice does just that. Also if you really wanted to criticize the COM communication during the briefing, we can not forget that if at the time of the division's team had informed the COM our intention to divide us as instructed, surely would have been immediately corrected the misunderstanding and we would then continued exercise by following the correct guidelines of the COM and maybe things would have unfolded differently.

But as said, practice does just that, to improve and reduce the error margins entire operation.

Ultimately it is therefore an experience to repeat as soon as possible and in fact I will be Sunday, December 13th, all day, a new civil defense exercise, this time seems on the hydrogeological instability. Expect then tumbler, any direct live and, of course, a new report.

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