FCTRT Members Complete Advanced Trench Rescue Training in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Several members of the Fayette County Technical Rescue Team recently completed advanced trench rescue training in Chattanooga, Tennessee sponsored by the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads and in conjunction with the Hamilton County Rescue Squad.

Trench collapses are extremely dangerous and can often be deadly to both the workers who were in the trench when it collapsed and to the rescuers who respond to help.  Soil can weigh in excess of one hundred pounds per cubic foot and can have a devastating crushing effect on anything or anyone in its path.  In addition, many trenches can contain hazardous atmospheres and other hazards such as gas lines and utilities that can pose additional threats to rescuers.

Obviously, the top priority of rescuers is to prevent further collapse and to control or otherwise mitigate any other hazards that may be present.  In order to do this, the trench must be completely shored to protect the rescuers that will be entering the trench.  This will often be a very difficult and time consuming practice that requires not only careful planning and strategy but continuous practice and experience.

During the intense three days of hands-on training with members of other rescue squads and fire departments from across the State of Tennessee, the participants covered OSHA trench/excavations requirements, trench hazards, hazard control techniques, soil typing, using pneumatic and timber shores, shoring of deep trenches, shoring of intersecting trenches, shoring of “L” shaped and other types of trenches, entrapment and extrication problems, patient packaging in a trench environment, and patient removal in a trench environment.

The Fayette County Technical Rescue Team trains throughout the year in trench rescue operations and provides specialized emergency response to fire departments and agencies requesting additional assistance without charge and is comprised of 31 volunteers from various emergency response agencies and departments.  The Team is an Active Unit Member of the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads and affiliated with the Rossville Fire Department, Search Dogs South, and the Kelsey Canine Medical Center.  For more information about the FCTRT, please visit their website at www.technicalrescueteam.com or contact them at (901) 496-6800.