East Tennessee Firefighters practice trench collapse rescue
First responders across East Tennessee practice, prepare for dangerous trench collapse rescues.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Firefighters all over East Tennessee practice rescuing people from trench collapses year-round. A safe and successful rescue Monday in North Knoxville shines a light on how vital this training is.
When it comes to rescuing victims of a trench collapse, every minute counts. “Everything that we do in the fire department - time is essential,” said Chief Lee Turner with the Jefferson City Fire Department.
Chief Turner commended the Knoxville Fire Department on a job well-done, after they safely rescued two men who had fallen victim to a trench collapse at a construction worksite.
The rescue process for a trench collapse is delicate. “We can’t just throw a sling around them and pull them out with a backhoe because we have to use the proper patient care and the proper patient extrication techniques to do that with,” he said.
That’s why first responders spend dozens of hours every year training and safely practicing pulling people out of dangerous situations. Technician classes for firefighters can range between 40-80 hours, with additional practice to sharpen those skills.
With East Tennessee growing in population and more construction happening, Turner said this training is more important than ever. “With the amount of construction that’s going on in East Tennessee and in our city, the very real possibility of a collapse occurring is more prevalent than it has been in the past,” Turner said.
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