Firefighters undergo trench rescue training - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Firefighters undergo trench rescue training

Members of task force three gathered in Gulfport at fire station three Monday for a trench rescue refresher course. (Image source: WLOX News) Members of task force three gathered in Gulfport at fire station three Monday for a trench rescue refresher course. (Image source: WLOX News)
The scenario was originally set up using a live trench, but recent rains made that too dangerous, so they resorted to using two Conex boxes. (Image Source: WLOX News) The scenario was originally set up using a live trench, but recent rains made that too dangerous, so they resorted to using two Conex boxes. (Image Source: WLOX News)
The mock scenario took about two and hours with almost thirty men assisting. (Image Source: WLOX News) The mock scenario took about two and hours with almost thirty men assisting. (Image Source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Firefighters do much more than knock down blazes. Every year they undergo intensive training for skills like swift water rescue, structural collapse, hazard materials and more.

Members of task force three are made up of firefighters from across the state. They gathered in Gulfport at fire station three Monday for a trench rescue refresher course.

"With a trench rescue, it's a matter of minutes. Somebody could be suffocating in there, and we want to actually get to them as quick as possible," Chad Bryant explained.

A fake victim, made out of old fire hoses, appeared to be trapped in a trench with a metal pipe blocking access to the body. The scenario was originally set up using a real trench, but recent rains made that too dangerous, so they resorted to using two Conex boxes.

"We use the exact same procedures in practice as we do in play, just you don't have a live person at the bottom of the hole," said Will Lewis.

The mock scenario took about two and hours with almost 30 men assisting.

"Normally you might have 10 people there to do this or you might have less, you might have five people. You're going to use however many people you got there to accomplish the mission," said Lewis.

The firefighters say with a real-life trench rescue, the variables will play a huge part in how long the rescue will take, but one thing's for sure: the time and skill it takes to perform a lifesaving mission like this one is commendable.

"A lot of the same skills that you use in firefighting are applicable to this. Just one more tool in the toolbox when you can do stuff like this with fire fighting," said Lewis.

Task Force Three will complete this exercise again Tuesday to finish up their annual training.

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