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Technical Rescue Resources

Department Preparation

What can your department do to be prepared for a technical rescue response?

Download these suggested technical rescue response preparation activities (pdf)

Suggested Activities

Define technical rescue and how it differs from your typical rescue or EMS incident.

Know your response area. Do a technical rescue-specific risk assessment.

Fire code inspections are a good time to help identify confined space or any other technical rescue team (TRT) hazards. Identify a way to communicate the information to personnel.

Partner with other municipal entities (DPW-water-wastewater) to identify district hazards.

Explain the three levels of response to a technical rescue (refer to NFPA 1670, an organizational standard):

  • Awareness
  • Operations
  • Technician

Understand the role of the first responder at a technical rescue:

  • Size-up
  • Deny entry (this means responders too!)
  • Focus on non-entry rescue procedures
  • Control hazards
  • Lockout/tagout
  • Monitor the air/ventilate
  • Recognize the limitations of responders trained to the awareness level
  • Know whom to call for assistance for various types of rescue

Familiarize personnel with your closest TRT:

  • Who is your closest TRT?
  • Know how to call for the closest TRT
  • Know their level of capability

Describe the hazards that may be present at each type of rescue:

  • Wilderness
  • Vehicle/machinery rescue
  • Water
  • Rope
  • Confined space
    • A grain bin is considered a confined space
  • Trench collapse
  • Building collapse

Prepared by the IAFC Safety Health and Survival Section

Reference Information

American Society of Safety Engineers Mini Tech-Brief: Confined Spaces
Update and status of the ANSI/ASSE Z117.1-2009 Standard: Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces

OSHA Topics: Confined Space

1910.146 OSHA Confined Space Standard
Scroll down to 1910.146(k)(1) for Rescue and Emergency Services

NIOSH Topic: Confined Spaces

NIOSH Summary: Worker Deaths in Confined Spaces

Article: Technical Rescue Awareness


Near-Miss Resources

Search specific reports:

  • Report 06-136: Confined space recommendations ignored
  • Report 08-525: Potential confined space hazard ignored
  • Report 07-829: Hazards noted at a confined space entry
  • Report 09-593: Crew enters confined space with power still on
  • Report 07-762: Confined space rescue concerns

Search archived Reports of the Weeks for specific training topics.

Tools & Drills

Video: Fire Engineering Training Minutes - Below-Grade Firefighter Rescue

Butler County Fire Chiefs Association Technical Rescue Administrative and Operations Guidelines (pdf, 4.1 mb) Technical Rescue Incidents Scenarios (pdf) Fire Drill: Technical Rescue Scene Functions (pdf) Fire Drill: Technical Rescue Support (pdf)

Video: Precious Time - The Cody McNolty Story