We see a lot of wild things during training. We can often tell if a trainer is a true professional and how much to value their knowledge by how they train. Recently, Steve and I watched a trainer teaching rescue operations and running through a life-and-death scenario. It quickly became apparent to us that a vital component of the training was missing. Can you guess what that might be?
That component was setting up for the rescue ahead of time.
Why Timing Matters
Timing is critical when it comes to safety. Get the timing wrong, and people die. Simple as that. Someone is exposed to a hazard when things go wrong in an operation, such as an ignited fire, a hazardous gas, or asphyxiation. As they say, time is of the essence. The quicker you can affect a rescue, the sooner they can be saved. Failing to set up the rescue ahead of time needlessly exposes your accident victims to further harm.
Watch the video of Matt and Steve discussing the confined space rescue setup.
When setting up rescue operations, it is crucial to have the timing of the rescue down to a science. And that science is what we’re going to look at today.
How Long Does It Take to Set Up a Rescue
Setting up for a confined space rescue can take considerable time. Even when training where stress is not at play and you have all the time in the world to operate smoothly and confidently, you will see setup times of anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes. With set-ups taking this long, life-and-death becomes a no-brainer—death wins.
Think about everything you need to set up for a rescue. You need to put on your fall protection harness or your rescue harness. You must erect a rescue tripod and then bring out a backboard. You have to put on a respirator. All of this takes substantial time.
When Is the Best Time to Set Up Rescue
The best time to set up the rescue is before anyone enters the confined space. Typically, you will set up for the rescue before the job starts. It is the responsibility of the confined space permit holder to contact the rescue firm or the rescue-trained individuals in their agency. Rescue operations must be in place prior to any work starting.
The rescue team must have everything required for a quick and effective rescue ready to go before operations commence. They must assemble the tripod. Rescue squad members should don their harnesses ahead of time and have respirators on hand and ready to use. The team also needs to make sure the testing equipment and lighting are operational and running correctly, with a full battery charge. The rescue team must be poised and ready to initiate a rescue operation before anyone enters a confined space to begin work.