Last page revision: 15th June 2011
The SCS (Secure Casualty System) casualty bag is an all season casualty care system. It comes into it’s own in difficult cold and/or wet weather conditions when the casualty has to be kept secure and comfortable for long periods of time.
The product was developed in Scotland over 10 years and has been in service there now for 3 years, so far with 10 different Scottish Mountain Rescue teams and a further one in England.
Tests from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (see more at end) conclude that it is safe to maintain a casualty in the SCS bag in a 4 m/s wind for over 4 hours @ -10 deg. C, 1.5 hours @ -20 deg. C and 1 hour @ -30 deg.C.
When used with a vacuum mattress, these safe times are more than doubled.
1. With it’s 10 TOG removable insulation panels, and waterproof outer, it provides an extremely very well insulated environment.
2. The design is all about casualty comfort and security. The Type 1 design described below was specifically developed to provide this during steep and vertical extractions.
3. Access to the casualty is easily managed with minimum cold ingress.
4. The SCS cas bag is very easy and quick to use, and to learn to use.
5. It provides ample room to accept a casualty already packaged in a vacuum mattress.
supplied in rucksac
supplied rolled in own
attached stuff sac
|Weight||7.8 Kgs/17.2 lbs||5.35 Kgs/11.8 lbs|
Internal circunference at shoulders
|2.1 m/83 ins|
1.95 m/77 ins
|1.98 m/78 ins
1.90 m/75 ins
|Packed size||Cms: 80 X 40 X 30|
Ins: 31.5 X 16 X 12
|Cms: 70 X 30 diameter
Ins: 27.5 X 12diameter
Type 1 – a weatherproof and efficient ‘Insulation Pod’ with very high insulation values. This is combined with an additional internal and external webbing attachment system. It allows the casualty to be comfortably, safely and securely attached to the stretcher, which can then be managed in any of the usual ways but without the need for tight transverse webbing straps over the casualty bag. Therefore, injury sites and insulation layers never need to be compromised. This is an innovative approach which has now been widely used and tested in real situations in Scotland over several years.
It can be securely fitted to virtually any of the stretchers likely to be used, and certainly all those used for mountain rescue in the UK (except for the McInnes Mk 7). Suitability: essential when the method of rescue particularly imposes extra constraints on how the casualty is supported, eg. vertical or horizontal extraction during steep ground and cliff rescues.
Type 2 - the ‘Insulation pod’, has identical superb insulation characteristics as Type 1, but without the additional attached external and internal webbing and mesh. It may need to make use of stretcher webbing straps to protect the casualty from movement when carried on the stretcher. It has three carrying handles on each side, which can also be used for attaching to the stretcher sides. It packs down into it’s own attached stuff sac, with compression straps. Suitability: when the casualty does not require internal or external restraints to keep them comfortable and secure within the bag, eg, when the stretcher can be carried horizontally.
Features common to both types
- Removable 10 TOG insulation panels which are attached inside the waterproof high tenacity nylon fabric outer.
- The insulated top cover (with neck collar and reflective ring), is zippered onto the sides with three pairs of sliders. Each pair can be quickly slid to where access is needed. The cover does not separate from the main body, so it will not get lost, and can additionally be used as a windbreak whilst loading the casualty.
- An A5 transparent pocket on the outside can be used to enclose a record card.
- The Insulation Pod is designed to accept casualties already packaged in a large vacuum mattress.
- Three compression straps each side to gently control excess fabric, as dictated by casualty size and vacuum mattress in use.
- The casualty can be safely and quickly packaged (consistent with injury management).
Additional Type 1 features
4 cms wide webbing/buckles sewn underneath the bag, tightly anchors the bag (with 9 points of contact) to the stretcher, and the casualty can then be safely winched or lowered horizontally or vertically in the normal way.
There are two features for casualty containment inside the bag -:
Secondly, the versatile ‘Boot Bag’, again using load-bearing mesh, can be used in several different way, ie, for both legs, one leg, or in ‘nappy’ configuration if both legs are damaged. The Boot Bag restricts slippage of the casualty down the stretcher, whether being carried over rough terrain, or, and particularly so, during a vertical lower.
Test results from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
Early in 2011 final results became available from tests carried out as part of the COSAFE assessment of various items of rescue equipment and clothing available for use in cold environments. The test report on the SCS system concluded that, according to their ‘Duration Limited Time’ definition, the time limit at which it is safe to keep a casualty in the SCS bag with a 4 m/s wind was 1 hour at -30C, 1.6 hours at -20C and 4.2 hours at -10C. When the casualty is also in a vacuum mattress, these times increased to 1.7, 3.6 and ‘greater than 8’ hours respectively.
Tests also showed that the SCS system gives sufficient protection for unlimited use without heat loss from the casualty down to -10C in calm conditions and to -4C with a 4 m/s wind. These temperature figures were further reduced to -18C in calm and -11C in 4 m/s wind when a vacuum mattress is also used.