Rescue 2 were called out last week to help with an emergency confined space situation that had occurred at a local Water Treatment Plant in West Sussex.
The main contractors at the site called the Rescue 2 office to explain that a contractor had been cleaning out a tank, fallen and badly twisted his knee. Fire service and ambulance services were in attendance but could not make an entry into the confined space as they were not appropriately equipped.
The reason Rescue 2 were called, was because back in April Rescue 2 had been asked to price up a rescue team provision, method statements and rescue plans required under section 5 of the confined space regulations for the site in question. Unfortunately, Rescue 2 were not contracted for the work, and another provider was instructed.
Rescue 2 immediately dispatched a Rescue vehicle, and two rescue operatives to the site. On arrival it appeared that due to the confined space environment, the process of rescuing the casualty had not been started, and we were approached by West Sussex TRU to discuss the situation. After explaining that Rescue 2 had formulated a rescue plan for the site back in April for this very same emergency situation, we were asked if we could assist.
Rescue 2 offered the use of our equipment, skills and knowledge to assist the emergency services present in extricating the casualty – we had all the equipment required on our vehicle. The two Rescue 2 operatives, rigged in appropriate PPE set up the high lift rescue tri-pod, sala winch, Ikar block, (fall arrest and winch) and work positioning grillions over the risk area.
Rescue 2 supplied a slix stretcher, scoop stretcher, and straps and WSFR were detailed to go and make an entry via the ladder, which was the original contractor entry point, to package the casualty for removal. Once the casualty was packaged he was attached to the recovery tripod and winch system that Rescue 2 had erected earlier. The casualty was then removed from the confined space by the two Rescue 2 operatives, via the winch system.
The local fire crew crew took the casualty to the waiting ambulance service for hospital treatment.
As rescues go it was a simple operation, especially as the extrication was achieved with the basic tri-pod double winch system.
The whole situation did however highlight the benefits to having a professional, qualified rescue team on-site during any confined space works, that would have negated the need for such a large and costly emergency services operation on the day.
If you would like further information on the services of Rescue 2, or advice on entering confined spaces or other high risk areas, please call the team on 01903 871105 for a free consultation.