Program Manager - Lieutenant Mark Kolar
The Waukegan Fire Department is proud to offer the services of the Specialized Response Team. This team is deployed to handle all technical incidents within the City of Waukegan. Whether it is a window washer hanging 150 feet above the ground or a construction worker buried to his neck in a trench, the call for Specialized Rescue Technicians is made.
The members of this select team are certified by the Illinois State Fire Marshall as Rescue Specialist. In order to maintain their skills, training is done on a monthly basis. In addition all members also belong to the Lake County Specialized Response Team to encourage good working relationships for major incidents.
There are four unique teams for Specialized Rescue.
Imagine hanging 300 feet above the ground on a rope that is 3/8 inch diameter. Then rappelling down to an unconscious patient tangled in a rope line. Examples of these incidents would be rescue from high-rise buildings and retrieval from ravines or severe slopes.
These incidents are the most dangerous for rescuers. Statistics have shown that 6 out of 10 rescuers die during rescue operations. Examples of a confined space are manholes, vaults, silos, ducts, industrial vats/tanks, and sewers.
When tunnels or trenches are created the ground becomes very unstable. If proper shoring methods are not used the potential for cave-ins becomes very realistic. Trench walls collapse in less that one tenth of a second. Examples of trench calls are open excavation sites that collapse and bury victims alive.
There are many reasons buildings become unstable and collapse. Perhaps a severe tornado touched down, a bomb was detonated, or a building was decaying from age. With the probability of victims in open or void spaces it is imperative the team inspects the collapse for survivors.