Just when you thought you ran out of training ideas…Solid work by fire companies in PA.
Crews found a group of protesters, that built a barricade to block the roadway, preventing traffic flow. The barricade consisted of 2 six foot pieces of large plastic piping, filled with concrete. Inside the large pipe and concrete were 4 smaller sections of 4″ PVC pipe with a metal rod through the end of each. Each small section of PVC pipe was placed at each end of the larger pipe. 3 individuals had placed chain around their arms, inserted their arms into the 4″ PVC pipe and attached the chain to the steel bar that ran through the center of the 4″ pipe The individuals could have unhooked the chains but refused to do so.
Cribbing and rope rigging equipment were used to stabilize the pipes and prevent any movement. Crews from Citizens Hose Co and Independent Hose Co began the time consuming task of cutting open the top of the outer pipe with reciprocating saws. Once the concrete inside was exposed, crews found that the concrete had nails, rocks, pieces of metal, pry bars and crowbars all throughout. At that point, air chisels were placed into service to chisel away the concrete and expose the foreign objects inside. While chiseling the concrete away, objects scattered throughout the concrete had to be cut and cleared out of the way. Once enough concrete was cleared away, the inside ends of the 4″ PVC were visible. The ends of the 4″ pipe were cut open, giving access to where the chains were hooked to the steel bar that went through the 4″ pipe. Once crews got the chains unhooked, the individual’s arms were removed from inside the 4″ PVC pipe.
Before the extrication had begun, the operations officer had a briefing with the extrication crew to formulate a plan of action. The Ops officer also asked the protesters if there was anything inside either pipe that would be harmful to which they stated “there’s nothing hazardous in the pipes or concrete.” Knowing the situation, the Ops officer proceeded with the operation using extreme caution and operating in a safe and slow manner. Due to the objects scattered within the concrete, the plan of action had to be readdressed several times.
This post will hopefully serve an informative and educational purpose as well as a reminder for situational awareness.. This could happen in your first due.
Pass it on!