Firefighters participated in high-angle rescue training by rappelling from the top of storage tanks at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in October.
This training is important in the unlikely event a plant worker fell from a height and ended up dangling from his or her safety harness, said Dorian Karas, emergency preparedness manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass.
Approximately 20 firefighters from Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) trained for two days. The team practiced setting up ropes and rappelling from the work platforms on top of the Hydrolysate Storage Area tanks.
“This is training we don’t get to do every day, so it’s a great opportunity for us,” said Marvin Hereford, firefighter, BGAD fire department. “We have some new firefighters who got to learn more about the Blue Grass site and it benefited us all by refreshing and improving our skills.”
“Plant personnel working at elevations are required to wear a safety harness and use Horizontal Life Lines in areas that are unbounded,” said Karas. “If a worker fell from a platform or other elevated area, the harness would restrict the fall and trained fire department personnel will be able to quickly and safely retrieve that person.”
The depot’s fire department is responsible for confined-space and elevated rescue at the site, said Karas. The team participates in project training on a quarterly basis, which gives the team the opportunity to practice their skills and familiarize themselves more with the plant.