The environment in these underground lines presents a potential risk of environmental hazards that need to be monitored frequently in the work setting. Employees are being trained to use a self-contained breathing system (SCBA), and in-line to keep them safe as they work. Firefighters train and work constantly in hazardous breathing conditions and are experts on SCBA usage. So, the Fire Chief assisted with the preparation and training of public works employees to be on their own air supply. Public works employees trained at the Fire Drill field on N. Kansas as there are training props there to simulate the work setting while Chief Lugo and HR representatives evaluated and gave the public works employees feedback on how to safely work in confined space operations. Being safe and keeping employees safe always is the number one concern, and it is the Fire Chiefs' goal for EVERYONE to go home SAFE. HR representatives in our city are proactive in safety and want all employees to work as safely as possible and to have a plan in place if something were to happen to ensure that the employees and their family members are taken care of if something were to happen. There were good takeaways from this training, and public works were given a list of items to look at and evaluate for implementation into their operations. Once public works acquire some additional safety equipment, they will be doing another training evolution, and some of our volunteer firefighters that are confined space certified rescuers will be in attendance to evaluate before public works begin work within our city’s sewer system.
Prior to this preparation, private companies did the work. The private sector work has time constraints and costs that prompted employees to prepare to do the work in-house. Just another reason public works employees are considered part of the first responder team for the City.