Technical Rescue


Program Manager - Lieutenant Mark Kolar

The Waukegan Fire Department maintains a Technical Rescue Team (TRT) to safely and effectively mitigate specialized emergency situations requiring the rescue/removal of victims from above and below grade; confined spaces; and building collapses. The TRT addresses the need for specialized skills and equipment required to confront the unique challenges presented by these types of emergencies. Members of this select team are certified as multi-disciplinary rescue specialists with the Illinois State Fire Marshal. In addition, these members also belong to the Lake & McHenry County Specialized Response Team, where they assist other communities throughout the region in addressing these specialized emergencies.

There are four (4) unique types of emergencies handled by the Technical Rescue Team.

High Angle / Rope Rescue

Involves incidents where the victim is located outside the safe reach of conventional rescue measures.  These are primarily elevated areas such as towers, cranes, elevators, and high-rise structures, as well as below grade areas like ravines or steep slopes.

Confined Space

These incidents involve victims located in tight spaces or areas with small access points. Examples of confined spaces include manholes, vaults, silos, ducts, industrial vats/tanks, and sewers.


Includes incidents involving a tunnel, trench or open excavation.  In these situations, collapse of the excavation wall(s) is often involved, which results in the victim being trapped/buried under dirt/material. 

Structural Collapse

Involves the collapse or partial collapse of a building trapping people within the structure or underneath debris/ruble.  The cause of such collapse can vary from severe weather; to decay of the structure; to explosions or defects in building construction and/or design.

waukegan fire personnel harnessed up to and climbing an outdoor metal tower
waukegan fire personnel sliding into high tech manhole with straps, other personnel with cables