Berwyn Fire Company
Berwyn Fire Company
Berwyn Fire Company
Berwyn Fire Company


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Berwyn Firefighters Practice Confined Space Rescue & Firefighter Rescue Skills
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By Newsdesk
September 9, 2017

BERWYN, PA - In a week that saw several of our Volunteers and Career Staff deploy to the Houston, TX region to help those devastated by Hurricane Harvey, members of Berwyn's Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) and Confined Space Rescue (CSR) Team spent their Saturday, at the Chester County Public Safety Training Campus in Coatesville, honing their skills in these demanding and technical disciplines.

As part of the Chester County Rescue Task Force, Berwyn supplies members for the Confined Space Rescue branch that responds to calls in and out of the County. Berwyn also provides Rapid Intervention services for several companies in the County.

Rapid Intervention Teams, also known by other terms including FAST (Firefighter Assist and Search Team), is the practice of rescuing downed firefighters. Due to the bulky and complicated gear that today's firefighters wear, as well as the hazardous and volatile environments that firefighters find themselves in, rescuing a downed firefighter can be an extremely complicated and demanding task. Many of our conventional rescue techniques and tools that are used for saving civilians often don't work when it comes to rescuing firefighters. Members of Berwyn's RIT spend countless extra hours every year practicing and refining these skills, above and beyond the numerous other trainings and certifications that our members are required to have.

Berwyn's Confined Space Rescue team is comprised of nationally certified (National Fire Protection Association-NFPA) Confined Space Rescue Technicians that are both Volunteers and Career Staff. OSHA defines a "Confined Space" as; Many workplaces contain areas that are considered "confined spaces" because while they are not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.

It takes special training and equipment to effect rescues in this dangerous environment, and Berwyn has several locations in our first due area in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships that present this challenge.

For more information please feel free to check out the links provided below or for questions about our capabilities, contact the fire station at 610-644-6050 ext. 16.

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Hyperlinks: OSHA and confined spaces
NFPA Code 1670, Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents
NFPA Code 1407, Standard for Training Fire Service Rapid Intervention Crews
 
Attachments:
Attachment IMG_9277.MOV  (61,075k)
Attachment IMG_9281.MOV  (447,341k)
 
Rescuers preparing to make entry and rescue a downed firefighter during a live scenario.
Rescuers preparing to make entry and rescue a downed firefighter during a live scenario.
Rigging up the wheels of Tower 2 as an anchor point for the belay and haul lines.
Rigging up the wheels of Tower 2 as an anchor point for the belay and haul lines.
 
Firefighters utilizing the ladder of Tower 2 to function as the high point change of direction.
Firefighters utilizing the ladder of Tower 2 to function as the high point change of direction.
Firefighter/EMT William 'Bill' King in the yellow, freshly back from his deployment with Team Rubicon in the Texas area impacted by Hurricane Harvey, is functioning as the Incident Commander for this complex confined space scenario.
Firefighter/EMT William 'Bill' King in the yellow, freshly back from his deployment with Team Rubicon in the Texas area impacted by Hurricane Harvey, is functioning as the Incident Commander for this complex confined space scenario.
 
Lowering Assistant Chief Matthew Valocchi into the hazardous space. Note the yellow ventilation ducting that is being used to remove hazardous air and introduce fresh air into the confined space.
Lowering Assistant Chief Matthew Valocchi into the hazardous space. Note the yellow ventilation ducting that is being used to remove hazardous air and introduce fresh air into the confined space.
The overall scope of the operation.
The overall scope of the operation.
 
One of the "victims" waiting for rescue.
One of the "victims" waiting for rescue.
Assistant Chief Matthew Valocchi down in the confined space rescuing our "victim".
Assistant Chief Matthew Valocchi down in the confined space rescuing our "victim".
 
Firefighter Gregory Zarcone and Assistant Chief Matthew Valocchi rescuing a second "victim".
Firefighter Gregory Zarcone and Assistant Chief Matthew Valocchi rescuing a second "victim".
Firefighters tending to the haul and belay lines.
Firefighters tending to the haul and belay lines.
 

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Berwyn Fire Company
23 Bridge Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312

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Business: 610-644-6050
Station Fax: 610-644-1830
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