Technical Rescue - Part III

The NFPA 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Rescue Incidents provides the basis from which the development, training and operations for special operations technical rescue teams are measured against.


Previously we discussed the issues affecting the development and organization of special operational deployment and technical rescue capabilities. In this installment we'll address planning considerations for the training and skills development component of the process.

Regulatory impact of associated state/federal regulations along with the influence of recognized national standards will also influence and help direct the planning, organization and training process. These regulations and standards may assist the planning group or committee in identifying relevant issues that may impact the development of objectives, goals and organizational scope for the subsequent teams deployment.

The NFPA 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Rescue Incidents provides the basis from which the development, training and operations for special operations technical rescue teams are measured against. Built upon its predecessor, the NFPA 1470 Standard on Search and Rescue Training for Structural Collapse Incidents, which was first published in 1992, the current NFPA 1670 Standard presently integrates seven (7) technical rescue discipline areas into a unified standard addressing organization, training, operations and incident management.

The NFPA 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Rescue Incidents establishes three [3] integrated levels of operational capability needed to conduct operations at technical rescue incidents safely and effectively based on hazard analysis, risk assessment, training level of personnel, and availability of internal and external resources.

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The three operational capability levels consist of Awareness, Operations and Technician Levels. The development of these levels were based upon the established consistency of the hazardous materials operational levels identified in NFPA 472 Standard on Professional Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials Incidents. The significant difference that distinguishes the NFPA 1670 Standard's operating level capabilities is the manner in which the seven [7] technical rescue discipline areas are unified, cross-integrated and referenced for identified competency and skill levels. These operational levels are described as follows:

Awareness. This level represents the minimum capability of a responder who, in the course of his or her regular job duties, could be called upon to respond to, or could be the first on the scene of, a technical rescue incident. This level can involve search, rescue, and recovery operations. Members of a team at this level are generally not considered rescuers.

Operations. This level represents the capability of hazard recognition, equipment use, and techniques necessary to safely and effectively support and participate in a technical rescue incident. This level can involve search, rescue, and recovery operations, but usually operations are carried out under the supervision of technician-level personnel.

Technician. This level represents the capability of hazard recognition, equipment use, and techniques necessary to safely and effectively coordinate, perform, and supervise a technical rescue incident. This level can involve search, rescue, and recovery operations.

Exemplifying these operational level capabilities, the following two examples of operational capabilities for their respective levels of Awareness, Operations and Technician for Structural Collapse Rescue Teams and Confined Space Rescue Teams is provided.

Structural Collapse Rescue Team Operational Capability

Awareness

Note: Structural Collapse Rescue Team Personnel operating at the Awareness Level must also meet ALL awareness-level requirements regarding Confined Space Rescue specified within the NFPA 1670 standard.

Awareness-Level functions at structural collapse incidents shall include the following:

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