South MS rescuers glued to Chilean miner rescue coverage

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - One after another, the Chilean miners are emerging from the mine that's held them captive for more than two months. Now the world is celebrating their freedom.

"It's just amazing to watch," said Biloxi firefighter Capt. Stephen Dunaway. "Of course, we're all paying close attention to it. Probably all the stations are tuned in to it."

Biloxi firefighters glued to tv news coverage reflected on how their own training gives them the know-how to pull injured people from trenches, collapsed buildings, and other confined spaces.

"There's all sorts of scenarios that we go through," Capt. Darren Parker said. "All sorts of tunnels. You have to wear air packs. There is air monitoring you have to go through. It's pretty extensive."

"You have to have received training on rope rescue because you never know what you're going to encounter under the ground or in a confined space," said Capt. Dunaway. "The use of specialty tools that are used to lift loads in very small tight areas. And the ability to package a patient in a confined area and get them back out safely."

They say limited mobility can make getting both victim and rescuer out safely extremely difficult.

Capt. Parker said, "When you get in there, you've pretty much got one way in and one way out. You're completely dependent on the people up top. If you go down to rescue someone and you get stuck, then you have to be rescued yourself."

The firefighters say getting the Chilean miners out alive and well is encouraging for rescue workers everywhere.

"Never give up hope. It's unbelievable that they managed to find them, drill a hole down to them and pull those guys out of there after this amount of time," said Capt. Dunaway. "It's just unbelievable."

Firefighters say they are intrigued by the technology and technique used to rescue the mines. They say they advances in technology will go along way to saving more lives in the future.

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