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Trench Rescue Operations and Awareness Training a Success

Monday, December 20, 2021

tyre pressure

Every day in communities across the state and country, trenches and excavations are dug to install, maintain, or repair building foundations, utilities, and underground storage containers. While these activities are commonplace, they can sometimes lead to emergency situations. Trench rescue is one of the most dangerous operations for emergency responders. They involve shoring up the sides of an already unstable channel and digging out a trapped worker.

As personnel arrive on the scene of a trench rescue, they find themselves in a race against time. Once a victim’s location is identified, the next task is to position boards with pneumatic braces to form a wall to hold the earth away from the victim. Safe, efficient, and prompt digging is necessary in all trench operations as rescuers operate under the belief that a victim may be inside an air pocket which is sustaining life. Trench rescue training is highly specialized and requires hands-on experience to provide acceptable results.

With this in mind, MMRMA offered a Trench Rescue Operations and Awareness training this fall. For three days, participants from several MMRMA members assembled at the City of Sterling Heights’ new DPW site to learn and practice lifesaving skills in trench rescue operations. Instructors from Detroit, Midland, Southfield, St. Clair Shores, and Sterling Heights utilized equipment from Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, and Warren to share their expertise with MMRMA member firefighters and DPW personnel.

Trainees developed skills on how to quickly and properly shore trenches and mitigate cave-ins with minimal danger to those involved. Role playing instructors provided realistic representations of how workers may become distraught at the thought of the entrapment of one of their colleagues. Students successfully learned how to control the scene and utilize the equipment at their disposal, as well as how to access additional resources from the communities they border.

MMRMA thanks the host, instructors, and members for their participation in this highly beneficial training session.

Photos and information provided by MMRMA Risk Consultant Phil Kamm.