Technical Rescue

TRENCH RESCUE: MANAGING THE LOGISTICS FUNCTION

Issue 5 and Volume 154.

BY ROBERT RHEA Emergencies involving trench collapse are typically multihour events that require the use of a significant quantity of equipment and strong logistics management. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have established safety procedures, operational requirements, and rescuer qualification standards related to trenching operations.1 These standards focus primarily on the nuts-and-bolts requirements of hazard control, protective systems, and rescuer entry activities. However, logistical support of the rescue operation is vital for a successful outcome. FUNCTIONS OF LOGISTICS OFFICER The logistics officer’s responsibilities involve preparation, organization, control, service, and forecast-acquisition. Preparation Preparation is an operational phase as well as a logistical function. Logistical support for trench rescue begins during the preparation phase, which takes place before the event and includes routinely inspecting and regularly maintaining equipment so that it is immediately ready for use. These tasks are typically the responsibilities of the…

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