Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team water tower rescue

Photo by the Boston Globe

A horrific incident in Eastern Massachusetts led to the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team (WMTRT) to find a similar scenario to train on to be better prepared. According to a report in the December 15, 2016 Boston Globe:

BRAINTREE — A diver hired to inspect the inside of a massive, multistory water tank died Thursday in the frigid waters, as his adolescent son was on the ground below and another man plunged into the tank to try to save him. An intense rescue effort ensued after the victim, who was not identified, reported a problem with his air supply around 10 a.m. He then lost communication with a spotter atop the million-gallon Lincoln Heights tank, one of five in the town, according to Braintree Fire Chief James O’Brien. The spotter jumped in to help, but instead found himself also trapped in the dangerously cold water, officials said. The crew called for help, summoning rescuers from around the region to brave high winds, dangerous cold, and icy conditions atop the water tower.

This water tower, located in Leeds, Massachusetts provided WMTRT members the opportunity to practice a variety of skills that have been developing over the past few years, including high angle and confined space rescue. There were inherent challenges in securing anchor points and operating with limited personnel.

Drone shot of the training tower in Leeds
The CMC Arizona Vortex high point anchor was key to this negotiating this hazard.


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