Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) conducted training for 40 members of its Technical Rescue Team on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week at PF&R's training facility located at 4800 NE 122nd Avenue in Portland, Oregon.
The training focus on scenarios similar to those faced by Federal Urban Search and Rescue Teams in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there. Specifically, teams were trained to rescue victims in a structural collapse by breaching concrete walls, floors, doors, and metal beams. Teams practiced installing shoring and other materials to create a safe space for firefighters to enter and rescue trapped victims.
Firefighters worked with a variety of tools including search cameras, listening devices to hone in on signals trapped victims may be sending, rotary saws, hydraulic chainsaws, cutting torches, and other tools.
Structural collapse training is the final and most complex portion of training for the Technical Rescue Team. Because many of the team’s members are new, the training is an integral part of skill building and developing expertise in this very specialized type of rescue operation.