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Firefighters Practice Rescue Scenarios at Former Water Treatment Plant

 April 20, 2022 — Firefighters visited the former City of Placerville Water Treatment Plant today as part of a shift-wide rope rescue drill. Firefighters simulated an injured worker, a dummy constructed of fire hose, who had fallen into an open sedimentation basin and later into a coagulation/flocculation basin. One scenario required firefighters to practice low-angle rope rescue operations (LARRO), where a system of ropes that provide mechanical advantage is used to lower in rescuers to a victim and to later retrieve the rescuers and the victim from the steeply sloped area.

 

May contain: person, human, helmet, clothing, apparel, and fireman
Using a fire service ladder as slide, firefighters guide a packaged victim into place for removal from the bottom of a water treatment plant tank. 

 

The second scenario, in the coagulation/flocculation basins, required the firefighters to consider the presence of hazardous materials, lock-out-tag-out safety practices and considerations for confined spaces. These types of incidents in industrial settings are rare but also pose a high risk to the lives of the victims and our firefighters.  Because of that high-risk, low-frequency nature drills like this one are perfect content for refresher training topics.

The El Dorado County Fire Protection District is grateful to the City of Placerville for allowing access to this decommissioned facility for trainings such as this LARRO drill. The District could not conduct trainings like this without access to such facilities. 

 

 

 

May contain: person, human, water, outdoors, nature, and river
Firefighters gather at the edge of a sedementation basin as they plan to remove a victim (the fire hose dummy pictured) from the bottom of the basin.
May contain: person, human, fireman, helmet, clothing, and apparel
An Engineer (right) gets information from the drill controller, the shift Division Chief (left), to clarify drill objectives and discuss strategy and tactics.
May contain: person, human, fireman, helmet, clothing, and apparel
Firefighters don class II harnesses in preparation to act as rescuers. 
May contain: person, human, fireman, shoe, clothing, footwear, and apparel
Firefighters set up equipment needed to assemble the LARRO system. 
May contain: person, human, and fireman
Firefighters assemble the lowering system along with the safety line using anchor points at the facility.
May contain: person, human, and fireman
Firefighters assemble the lowering system along with the safety line using anchor points at the facility.
May contain: person, human, fireman, helmet, clothing, and apparel
A Firefighter Paramedic stands ready to operate a friction device as the rescuers are lowered to the victim.
May contain: person and human
Frefighters were lowered one-by-one to access the victim.
May contain: person and human
Firefighters observe their LARRO system and begin to reconfigure the system in anticipation of retrieving the rescuers and victim from the basin.
May contain: helmet, clothing, apparel, person, human, and fireman
Firefighters observe the preparation of the patient for removal.
May contain: person and human
Firefighters secure the victim into a SKED rescue litter. This litter is designed to immobilize and secure the victim and allow for integration into the rope lowering and raising system.
May contain: person, human, fireman, helmet, clothing, and apparel
Firefighters continue to prepare the victim to be removed.
May contain: person and human
Firefighters secure themselves to the rope system as they prepare to lift the victim's SKED litter.
May contain: person, human, clothing, apparel, helmet, and hardhat
Firefighters are nearly ready to begin removal of the victim.
May contain: person, human, and fireman
Firefighters lift the victim.
May contain: fireman, person, and human
Firefighters stand ready to begin the raising process.
May contain: person, human, and fireman
Firefighters stand ready to begin the raising process.
May contain: person, human, and fireman
Firefighters near the top of the basin with the victim.
May contain: fireman, person, human, helmet, clothing, and apparel
Firefighters operate a mechanical advantage rope system while raising the rescuers and victim.
A hose dummy "victim" lies at the bottom of a coagulation/flocculation basin of a water treatment plant.
May contain: handrail, banister, person, human, and construction
Firefighters lower a fire service ladder into the basin to reach the victim.
May contain: person, human, clothing, apparel, worker, hardhat, and helmet
Several Captains observe the rescue operations as their crews formulate a rescue plan.
May contain: person, human, and wood
Firefighter Paramedics assess the victim. They are wearing breathing apparatus to protect against a simulated hazardous material with respiratory hazards. 
May contain: person, human, and fireman
Firefighters and Engineers observe the victim packaging occurring below.
May contain: person, human, and construction
Firefighter Paramedics package a victim into a SKED rescue litter as several Firefighters and Engineers look on.
May contain: person, human, helmet, clothing, and apparel
Firefighter Paramedics secure the victim into a SKED rescue litter.
May contain: person, human, helmet, clothing, apparel, and fireman
Using a fire service ladder as slide, firefighters guide a packaged victim into place for removal from the bottom of a water treatment plant tank. 
May contain: person, human, helmet, clothing, apparel, and fireman
Using a fire service ladder as slide, firefighters guide a packaged victim into place for removal from the bottom of a water treatment plant tank. 
May contain: person, human, helmet, clothing, and apparel
Firefighter Paramedics guide the victim as they are slid up the ladder slide. Firefighters at the top use a rope to assist in pulling.
May contain: person, human, and construction
May contain: person and human
The victim is pulled up to safety as they reach the top of the ladder slide.
May contain: person, human, and fireman
All firefighters gather to conduct an incident debriefing where they talk about what occurred during the drill and identify additional areas to improve on. 
May contain: dedication plaque
The decommissioned City of Placerville Water Treatment Plant was completed in 1954 and has not been used for several decades after water began to be supplied by El Dorado Irrigation District (EID).

 

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