The Confined Space Rescue unit was developed in response to industries needs for an OSHA compliant emergency intervention team, performing rescue, recovery and incident mitigation in highly technical hazardous environments.
The Confined Space Rescue Unit is comprised of an Officer in Charge and 2 individuals from each of the three shifts. All Wooster Fire Department personnel are trained as Confined Space Rescue Technicians, but members of the unit are either more experienced or have taken more advanced training.
A “Confined Space” is defined as a space that is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work, has limited or restricted means of entry or exit, and is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. Tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, tunnels, sewers, ovens, duct work, manholes, and piping are all examples of confined spaces.
The unit was created to fill a need for local industries who were attempting to meet OSHA requirements. The training and equipment allows industry to list the Wooster Fire Department as a local resource in the event of an emergency. The Confined Space Unit also works with local industry to create unique training opportunities for the unit and fire personnel.
By definition, a hazardous material (Haz-Mat) is defined as any substance or material could adversely affect the safety of the environment, public, handlers or carriers during transportation.
At a Haz-Mat incident, the Wooster Division of Fire is responsible for:
- The initial determination of a possible Haz-Mat incident
- Identification of the substance being released into the environment
- The isolation distances for public evacuation
- The safe distance and equipment needed for fire department personnel to conduct any rescues
- Contacting the closest Haz-Mat Specialist Team to respond with appropriate equipment and manpower
In 2014, the Wooster Division of Fire purchased ice rescue equipment for both stations. All personnel have had extensive training in the classroom, and hands on in Freedlander Park, simulating actual rescue of victims in the water and ice.
Ambulances at both stations carry a Mustang™ and a Stearns™ Ice Rescue Suit and all the needed equipment to give the division the ability to place rescue team in the water or on the ice efficiently and also to have a backup team from the other station ready to provide assistance.