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Specialized training for Butte County Cal Fire Firefighters

The Butte County Cal Fire Technical Rescue Team is taking time this week to focus on their various rope rescues.

Posted: Nov 7, 2019 5:37 PM
Updated: Nov 7, 2019 5:39 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - The Butte County Cal Fire Technical Rescue Team is taking time this week to focus on their various rope rescues. 

Every month they train for a day or two, but in November they take a full week to work on rope rescues. 

Action News Now Reporter Amy Lanski took part, to see how the team rescues someone in a confined space. 

Cal Fire's Conor Stapleton said the first step is to confirm someone needs to be rescued. 

"So once we confirm that and we make verbal contact or have a known rescue we want to get somebody down in the hole once we have our air monitoring," said Stapleton. 

Stapleton explained the tubing air monitor is to make sure the victim has enough oxygen, adding if there is not enough then firefighters can intervene with oxygen from outside tubing. 

While assessing the situation firefighters determine the best technique to get the person out. 

"What kind of status they are in, if they need medical treatment or not. So next we are waiting for the rescuers to set up, so once we get them down the whole operation up top is still moving on, so they are a couple steps ahead of what the next person coming down is for," said Stapleton. 

Stapleton says the firefighters above are still setting anchors and haul lines. 

He says these rescues can happen all over Butte County. 

"I mean like anything like electrical valves, there's confined spaces, the rice silos are considered a confined space. It could be oxygen deficient, atmospheres, converging walls, so they are all over the county especially in Butte," said Stapleton. 

The team focuses on other types of technical rescues as well, and does Urban Search and Rescue. 

The have sent crews to help in disasters throughout the state. 

Butte County also has a Swiftwater Rescue Team.

There are about 20 people on the Technical Rescue Team and about 14 on the Swiftwater Rescue Team. 

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