Leadership

THE DANGERS OF CONFINED-SPACE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS

Issue 7 and Volume 142.

THE DANGERS OF CONFINED-SPACE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS RESCUE WILL YOU BE A RESCUER OR A FATALITY? IT HAPPENS to every fire department at one time or another. A call comes in reporting a person trapped or “down” in a manhole or a storage tank, or perhaps a child is trapped in a sewer pipe or well. While the rescue of those who are helpless is one of the most noble undertakings of our profession, serious consideration must be given to the proper way in which to accomplish the rescue. No amount of preplanning can cover every conceivable type of incident, but certain hard and fast policies can and must be implemented to cover specific classes of rescue operations. Perhaps nowhere is the need for effective preplanning more evident than in dealing with rescue operations within confined spaces. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has, for the past six…

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