Reprinted with Permission

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH/AP) - Authorities in Delaware County say a plumber died after being overcome by acid fumes in a well pit and three people who tried to rescue him were hospitalized.

The Delaware County coroner says 40-year-old Eric Dalton of Anderson died from the Wednesday accident at a home east of Muncie. Liberty Township Fire Chief Brent Devine says Dalton was working in the 10-foot-deep pit when he passed out because of fumes from muriatic acid, which is used to clean pipes.
A 19-year-old man who was working with Dalton entered the well to help him, as did two township firefighters who went inside wearing street clothes when they arrived.

The plumber's assistant and one of the firefighters were in critical condition Thursday, while the other firefighter was in stable condition.

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didnt we just have a simial call posted here a month or so ago with the same ending. People use your head wear a SCBA to protect yourself thats why our municipalities buy them
It's the 21st century and we are still injuring and killing firefighters in confined spaces. Very sad.

Just goes to show that common sense is not that common.
Truly tragic ... why BOTH firefighters went in before checking site safety really disturbs me.
What we should have had here was three individuals waiting at a scene for the arrival of the proper equipment to conduct what was likely a body recovery already. The plumber and his assistant should have had confined space training in order to have been doing the job they were doing at least in our area. Regardless the two firefighters should have received training that dictates the proper coarse of actions at a confined space incident and that means without the proper equipment you await for equipment and if necessary people with entry level training to arrive. It's part of the risk management cycle we all follow. TO BLINDLY ENTER when others have already passed out is something we refer to as the lemming syndrome where one lemming follows the front lemming over a cliff. As I've said this is usually a recovery by the time we get there so time is not of the essence, regardless with no protective equipment or training no actions can be warranted. Lets not loose more brothers in this manner.
"If common sense were common everyone would have it." - author unknown
Oh how true!!
Are we having flashbacks to the recent Ohio manhole rescue on this one?

Toxic gases and oxygen-deficient atmospheres don't care how brave you are - they'll kill you just the same.

Those of us who know better need to be missionaries for confined space education and for keeping everyone who is not properly trained and equipped for confined space rescues out of those spaces.

Confined space fatalities are obviously bad things.

Tag-team confined space fatalities are much, much worse.
EVERY emergency service responder must have at least confined space awareness training so as they understand the issues and hazards and can make informed decisions when they arrive.
And we wonder why LODD rates are not reducing in any great numbers?

Good luck Walt becuase with the attitude of your members being as you describe, as the Training Officer, you've got a long hard road ahead of you.
Not good! Even minimal HazMat and confined space training could have prevented this.

With you at the helm as training officer, hopefully, these people will listen and learn - without any of them becoming fatalities and learning it the hardest way! Good luck with it!!
guess it's time for some confined space refresher. These guys have to remember never to go below ground level without air support.

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