published Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Chattanooga firefighters practice techniques for work in collapsed structures (with video)

Firefighters train using Urban Search and Rescue techniques
Local firefighters are putting their Urban Search and Rescue lessons to use during training exercises this week in East Chattanooga. During the three-day training period, which includes the Chattanooga Fire Department and several partner agencies, firefighters are learning "shoring" procedures to stabilize a structure after collapse so victims can be safely rescued.
Members of the Chattanooga Fire Department's Urban Search and Rescue team practice shoring techniques Tuesday in the partially-collapsed former Alabama Furniture building at the corner of Glass Street and Dodson Avenue. The training exercise will go on for three days at the site.
Members of the Chattanooga Fire Department's Urban Search and Rescue team practice shoring techniques Tuesday in the partially-collapsed former Alabama Furniture building at the corner of Glass Street and Dodson Avenue. The training exercise will go on for three days at the site.
Photo by John Rawlston.

A group of Chattanooga firefighters who are specially trained in technical rescue practiced their skills at how to shore up structures during an exercise at the old Alabama Furniture Co.

These skills are needed when firefighters, who are part of the department's Urban Search and Rescue Unit, have to find ways to support collapsed structures during rescues.

During the training exercise at the building, located at 2200 Glass St., Training Chief Phillip Hyman instructed firefighters to shore up a portion of the two-story collapsed building and search for victims in fallen debris.

"It's labor-intensive and hot," Hyman said in a news release. "The firefighters must not only do this quickly as they can, but correctly and safely because a lot can go wrong if you're not careful."

The training is expected to continue through Thursday.

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