Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rescue 3 Crews Practice Structural Collapse Skills

The Scenario: There has been an explosion at a local industrial building. The force of the blast has compromised some of the bearing walls leaving the structure severely weakened. To further complicate matters there is possibly a victim in the affected room.

Fire Engineers Chris Downing and Steve Schleif construct a shore that will be moved into the structure. Shoring is very specific, right down to the nailing pattern.
While incidents like this are pretty infrequent, when they do occur it requires an aggressive plan to quickly make the structure safe and remove the victims. This requires crews to practice emergency shoring skills needed to deal with these incidents.
The crew places a "Double T" emergency shore capable of supporting about 8,000 pounds. Firefighter-Paramedic Jose Corona, Eric Stamm, and Fire Engineer Chris Downing set the first shore.
Entry by crews into an unstable structure invites the possibility of further structural collapse, and the possibility that rescue crews could become additional victims. By shoring as we make access into the building lessens the possibility of a secondary event. But shoring requires some pretty specific parameters, thus it is necessary to constantly review these skills.

In the past crews have been called upon to shore buildings damaged by vehicles, fallen trees, and other emergency type situations.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

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