Team trains for confined spaces rescueThe Dickinson Fire Department’s technical rescue team relies on its training should it be called to rescue an individual trapped inside a confined space — anything with limited access from the top.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson Fire Department’s technical rescue team relies on its training should it be called to rescue an individual trapped inside a confined space — anything with limited access from the top.
To train for such a scenario, team member Dustin Grosulak arranged for use of the Confined Space Training Unit provided by Oilind Safety.
“It went very well. We don’t get a lot of options for training like that as a team. It was very beneficial,” he said.
Team member and fire prevention specialist Deb Barros also said the training went well, especially when you have a prop that mimics real life.
Other members of the rescue team include leader Darryl Wehner, Mark Selle, Hilary Hartman, Joe Montee, Gypsy Fouts, Jeff Girton and Ian Roy.
During the training scenario, a victim was trapped and injured inside a container with a small opening at the top. Barros was lowered down by a winch. The victim was lifted to the top, placed on a stretcher and lowered down a ladder.
Wehner said the rescue team has been training for about four years. Four of the members went to a national school to be certified at the technician level, which is the highest level of rope rescue. The remaining team members were certified here.
“As far as the confined space, none are up to the technical level, but we’re getting close,” he said.
Wehner said the team trains once a year in the tunnel system at St. Luke’s Home.
He said it’s a challenge getting victims out of there because of the steam pipes and confined spaces.
“A lot is knowing the rescue knots — training how to use the equipment and techniques on how to get people out. Once you have the basics down, they are adapted to the situation at hand,” he said.
Wehner said members of the rescue team must be members of the fire department and be Firefighter I-certified by the state.
“The only thing we’ve done so far, is we’ve had to rescue people trapped in elevators. We didn’t use our rope skills, we were able to get them out by other ways,” he said.
Wehner said the team is setting up a training session for the employees at the ethanol plant at Richardton.
“They need trained people on the scene if somebody goes down one of the big tanks,” he said.
Wehner said the training went well.
“It was a simple rescue off the top,” he said.
Afterwards, the team evaluated the simulation and discussed ways to improve the techniques.
“It’s an ongoing learning experience,” he said.
He said the rescue team is very dedicated — having department training nights two times a month and rescue training a third time.
“We have fun doing it, but when it comes down to the real thing, it’s serious — just like fire fighting,” he said.