SLC Fire, Rocky Mountain Power perform rescue training

Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-21 20:12:55-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's a high-risk situation.

A man is trapped underground, unconscious -- and fire fighters only have a few minutes to get him out.

That’s the scenario first responders and Rocky Mountain Power played out in a training exercise Monday in Salt Lake City.

“What we are doing is retrieving a person that has been injured in the bottom of a hole and getting them out safely with the fact that there is live electricity flowing around,” said Capt. Ryan Mellor with Salt Lake City Fire Department.

The linemen working for Rocky Mountain Power have a dangerous job, and they say they want to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

In this training exercise the power company and fire fighters are supposed to recover a dummy trapped in this electrical vault.

“It's a rare situation that something like this could occur, but we look for the ‘what ifs,’” said Bret Rich, Rocky Mountain Power’s Safety Manager. “And that's what we are doing in this case exactly. And making sure that if something like this happens we could address it correctly, safely and quickly.”

In six minutes the crews got the dummy out, with no problems.

Fire fighters say they've handled situations like this before. They say by practicing it makes their decision-making and execution quicker, which matters when, seconds count.

“You don't want to be stuck thinking about how you are going to do something, you want to be thinking about the plan, so when they are told to do something that's muscle memory,” said Mellor.