Rats.co.nzSpecialist First Response Team to the Canterbury Region

Confined Space Rescue

Confined spaces can cause a whole range of problems for rescues and victims alike.

The spaces can be found everywhere, from grain silos to sewer systems. The natures of these environments mean that they are fraught with hazards.

  • Engulfment by solids such as grains or fluids
  • Build up of poisonous gases
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Risk of fire and explosion due to changing pressures or flammable vapours
  • Rapid onset of heat exhaustion
  • Deafening noise created by enclosed structures

Combine this with difficult access and a victim with potential injury and you have a rescue environment that can be extremely challenging.

Extracting a patient from a 10 meter deep (empty) water tank.

The RATS team has undertaken a series of training modules to enable it to provide responders to set up and access confined spaces.

This training includes an awareness of confined space dangers, rope rescue techniques, environmental analysis including gas measurement, an awareness of health and safety legislation as it relates to confined spaces and several training exercises to practice putting all these skills together.  

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Updated Wednesday, 22 December 2010