Getting in the trenches: Chattanooga area team completes rescue training

Getting in the trenches: Chattanooga area team completes rescue training

November 16th, 2013 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

The Urban Search and Rescue team completed its final phase of training today with a simulated trench rescue incident on the property of the Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant. The USAR team, based in Chattanooga, is responsible for responding to technical rescue incidents, primarily in a 10-county area of Southeast Tennessee.

Photo by Chattanooga Fire Dept. Photo by Bruce Garner

Members of the Urban Search and Rescue team finished their final phase of training Friday with a simulated trench rescue on the property of the Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Chattanooga-based team responds to technical rescue incidents, mostly in a 10-county area of Southeast Tennessee, according to a news release.

Friday's training scenario involved a deep-trench collapse that buried a worker under dirt. Search and rescue team members had to figure out how to get to the victim without becoming victims themselves in an unstable environment. They secured the trench with lumber and struts and removed a lot of dirt. After several hours, the victim, a mannequin, was pulled out.

Students in the training this week came from the Chattanooga Fire Department, Bradley County Fire-Rescue, the Cleveland Fire Department, the Signal Mountain Fire Department and two medical personnel from Erlanger hospital, the news release states. HEPACO, an environmental cleanup company, and the Chattanooga Public Works Department provided assistance with the training.

Since 2007, about 180 firefighters have been trained to the technician level for the search and rescue team.