SPFD: Mutual aid for unconscious man
in water tank in S. Mountain area

December 11, 2015
Santa Paula News

Santa Paula Fire joined other agencies Tuesday in the rescue of a worker possibly overcome by carbon dioxide from inside a large water tank in the South Mountain area north of Somis.

The December 8 incident was reported about 1 p.m. on an agricultural property in the 7800 block of Bradley Road when a caller said two workers — one unconscious — were trapped inside a large water tank.

Santa Paula and Ventura County Fire and a Hazardous Materials team, the Urban Search & Rescue Team, paramedics, the Ventura County Sheriff’s helicopter and ambulances responded to the scene.

According to a VCFD spokesman, when emergency personnel arrived on scene they found one worker had gotten out of the tank through a side door but the second man was stuck above ground on some scaffolding.

A crew was installing the tank, 25-feet in diameter and 30-feet high, on the property and the two workers inside had been painting the inside with a coating when they began to feel ill. The man still inside the tank, although conscious when help arrived, was unable to walk or leave the scaffolding.

Firefighters and Urban Search & Rescue, all wearing breathing apparatus and protective clothing, put the man — outfitted by rescue workers with a self-contained breathing apparatus — into a harness and lifted him out of the tank. 

During the rescue the area was monitored for combustibility and other hazardous materials; later, according to the VCFD spokesman, it was found that high levels of carbon monoxide were present in the tank. 

The rescued worker was transported to an area hospital in stable condition; the second man refused treatment. 

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