Local Firefighters training on how to perform search and rescue operations if a building collapses


SLIDELL, La. (WGNO)— With recent tragic events like the Hard Rock Hotel Collapse and the Surfside condo collapse in Florida—The St. Tammany Fire Protect District No. 1 along with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office hosted an Urban Search and Rescue training class.

This training gave firefighters real scenarios on how to handle building collapses and perform structural collapse rescues.

Have you ever wondered how you would respond in an emergency situation? Well for these firefighters— training exercises like these help them to know exactly what to do in life and death scenarios.

“I think all of us can relate to the Hard Rock collapse and the Surfside collapse in Florida. Those are big collapses and these types of teams are brought in to do these search and rescues,” St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 1 Chief Chris Kaufmann said.

The goal is to give these 33 firefighters from 8 different agencies hands on training on how to respond if a building collapses.

“We are running a scenario here where we have a victim trapped inside a void space from a collapse,” Austin Graham, Safety and Training Officer with St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 1 said.

Graham went on to say, “There’s a lot of moving parts. No job is too small. Every position on the team is vital.”

All these skills they are learning will prove valuable when they need them most.

“If you have the best tools, the best training then you give people the best chance to survive,” Chief Kaufmann said.

The 40-hour training session has lasted all week, and they will have one more day of training tomorrow and then the firefighters will get their certification.

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