Seattle, WA (February 13, 2017) – PCL Construction Services, Inc. and the Seattle Fire Department partnered recently to practice performing emergency drills to rescue someone from the bottom of a construction site hole. PCL is currently working six stories below ground to build a high-rise tower in the heart of Belltown. This offered an ideal learning opportunity for both the fire department and PCL’s jobsite employees.
“We can practice in a parking lot or a park, but to do it on a real live site was a huge benefit for us,” said Lieutenant Thomas Wittenberg of Seattle Fire Department #2, Ladder #4.
The fire department uses what is called the stokes rescue, or negative stokes rescue if below ground. In the case of an active construction site, a rescue response team may or may not have access to the use of a tower crane and its operator for assistance in hoisting out an injured worker. In the absence of a tower crane, the fire department utilizes a 100-foot aerial ladder, raising it to 90 feet, at a 70-degree angle to do the negative stokes rescue. Next, they lower in a rescue basket called the stokes litter basket.
The Seattle Fire Department practiced both methods of rescue – attaching the basket onto the tower crane’s hook, and using their own ladders and ropes to hoist the basket.
“This was a great drill for our jobsite,” said Tiffani Candler, a safety coordinator at PCL. “Now we understand the fire department’s protocol and their capabilities in case of an emergency.”
PCL Construction and the Seattle Fire Department hope to partner again in the future as the tower is constructed and offers above-grade scenarios for rescue drills and training.
About PCL Construction
PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and in Australia. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets are supported by a strategic presence in 31 major centers. Together, these companies have an annual construction volume of more than $7 billion, making PCL one of the largest contracting organizations in North America. PCL is based in Denver, Colorado. Watch us build at PCL.com.