HomeNewsArticle Display

Confined space exercise at WADS power plant

Joint Base Lewis-McChord first responders remove a simulated patient out of a generator pit during confined space rescue training at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The fire fighters were able to retrieve the patient in less than 40 minutes from the time of the call. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord first responders remove a simulated patient out of a generator pit during confined space rescue training at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The fire fighters were able to retrieve the patient in less than 40 minutes from the time of the call. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord first responders lift a simulated patient out of a generator pit during confined space rescue training at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The fire fighters were able to retrieve the patient in less than 40 minutes from the time of the call. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord first responders lift a simulated patient out of a generator pit during confined space rescue training at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The fire fighters were able to retrieve the patient in less than 40 minutes from the time of the call. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord first responders conduct confined space rescue training at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018 on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The confined space rescue goal is to retrieve the patient as quickly as possible, as safely as possible without causing more injuries because of the difficult location. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord first responders conduct confined space rescue training at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018 on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The confined space rescue goal is to retrieve the patient as quickly as possible, as safely as possible without causing more injuries because of the difficult location. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Emergency responders asses the scene as they arrive on scene of a simulated patient in a confined space rescue exercise at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The simulated patient fell into a generator pit after a major electrical malfunction. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Emergency responders asses the scene as they arrive on scene of a simulated patient in a confined space rescue exercise at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The simulated patient fell into a generator pit after a major electrical malfunction. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Firefighters anchor safety ropes for confined space rescue training at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Once the simulated patient was secured to a spinal board the firefighters used the ropes as a safety measure when lifting the patient out of the confined space. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Firefighters anchor safety ropes for confined space rescue training at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Once the simulated patient was secured to a spinal board the firefighters used the ropes as a safety measure when lifting the patient out of the confined space. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Emergency responders asses the scene as they arrive on scene of a simulated patient in a confined space rescue exercise at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The simulated patient fell into a generator pit after a major electrical malfunction. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Emergency responders asses the scene as they arrive on scene of a simulated patient in a confined space rescue exercise at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The simulated patient fell into a generator pit after a major electrical malfunction. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Master Sgt. Trever Bohling, Western Air Defense Sector, tends to a simulated patient in confined space rescue Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Bohling administered first aid to the simulated patient as the emergency personnel arrive on scene. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Master Sgt. Trever Bohling, Western Air Defense Sector, tends to a simulated patient in confined space rescue Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Bohling administered first aid to the simulated patient as the emergency personnel arrive on scene. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Emergency responders arrive on scene for a confined space rescue exercise at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The scenario involved an electrical malfunction resulting in two injuries. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Emergency responders arrive on scene for a confined space rescue exercise at the Western Air Defense Sector Nov. 11, 2018, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The scenario involved an electrical malfunction resulting in two injuries. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Tim Chacon)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --

The Western Air Defense Sector conducted an arc flash injury exercise inside the WADS power plant Nov. 13, 2018.  The exercise was designed to help the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fire Department become accustom to working safely around the WADS unique power plant equipment and practice confined space rescue procedures.

An arc flash, or flashover, is part of an arc fault, a type of electrical explosion or discharge that results from a low-impedance connection through air to ground or another voltage phase in an electrical system.  “Basically, an arch flash is a direct short with explosion,” explained Kelly Thomas, 225th Support Squadron electrical systems specialist.  “In this scenario, one of our team member’s extremity was blown off and debris kicked out causing third degree burns.  The other team member fell into the generator pit after being startled by the arc flash and resulting explosion.”

First responders from JBLM Battalion 103, Station 105 and 106, responded to the call quickly and began rendering first aid to the two simulated injured victims.  Due to the depth and the confined space inside the generator pit where the second patient fell, a special rigging team was needed to extract the victim.  The rigging team was able to rig a ladder slide in order to rescue the patient and not damage the generator in the process. 

“Overall, the exercise went extremely well,” said Clint Stephens, 225th SS chief of utilities.  “Our ultimate goal is to ensure the JBLM Fire Department can operate safely when the WADS has to shut electrical equipment down.”