A New Way To Consider Confined Space Rescue Is Here.

Written By: Mark Pfeifer

So we reached out a year or so ago and started looking at confined space. There’s a lot of video on rope rescue, a lot of cool highline failure videos you can watch. There wasn’t a lot on confined space we found. We decided, you know, how do we do a confined space video? Well everybody wants to see rigging. And that’s how we’re going to start it, we’re going to start it with rigging.

Then we kind of went, well the rigging’s dictated by the strategy and tactics. Well, the strategy and tactics are dictated by the atmospheric conditions and geography which we’re rigging. So we ended up basically throwing the script down, starting again. And starting with why the atmosphere is so bad, and how that affects your decision making as the team leader, the incident commander, the rescue team leader on site. And how that atmosphere and that geography changes your strategies and tactics for confined space rescue in a way that rope rescue just does the happen.

You can always kind of deviate something here, or push a line over there in rope rescue. It just doesn’t happen in confined space. If that’s a 24-inch diameter hole, it’s a 24-inch diameter hole. If it’s an 18-inch diameter home, it’s an 18. And we do in 24 may not work in 18. That’s going to dictate how this gets rigged. Which means your toolbox has to be bigger.

And so that’s where we backed up to. So we started with looking at those hazards in order to give that team leader and those team members that knowledge on why we’re rigging the way we are and we’re going down that path on that rescue scene. And that led us into the different types of rigging. The straight mechanical advantage into using controlled descent with inline mechanical advantage. Using artificial high directionals, and then using things like tension line to rig reaves or skate blocks to.

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And these are all in the essence of saving time. These vessels, a lot of times it’s not like we can change up where we’re rigging. When we’re on these industrial sites, right to us or to the left of us might be some sort of ethyl methyl death. We’re stuck rigging where we’re rigging. And so we have to be more creative with our rigging in these scenarios. Not just in the high angle environment outside, but how we go inside.

Ultimately, this is about the patient, getting them to definitive medical care as fast as we can, as safely as we can with that balance of safety and speed, and the only way we’re going to do that is for people that are watching this, the up and comers, the old timers to go through, to push the envelope and to make us better in the future.



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