was maintained at an acceptable depth
by first constructing out of plywood and
salvage covers a coffer dam in one of the
drainage junction boxes that was downstream. Then, a five-inch supply hose
was attached to a hydrant, upstream, and
allowed to flow into the system, keeping
enough water in the pipe to allow the
animal to float but not allowing water to
fill the pipe and potentially drown it.
The concrete pipe was located only
20 inches under the top of the grass
area designated for the operation, and
members of the team began hand digging with shovels prior to the arrival of
the backhoe. The upper third of the pipe
was quickly uncovered, and the arrival
of the machine allowed the creation of a
12-foot-long working space. As there was
an expectation of water flow from the
pipe during the operation, a deep sump
area was excavated at one end of the area
and the TRT’s mud pump was placed
into the area to control any water issues.
Prior to starting cutting operations
in the area, an incident safety officer
was established, air monitoring was put
into place, and ventilation fans were
set up and turned on. The concrete
cutting saws were of both hydraulic and
gas-powered systems. There were both
rotary and chain saw systems for cutting
the concrete used during the operation.
Water for the saws was supplied by a
nearby house system, and all personnel were wearing bunker pants, gloves,
helmets, and eye protection.
As each cut progressed, wooden shims
were used to prevent the concrete from
collapsing back onto itself and pinching
the blades. The cuts had to encompass
the entire length of the culvert section,
including the connection bell at both
ends. Three expansion bolts were drilled
into the top to act as lifting points, with
two-inch webbing attached using nuts
and washers. After all the cuts were completed and the saws removed from the
area, one firefighter handled the rigging
and lifting operation. One of the expansion bolts failed under the weight of the
estimated 1,100-pound lift, and plan “B”
was placed into action. Using the shims
to gain purchase, and levering one end
of the top upward with long pry bars, a
lifting sling was maneuvered into place
MANATEE TECHNICAL RESCUE
A lifting sling was maneuvered into place at one end and a second lifting sling was placed to carry the entire
piece out of the area.
The manatee was pulled backward onto the submerged sling.
Then it was wrapped and hoisted by the backhoe.