November 7th, 2014
Vincent W. Coljee
The crew health is good, with no reported problems. The only potential health problem lays with the toilet. From just after midnight the drain speed had reduced to a very slow rate and solid waste did not go through. The HSO cleared it in the morning, this time apparently successfully unblocking it. It drains properly at this time point. We have discussed and implemented having a honey bucket ready in the shower stall in case of repeat malfunction (borrowed the bucket from the greenhab and lined with two garbage bags).
I performed a fire drill yesterday after the crew reports were submitted, I did so unannounced. I simulated/made the crew imagine a fire downstairs while the crew with exception of one member were upstairs. I also had them know the CO monitor upstairs started going off 15 seconds after the fire alarm. I laid down prone on the floor before the heater with no evidence at that point of any fire. The crew came downstairs carrying both extinguishers present upstairs and did so quickly. Upon discovering the prone body, and seeing the absence of an obvious fire the first crew member down the stairs told the last crew member (still on the stairs) to fetch the phone on the table and call 911. The crew then attempted to drag the prone individual to the hab exit. When it was clear they would be able to egress within another 15 seconds, I stopped the drill not to break the simulation. Overall everyone did well and responded quickly. HSO then chaired the debrief and went over some of the finer issues of CO dangers and what the procedures are to ensure safety. I also emphasized the first responder rules where the first qualified individual on the site takes charge until he/she passes on that responsibility. Preferably I want every single crew member trained on both emergency safety training and first aid, before MA365.
As part of this crew's training, I have informed the crew that each one of them is to stage an emergency with a starting point of stating “this is a drill”. They are to investigate the proper procedures for the emergency and be responsible for the drill context.
This came in handy in some regard today because on EVA today, not only did the radios turn completely unreliable but not one but two of the 4 ATVs developed problems and one eventually had to be towed back. This while the four crew members were only 3 kilometers from the Hab. Until appropriate repairs can be made, no ATV travel out of easy walking distance from the Hab should be made. Similarly the range and functioning of the radios does not seem to be reliable enough. If today's mishap had been of a different nature, the lack of ability to communicate reliably and lack of reliable vehicle equipment could have caused more serious consequences. Importantly, at no point even when communication had failed did any of the crew panic and we managed to resolve the breakdown safely by working as a team.