Longview Crews Work Simulated Building Collapse - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/2/06-Longview

Longview Crews Work Simulated Building Collapse

Since September 11th, emergency crews at cities across America have become more aware of the need to have elite rescue and recovery teams in the event of disaster situations. Today, a realistic drill took place in Longview. Working quickly to access and react, members of the Longview Fire Department special operations team responded to a drill scenario.

"We're simulating some structural collapse training, in which a tornado came through town, damaged a building and we have potential victims," said team leader captain Jason Vallery.

Trees have collapsed on a building and a car has run into it. The team moves fast to pull equipment together.  The drill was performed in real time.  The reason being, every minute they spend on a rescue operation could mean life or death for someone. Actual emergencies don't allow for planning.  They make quick decisions, bracing walls that may crumble on them, cutting away debris, and making an opening to get to victims.

"We've got a golden 24 hours in any collapse situation, but we'll risk a lot to save a lot," said Vallery.

They have to be part-rescue worker, part-engineer building their lifesaving equipment as they go.  "In a real incident there's a heightened state sense of urgency," he said.

The Broughton park pool building on MLK boulevard was used as the drill scene site. It is scheduled to be torn down and rebuilt at a later date.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.  bhallmark@kltv.com

 

 

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