When people refer to confined space rescue they’re often referring to the types of dangerous rescues that require someone to enter a space in order to help another remove. Think, for example, like when someone gets trapped in a cave and rescuers must enter the cave in order to help that trapped person out. What many overlook, though, is that there are three types of confined space rescue that range based on the risk they pose to those that have to help someone escape from a confined space. Here is everything you need to know about the three types of confined space rescues that rescuers might have to assist with.
In a self rescue situation, a person might be able to free themselves from a confined space without needing someone else to enter the space. These types of rescue situations are often completed without the help of a rescue team. In some cases, someone might recognize the risks involved with entering the space in the first place and free themselves from the confined space without truly becoming trapped.
This type of confined space rescue is ideal, as it minimizes risk involved with all parties and usually means that someone isn’t injured and is able to free themselves from the confined space.
A non-entry rescue is the next best option for a confined space rescue, as it still means that a rescue team might not have to enter a space in order to free a trapped person. Where a self rescue usually means that someone is able to free themselves without having to call for professional rescue, a non-entry rescue usually refers to a situation where professional rescuers are called but are able to complete the rescue safely without entering themselves.
This might look like a rescue team describing to a trapped person how they can exit a space safely, or opening a confined space from the outside so that a trapped person can exit the space easier. It could also look like having to hoist a person out of a space by putting a rope or ladder down if the person is trapped in a hole or well.
By far the most serious and dangerous form of a confined space rescue, an entry rescue involves having professional rescue teams enter a confined space in order to free a trapped person. This could be the case when the person in the confined space is not conscious or has been injured and is unable to free themselves without help, or if the person needs additional help to get out, such as if they have to swim but can’t.
Because this type of rescue is so dangerous, we urge someone not to try and conduct this type of rescue unless they’re trained professionally in order to do so.