Suppression Operations

Vehicle Extrication

In most Fire Departments in Canada, the majority of rescue incidents are vehicle extrications. A victim who is trapped in or by a vehicle may be seriously injured, proper extrication procedures are essential to prevent further injury and to speed the victim's removal. It is also critical that firefighters coordinate with emergency medical personnel who are providing first aid to the victim.

Technical Rescue Incidents

Firefighters participate in a variety of technical rescues. The National Fire Protection Association's "Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents" defines technical rescue as, "The application of special knowledge, skills, and equipment to safely resolve unique and/or complex rescue situations." Technical rescues can include freeing victims from collapsed buildings, trench cave-ins, caves or tunnels, electrical contact, water and ice, industrial machinery, and elevators.

Confined Space Rescues

Firefighting and rescue operations must sometimes be carried out in confined space locations that are below grade or otherwise without either natural or forced ventilation. Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines a confined space as having the following characteristics:

  • Large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work,
  • Limited or restricted means for entry and exit.
  • Not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Water/Ice Rescue

Water/ice situations can occur in swimming pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, drainage canals, and other bodies of water such as low-head dams and water treatment facilities. Areas subject to sustained freezing temperatures also have the potential for ice emergencies. It is important to highlight the difference between rescues and recoveries when it comes to drowning and other water related incidents. Rescues are situations where a victim is stranded, floundering or has been submerged for a short period of time. In these cases, there is potential for saving the victim. Recoveries are situations where a victim has been submerged for such a long period of time that he or she is presumed deceased, and the goal of the operation is to recover the body.