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RFD Practices "Confined Spaces" Rescue Missions

June 12, 2019 07:05 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Firefighters endure extensive training before ever becoming a first responder. Everything from physical fitness to vision determines who makes the cut, and who doesn't cut it, just yet. But even after passing the original training qualifications, the work doesn't stop there.

"It's actually one of the last days of a multi-day training. Everyone in the entire department, at least 100 of us, are going through this training," said Capt. David Worstman with the Rochester Fire Department.

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Confined spaces are something that Worstman says aren't an everyday call at the station, but like most high-pressure situations, it's better to stay ready. Crews of three and four men alternated through a multi-level warehouse and reenacted potential scenarios involving a patient stuck in a tight space.

"This is something that we go to very often, but when we do, we need to have practiced our skills. When the incident happens is not the time to start practicing," said Worstman.

Each crew member took turns lowering and hauling each other, and crawling through tight spaces, until they located their patient. They then had to temporarily patch and move their patient back through the crawl space and to a safer location.

"They're considered confined spaces for a reason, and it takes a lot of coordination between you, your other rescuers and then the people that are potentially inside that are stuck. We have to figure out the most appropriate way to get in and the most appropriate way to get out," said Worstman.

To make the scenarios more realistic, the patient dummies suffered different injuries that required different assistance, and were even different weights, making the process of hauling as diverse as the people they actually rescue.

Worstman says that although confined spaces, like the pipes and boxes the firefighters climbed through, aren't as common, tight spaces in a regular house fire would require the same training.

Credits

Jaclyn Harold

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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