LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Lansing and East Lansing firefighters worked together Wednesday on a training exercise about rescuing people from tight spaces.
Capt. Jason Stevens of the Lansing Fire Department says Wednesday’s training session took nearly a year to design and prepare.
The responders were preparing for a “confined space rescue.” It’s an intervention technique by first responders that provides assistance and removes people stuck in tight quarters.
“We don’t get very many calls like this, thankfully,” Stevens tells 6 News.
While an emergency in a confined space may be a rarity in Lansing, Stevens says it’s essential to keep firefighters ready for any emergency.
The training also works to certify Lansing Firefighters for Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements.
“During scenarios like this, it reinforces our policies and our training,” Stevens says. “And they can start testing some of the things they’ve learned over the years. Behind us is our technical rescue trailer, which is kind of a regional asset. Firefighters and paramedics are highly trained in some pretty technical and critical ways of responding to certain emergencies like confined spaces.”
The scenario designed for the firefighters included two maintenance workers performing work underneath a building who had stopped responding to the workers above ground.
“It’s a very small tunnel, and they became incapacitated,” Stevens says of the scenario. “So for us, we make sure that we identify the possible hazards, and make that confined space as completely safe as possible.”
Stevens has been with the Lansing Fire Department for 18 years and has only seen a confined space rescue once. But he’s proud Lansing firefighters are learning the skills to engage in the rescue of people in a crisis.
“There’s someone working in a confined space almost daily somewhere in the city,” Stevens says. “You know, BWL, GM, any of our manufacturing areas. So, we have to have the training and the resources to retrieve those individuals in a time of need.”