By Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely | Peterson-Schriever Garrison Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Peterson-Schriever Garrison safety office led a confined spaces training in collaboration with the 21st Medical Squadron bioenvironmental flight and the Schriever Fire Department Sept. 24 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, to ensure the 50th Space Communications Squadron members could execute their duty requirements.
According to the P-S GAR safety office, a confined space is an area with a limited means of getting in and out, is not meant for consistent work and is just large enough to enter. This particular training was conducted at a manhole on base.
Some of the hazards of entering confined spaces on base include oxygen deficiencies, encounters with wild life and exposure to vehicle exhaust.
“Sometimes we get complacent to hazards associated with our jobs because we do it every day,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boze, P-S GAR occupational safety manager. “By doing this training, it’s a refresher for the units involved and can ultimately help bring the workers home at the end of the day.”
Without the training event, bioenvironmental and the fire department would be required to be in attendance at every entry into a confined space. The 50th SCS is planning on entering every manhole with communications lines running beneath them within the next year.
“We’re there to ensure [those going in the confined spaces are] following [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] and Air Force Standards,” said Master Sgt. Ashley Smith, P-S GAR safety superintendent. “Confined spaces is one of our scariest programs because someone could die if we don’t follow the proper protocols.”
The event also served as an opportunity for the Schriever Fire Department to test their response time.
“Multi-Agency Training makes us better prepared for a more effective emergency response for the base and the mission,” said Tracey Snyder, Schriever Fire Department assistant chief of training. “The department’s response time far exceeded [our goals.]”