The Waldo County Confined Space Rescue Team, which is made up of firefighters from Searsport, Stockton Springs and West Frankfort, recently practiced its skills at Thibodeau & Sons in Prospect.

The team got off the ground a year ago this month after grants and donations from several local contributors, including the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, Maine Municipal Association, Searsport Water District, Sunrise Materials, Lane Construction and Robbins Lumber, made it possible to organize a confined-space rescue team. Because of the grants and donations, the team was able to purchase almost all the equipment needed to get the training under way.

At the time of its creation, Searsport Fire Chief Jim Dittmeier noted that the team was the first of its kind in Waldo County. Dittmeier explained that there are many workplaces with areas that fall under the definition of confined spaces, because their configuration hinders the activities of employees who must enter, work in and exit them. A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels and pipelines.

The team will provide its service and expertise to all Waldo County towns and surrounding areas that need it. Any business in Waldo County that has a confined space is asked to call Dittmeier at 548-2302 to set up a meeting and possible training.