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193rd Special Operations Wing conducts confined spaces rescue exercise

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  • By Staff Sgt. Tony Harp
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

Airmen from the 193rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron and firefighters from the 193rd Special Operations Civil Engineering Squadron conducted a confined spaces rescue exercise Feb. 24 in the fuel cell here.

The exercise was part of the Air Force Inspection System and was meant to gauge the response of both fuel systems and emergency services personnel in the event that an Airmen is trapped within a confined space.

The exercise utilized a mannequin to simulate an Airman. The simulated Airman was placed in one of the dry bays in a wing of an EC-130J Commando Solo aircraft. The simulated Airman had succumb to fumes and passed out, and was not breathing but had a pulse. Fuel systems Airmen from the 193rd SOMXS had to then react accordingly, extricate the Airman and begin buddy aid as they awaited the arrival of 193rd SOCES firefighters.

Safety dictates how Airmen in the fuel cell conduct their job.

While working in a confined space, Airmen operate in teams, said Tech. Sgt. Chris Fagan, a fuel system specialist with the 193rd SOMXS. While the one Airmen is working in the confined space, another Airman, the attendant, watches over them and maintains communication to ensure their safety. In the event something does happen and the attendant loses communication, a third Airman, the runner, will react by contacting emergency services and proceed to assist the attendant with extracting the trapped Airman.

The first priority is to get the victim out of the dangerous atmosphere, said Fagan.

This type of real-world exercise is very valuable because of all the aspects that are involved, like calling 911 and working directly with the fire department, said Fagan.

The confined spaces training is an annual training requirement for both the 193rd SOMXS and the 193rd SOCES.