The Technical Rescue Team consists of twenty one members of the department, seven per shift, providing for around the clock response for these unique emergencies. The Team was established in 2005 and will respond to hazardous materials, confined space, high angle rope, and swift water emergencies. The Team members have monthly training in one of the listed categories as well as other special or required yearly training. All members have voluntarily taken on the task of belonging to this team as well as performing their other daily duties as Firefighters, Paramedics, Engineers, or Lieutenants.
SWIFT WATER RESCUE
Swift Water Rescue can be one of the most dangerous of all rescues that a member of the Technical Rescue Team may be called upon to perform. Fast moving water is an extremely dangerous condition and is often underestimated, which can result in an emergency situation. The Team is capable of using many different techniques to rescue people trapped by or trapped in fast moving water. Several members of the Team have had advanced training in northern Wisconsin and have reached the level of Swift Water Technician. All other members have training provided by those Technicians and have practiced these rescue techniques locally. Many members of the Team put their training to the ultimate test during the June 2008 flood in Fond du Lac.
Hazardous Materials are found in homes, manufacturing facilities, and are transported all around us on a daily basis. A spill, leak, or accident involving a hazardous material can be a very technical event requiring a careful and well rehearsed response. The Technical Rescue Team provides Hazardous Materials response to the city as well as the entire county of Fond du Lac. All Team members are trained to the level of Hazardous Materials Technician and have the capabilities of making a level “A” entry at an incident. If needed for support and response, the Team also has the ability to call on the Northeast Wisconsin Regional HazMat Team based out of the Oshkosh and Appleton Fire Departments.
Even though confined space emergencies are relatively rare, confined space entries are made throughout our city and county regularly. This potential for a rescue has led the Technical Rescue Team to train all of its members to the Technician level in Confined Space emergencies. The Team members have the ability to make entry into these spaces, provide Paramedic level emergency care, and then extricate the patient from the space. This requires each member to have advanced knowledge in ropes and rigging, atmospheric monitoring, and ventilation.
HIGH ANGLE ROPE RESCUE
The Technical Rescue Team has the capabilities of performing high and low angle rope rescue. These situations occur when a patient is located above or below ground and cannot be reached by normal means. Each Team member has been trained to set up solid anchors, use mechanical advantages, and create lowering or raising systems using ropes, knots, and other technical hardware. They have the ability to place a patient in a variety of different rescue litters and will ride with the patient and tend to their needs and provide medical treatment during the rescue. Proficiency in rope rescue techniques requires countless hours of training and practical review.