View Poll Results: What does your city use for a trench rescue?

Voters
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  • A Rescue unit

    2 20.00%
  • A Dedicated Unit ie truck/trailer

    2 20.00%
  • Call in another town or private compony

    4 40.00%
  • Nothing

    2 20.00%
Multiple Choice Poll.

Thread: Rescue trailers

  1. #1
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    dfdex1's Avatar
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    Question Rescue trailers

    Recently in my town there was a trench collapse and to be honest we were caught with "our pants down" as one firefighter put it, we sent and engine and our rescue
    the victim got out safely after calling in a special team and the town back-hoe. any way on to my question about extracation. One night at our explorer meeting a Lt. and us explorers were talking about trench collpases and how to prepare for this we saw that a city that has a large truck dedicated to trench rescues. However being a smaller town=smaller budget we disscussed other options, such as takeing a example from another town in NH that turned a old bread truck into a combo unit- this truck has a cascade system freshwater and rehab but the rear section is dedicated to confined space rescue- air jacks and bags rams cribbing lots of cribbing and so on, but we were talking about getting a trailer to install cribbing and such so that our F5 truck could carry it around and get into tighter areas(no pun intened) and less wieght at the scene , we kicked around the idea of the trailer ,this may be a better option than a dedicated truck plus it will be cheaper and on less engine to maintain.

    What does your dep. do for trench rescues and what type of unit do you use?
    Thank you in advance.
    ps
    Last edited by dfdex1; 07-16-2002 at 01:29 AM.

  2. #2
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    N2DFire's Avatar
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    The way things work here is anything other than your "average" Fire & EMS duties falls under the heading of "Special Teams".
    The "Special Teams" are:
    Forestry Strike Team (Strike)
    Haz-Mat Team (HM)
    Search & Rescue Team (SAR)
    Confined Space & Technical Rescue Team (CSTRT) <- Trench Rescue goes to these folks

    All Special Teams are equipped with a trailer system for their equipment. The reason we opted for trailers is that we don't have enough calls for the Specialty Teams (except maybe for the Strike Team) to justify the cost & upkeep of a dedicated truck (or trucks). Also, it is an unwritten county wide policy that every Ambulance, Light/Medium Duty Rescue, Response/Utility (SUV) unit, and most brush trucks in the county are equipped with a hitch receiver and a wiring package. That way we can tow what ever trailer(s) we need by almost any unit in the county. The one catch is we don't use a trailer over (I think) 21' because by state law they are required to have their own brakes (then you have to have brake control modules in the tow units or use a tongue brake which no one around here really cares for).

    My first suggestion to you is before you even think about buying the first 4 X 4 timber or sheet of plywood, send 3 or 4 people to a trench rescue class. They will then have a basic understanding of rescue procedures and will be in a better position to evaluate the needs of your own community (plus you'll get to see some really neat gadgets & gizmos that you may not have thought of otherwise).

    Being from a small town myself (as well as a charter member of the CSTRT) I would suggest that you Purchase / Carry only what you think you will need to mitigate the immediate hazards of a trench collapse. Then use agreements with local Lumber & Hardware stores to get additional materials brought in to an incident on an as needed basis. This will greatly reduce the amount of stuff to carry and the $$$ you need to get started. Also look into M/A agreements with other teams for additional resources, expertise, and manpower.

    Feel free to e-mail me with specific questions on our set-up.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

  3. #3
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    Here the technical rescue (trench, confined space, collapse, rope etc.etc.) is done by specialized rescue squads, not the FD. We have found that by specializing we have more time to concentrate on that instead of trying to balance it with fire suppression responsibilities.

    We have a dedicated trailer (20') that will carry the majority of our trench equipment. We are currently in the process of switching things over from an old box style truck.

    N2DFire is correct - take a trench class and decide how deep you want to go into it before you start buying things. It can get quite expensive. (That's the other reason we are the only trench team in the county. There are other departments here that either have some equipment or have some trained personnel and we call on them to assist when we need them.) Why spend the money to duplicate the equipment if the city near you is willing to sign an MOA with you?

    You may decide you'd rather concentrate on how to handle things until they respond - have ground pads and maybe a couple of shore forms, air quality monitor, ventilation system, a half dozen air shores and a few other items - a starter kit basically. Much cheaper and you can still train with them and learn as much as you want.
    Susan Lounsbury
    Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  4. #4
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    We're not a trench rescue department, but I've always had concerns with the use of trailers in general for "priority/code one" calls.

    Trailers in the hands of an incompetent driver can add so much danger to an already dangerous situation. Whilst I see and agree with the justification for buying a trailer vs a dedicated truck, keep in mind the added driver training required and the potential for something to go wrong....
    Luke

  5. #5
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    Lutan - agreed. We don't let people drive them until they are "checked off" meaning competant - and not everyone will be. I am VERY liability concious.
    Susan Lounsbury
    Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
    Griffith Volunteer FD

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