Firefighting

CONFINED SPACE INCIDENT

Issue 5 and Volume 154.

BY JOSEPH D. CAJZER Is your department prepared for a confined space rescue or recovery? Are you fully aware of all the standards that apply to confined space operations? Do you have properly trained personnel and equipment available, or do you know what resources are available to your department and how and where to obtain them? On July 21, 1999, the Ridgefield (NJ) Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the Lowe Paper Company complex in town. The company, which produces large paper rolls from recycled paper products, has existed in Ridgefield for almost 50 years. The Ridgefield Fire Prevention Bureau has cited the facility numerous times for fire code violations such as continually blocked passageways; inoperative fire suppression systems; open, uncovered floor drainage pits; and structural defects such as unstable roofs and cracked walls. Because of these violations, previous incidents, and preplanning walkthroughs, the department was very familiar with the…

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