Tech Rescue: Pre-Planning a Confined-Space Rescue

A well coordinated plan with private sector partners can make the emergency responder’s job much more efficient when called to a confined space incident. Ruel Douvillier provides you and your agency with insight and ideas.


That brings us to the third reason for snapping up any opportunity to pre-plan a potential confined-space (or any) rescue site: in-house training versus training at actual potential rescue sites. The chance to train on a structure that is not “made for TV,” where every projection is an engineered anchor point, and rust has been abolished, is far too good to pass up. Crawling into a hot, rusty work barge for the first time to conduct a rescue set up by the worksite manager is far better training than working our high-angle prop for the third time this month.

Let me add a quick word about scenarios. Go in blind. If you develop your own scenario, let someone else run the team and you stay out of the training. You want to train as realistically as possible. When you show up for an event, you will not have the luxury of picking your hole and the number and condition of victims. I have found the best bet is to get with the lead safety person, set training goals and parameters and let him or her develop the scenario. You, of course, would still be responsible for your own crew’s safety and operations.

Pre-planning a rescue operation is a great opportunity to educate the public on who you are and what you are capable of doing, and interface with the citizens you are there to protect while getting some great training for your own members. n