Roco Rescue

Rescue Challenge


Roco Rescue Challenge 2021

October 20-21, 2021

RTC - Roco Training Center

Join us next October to take in all the action and discover what your team may be missing!

Roco Rescue Challenge 2021 Information Sheet

Roco Rescue Challenge meets the annual rescue practice requirements of 1910.146 while providing realistic practice drills in all six confined space types. Written documentation will be provided to each team following the event.

  • All rescue teams are welcome and observer registration is available.
  • The event will be expanded for this coming year but is limited to eight (8) teams. 
  • To find out more about the benefits of Challenge for your team, call 800-647-7626 and join us this year.
  • Cost is $1,095/person, minimum of 6 people per team. Advance registration & payment are required.

  • OSHA Compliance Plus

  • Learn from participating in realistic rescue scenarios.
  • Gain confidence in your skills and teamwork abilities.
  • Enjoy excellent training while interacting with rescue pros.
  • Share ideas, experiences, and techniques with teams from across the nation.
  • Document your team’s confined space response capabilities.
  • Meet annual practice requirements in varying confined spaces types.
  • Confirm individual skills proficiency.
  • You can also attend as an observer.

    Check our the resources below from past events. If you're not ready to team-up, you can attend as an observer and get a ton of benefits from this one-of-a-kind experience.

    Give us a call at 800-647-7626 to register your team, or if you want to register as an observer.

    Roco Training Center in Baton Rouge

    Roco's Rescue Challenge 20182018 Rescue Challenge

    Seven challenging rescue scenarios awaited participating teams at Roco Rescue Challenge 2018 recently held in Baton Rouge. Multiple training props at and near the Roco Training Center (RTC) were used to create the realistic problem-solving scenarios, which included both props at the RTC as well as the training tower and the “industrial prop” at the Baton Rouge Fire Department. These facilities provided a wide variety of rescue scenarios and rigging environments for the teams during the two-day event.

    Challenge teams were required to successfully complete scenarios in all six (6) Confined Space Types based on OSHA-defined criteria in addition to Rescue from Fall Protection and Extrication. The scenarios were designed to meet OSHA1 and NFPA2 requirements for annual practice and evaluation of team capabilities as well as the individual rescuers. Participating teams received third party testing of the scenarios and individual rescuer skills along with documentation to back up the testing. Following Rescue Challenge, each team receives a complete report of the scenarios along with their scores, strengths and weaknesses as well as debriefing notes from the instructor evaluators.

    Speaking of evaluators, this year featured some of Roco’s top instructors who hailed from Idaho to New York. These individuals are passionate about teaching rescue and improving the performance of their students. No doubt they’re a big part of why the event is so successful and so effective in honing the teams’ skills. In fact, this year’s event was dedicated to the memory of one of our long-time instructors and original Roco Rangers, Mr. Doug Norwood.

    All Challenge scenarios are designed to have teaching goals that require different rescue and rigging skills. They included simulated IDLH rescue entries with the use of SAR and SCBA equipment. Also included were single-person and multi-casualty scenarios with a mix of manikins and live victims/evaluators as patients.

    Challenge consisted of three different testing criteria to include:
    1. Seven rescue scenarios;
    2. Individual Performance Evaluations (IPE); and,
    3. A Team Performance Evaluation (TPE).

    Here is a quick break down of the two-day event:

    Station#1 – CS Types #3, #4 & #6
    A worker fell approximately 8 ft. while working on a motor in a fan plenum on a cooling tower. The worker fell through the fan to the cooling pipes below and suffered from heat exhaustion and a possible broken/dislocated hip. Access and egress to the patient and ground was through a series of ladder cages at approximately the 50 ft. level.

    Station #2 – Rescue from Fall Protection
    A worker who was painting on top of a 50 ft. dome column tower fell onto his fall protection system. Access by the technical rescue team was over the top of the dome to the far side of the tower where rescuers needed to transfer the patient from his system to the rescuer’s system before descending to safety.

    Station #3 – CS Types #3 & #2
    Three workers were trapped in a “Stack” elevator that jumped off its track. The scenario simulated rescue from a height of 300 ft. requiring knot-passing techniques.

    Station #4 – CS Type #4
    A reenactment of an OSHA confined space incident where two entrants were injured in a flash fire in a confined space, which required on-air entry using SCBA.

    Station #5 – CS Type #4
    The rescue of an unconscious worker from a column vessel with multiple internal trays, requiring that the patient be lowered approximately 40 ft. to the ground.

    Station #6 – CS Type #5
    A worker was trapped under a piece of machinery (2000lbs+) in a containment vault. Teams used rescue airbags and cribbing to raise and extricate the individual from under the object before completing a low-point confined space rescue from a vertical-entry confined space.

    Station #7 – CS Types #1 & #3
    Report of a worker down in a low O2 atmosphere in a boiler expansion tank. Teams were forced to ascend a vertical temporary ladder approximately 10 ft. inside a 24-in. tube to access the individual while wearing SAR due to low levels of oxygen.

    Station #8 – Individual Performance Evaluation (IPE) 
    Individual team members were evaluated on their ability to perform patient packaging, knots, rigging, and mechanical advantage.

    Station #9 – Team Performance Evaluation (TPE) 
    Teams moved a patient along a multi-stage track referred to as the “Yellow Brick Road.TM” This scenario requires the teams to perform different packaging, raising and lowering techniques in order to move successfully to the next problem-solving station.

    Scoring was very tight this year with all teams scoring between 85% to 90% overall. Roco scoring is based on the following: 90% and above “superior rescue team;” 80%-89% “excellent rescue team;” and 70%-79% “capable rescue team.” Scores below 70% require the teams to redo the scenario once it is critiqued and any safety concerns are addressed.

    We also had numerous observers at this year’s Challenge both from the municipal and industrial sectors. They reported that they were able to see “first hand” the benefits of Rescue Challenge, and that they are planning on sending teams for next year’s event.
    One observer commented that the format and location allowed teams to get out of their comfort zones and have a good look at how they would respond to an actual incident at their facility.
    Some of the exceptional performances this year included:
    Shell-Convent, LA: Overall highest average of 90% for all scenarios.
    Valero-Wilmington, CA: 1st place IPE station.
    CF Industries-Donaldsonville, LA: 1st place TPE station.
    Two Louisiana teams (International Paper-Bogalusa and Shell-Norco) tied for “Top Score” on a single scenario scoring 490 out of 500 possible points.

    If you missed this year’s Rescue Challenge, join us next year on October 23-24, 2019, in Baton Rouge. Every year our instructors devise new surprise obstacles to challenge teams with hurdles they’ve never tackled before.
    Is your team “Rescue Challenge ready?”

    1OSHA 1910.146 Permit-Required Confined Spaces
    1910.146(k)(2)(iv) Ensure that affected employees practice making permit space rescues at least once every 12 months, by means of simulated rescue operations in which they remove dummies, manikins, or actual persons from the actual permit spaces or from representative permit spaces. Representative permit spaces shall, with respect to opening size, configuration, and accessibility, simulate the types of permit spaces from which rescue is to be performed.

    2NFPA 1006 Technical Rescue Personnel Professional Qualifications
    1.2.6* Technical rescue personnel shall remain current with the general knowledge, skills, and JPRs addressed for each level or position of qualification. Technical rescue personnel shall remain current with technical rescue practices and applicable standards and shall demonstrate competency on an annual basis.

    Roco Rescue Challenge 2017

    Roco Rescue Challenge 2017 was held at our Confined Space and High Angle Training Facility (RTC) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 11 & 12. This year we had teams representing Petro-Chemical, Paper Mills, Fertilizer Manufacturing and Municipal Rescuers.

    The two-day event included performing rescues from all six (6) confined space types based on OSHA-defined criteria. High Angle and Rescue from Fall Protection were also covered. These practical scenarios offer a realistic test of a team’s ability to perform under stress to both IDLH and non-IDLH atmospheres. Teams were required to triage and treat multiple victims as well as select and use a variety of patient care and packaging choices.

    This year there were eight (8) rotation stations for the teams to take on. They included some of the following techniques and problem-solving capabilities:

    1) An unconscious rope access worker suspended from fall protection in a narrow shaft. The only way to reach the victim was to ascend the victim’s access line.

    2) Dealing with a medical emergency in a multi-level confined space that required both external and internal mechanical advantage systems to remove the patient.

    3) Real rescue reenactment: Access and extricate victim that fell into and is trapped in a 24-inch shaft.

    4) Rescue from an elevated horizontal entry with multiple victims in an IDLH atmosphere.

    5) Access and package a victim from a reactor tower requiring both vertical and horizontal internal rescue systems in an IDLH atmosphere.

    6) Access a victim with a broken hip via a mid-level 13”x16” horizontal portal accessed via a rope ladder.

    7) Individual Performance Evaluation – Team members were tested on their personal rescue skills (Knot tying, Rigging, Packaging, M/A).

    8) Multi-faceted Rescue Drill – Tests a team’s ability to adapt and use a variety of rescue techniques and packaging requirements as they move a patient through a gauntlet of rescue stations that traverse throughout the rescue tower.

    Rescue Challenge gives teams the unique opportunity to use the equipment and techniques similar to what they would use back at their facilities in an actual rescue, stated Dennis O’Connell, Director of Training for Roco.
    He added, “They also get the benefit of comparing their performance and effectiveness to that of other teams performing the same rescue. The teams are exposed to different rescue approaches, which provides a great learning experience in itself.

    Challenge also provides an opportunity to be evaluated by multiple rescue professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds. This year more than 10 different evaluators evaluated each team over the two-day event.

    The event is set-up so that a team’s capability or experience level really doesn’t matter. Each team is simply responding like they would if that scenario happened at their facility. For example, some teams bring paramedics and others only have basic First Aid/CPR training. It does not matter – it is all about how are you going to respond and handle that emergency.

    So why should you have sent a team to Challenge? Besides getting written documentation on your team’s capability to respond to all six confined space types (practice is required annually by OSHA in applicable types of spaces).

    It gets your team out of their comfort zone of training in the same locations over and over.
    They get to see what other teams do and use. Teams also get the benefit of being critiqued by professional evaluators in order to correct any deficiencies in techniques and equipment. Lastly, the teams are offered positive feedback and suggestions on how to improve from evaluators with a wide variety of experience in the rescue world.

    This year's teams included:

    Shell Refinery - Convent, LA

    Valero Refinery - Wilmington, CA

    CF Industries - Donaldsonville, LA

    International Paper - Bogalusa, LA

    CHS Refinery - McPherson, KS

    Don't miss the chance to register your team for Rescue Challenge 2018!
    Contact us for more information.

    Rescue Challenge 2015

    Here’s what one of our observers had to say about last year’s event…
    "You just can't get everything you need out of a classroom. Coming out and seeing the teams performing different techniques and scenarios allowed us to gain insight that will be used to kick-start our team."

    Don't miss the rescue team event of the year! 

    Call us at 800-647-7626 and reserve your ticket today.

    Rescue teams from across the country will participate in realistic confined space rescue exercises designed by Roco’s top instructors. And, although Challenge is more of a learning event than a competition, trophies will be awarded to the teams with top scores for individual skills proficiency and the infamous “Yellow Brick Road” rescue-relay scenario.

    Check out the 2015 Roco Rescue Challenge Video

    Team Spotlight

    Team Calumet
    Rescue Team Calumet
    Superior, WI
    Exxon Plastics Team
    Rescue Team Exxon Plastics
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Lion Oil Team
    Rescue Team Lion Oil
    El Dorado, AR
    Shell Geismar Team
    Rescue Team Shell-Geismar
    Geismar, LA
    Motiva Team
    Rescue Team Motiva-Convent
    Convent, LA
    Valero Team
    Rescue Team Valero
    Wilmington, CA
    ROCO Trainer Team
    Roco Challenge Evaluators with
    Kay Goodwyn, Roco’s president

    2015 Roco Rescue Challenge Photos

    Rescue Team Calumet – Superior, WI

    2014 Roco Rescue Challenge


    Challenge 2014

    Congrats to the 7 excellent teams who participated in 2014 Roco Rescue Challenge this week. There was plenty of learning, and lots of doing, and these guys and gals represent some of the finest industrial rescuers in America.

    Thanks to all who made this year's event a success, and to the hard working emergency responders who dedicate their lives to saving others!

    2014 Roco Rescue Challenge Photos


    2013 Roco Rescue Challenge



    Roco Rescue Challenge 2013 came to a close on Thursday, October 10 with a great sense of camaraderie. Teams benefited by sharing techniques, strategies and accomplishments. All seven participating teams did an extraordinary job. Congratulations to each and every one of you!

    Director of Training, Dennis O’Connell summed Rescue Challenge up eloquently. “Hope you never run into a scenario in real life as hard as the ones you've had at Challenge ’13,” he chuckled as he gave the closing remarks.

    2013 Roco Rescue Challenge Photos


    2012 Roco Rescue Challenge

    2012 Roco Rescue Challenge Photos


    2011 Roco Rescue Challenge


    Valero Energy Corporation pledges “consistent, high-quality products” but its most important measure of success is the “health and safety of its employees, contractors, customers and neighbors.” So, it’s no surprise that Valero sends its rescue teams to the Roco Challenge. One Valero team member professed that while Roco’s Rescue Challenge was indeed “very challenging,” he also added that his team benefited from the communication, leadership, safety awareness, problem-solving experience and teamwork.

    Valero invests in emergency preparedness and response training to ensure that employees are prepared to respond quickly to any emergency. The company is committed to “frequent training for all personnel in emergency management, incident command and tactical operations.”

    Each of Valero’s four rescue teams, one for each of their shifts, completes quarterly training that covers IPE’s (Individual Performance Evaluations), TPE’s (Team Performance Evaluations), High Angle Rescue, Confined Space Rescue and Team Building.

    With its recordable-injury rate among the lowest in the industry, the Valero teams have been fortunate not to have to use their skills in a real rescue,  but without a doubt will be ready in case an emergency arises.

    2011 Roco Rescue Challenge Photos