Published: Dec 21, 2010 6:10 PM EST
Updated: Dec 21, 2010 3:11 PM EST

NAPLES, Fla. - They're going underground in Naples to save lives. Firefighters are practicing rescuing sewer and utility workers.

"Its vital our firefighters know the ins and outs with their eyes closed with performing these kinds of rescues," said Fire Chief Stephen McInerny.

Thousands of utility, sewer, natural gas, phone and electric workers are underground everyday. When when something goes wrong Naples firefighters need to be ready.

"It's a very labor intensive, manpower intensive operation to get this job done," said Chief McInerny.

It can take just six to eight minutes for someone to lose oxygen in a confined space. That's why its so important rescuers train so they get to the victim quickly.

There are dangerous gases down below, that can also be deadly. So, firefighters have to constantly monitor the atmosphere.

Each year 300 people die in confined space incidents in the U.S. Naples City Manager Bill Moss had two of his workers perish in a 1995 accident in South Carolina.

"If you don't follow certain procedures it can be dangerous and life threatening," said Moss.

On friday, a dozen city utility workers came along to observe as rescuers practiced a drill that could one day save their lives.