SIDNEY — Sidney firefighters were given a rare opportunity to conduct collapse training within a dilapidated house this week. The training was held within two Shelby County Land Bank homes on North Main Street that are scheduled to be torn down after the first of the year. Most of the time, training for preparing to rescue people from a collapsed building is conducted within a classroom setting of a perfectly square room.
“We appreciate the opportunity to train in this setting. It’s good because it’s not in all perfectly square rooms. The ceilings are almost 10-feet high and the floors are sloped,” Fire Lt. Jason Truesdale said about training in the deteriorated house on Tuesday. “The windows are longer and higher, and the doorways are taller.”
Truesdale explained that firefighters are training for a scenario where a car crashes into a home or business and compromises a room’s support structure. In this situation, they may need to “shore up,” or provide support, to safely get victims out of the building. Firefighters also trained to shore up doors and windows, as they are entry points, Truesdale said.
For a quick and temporary solution, firefighters would place T-spot shores with supplies on hand. In the case of a tornado type of destruction, Truesdale said they would likely need to go to a lumber store to obtain a greater number of heavy-duty supplies for more permanent, better support of rooms in the building.
Truesdale said the fire department’s training methods are based upon the Field Operations Guide (FOG) made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Most generally if a house becomes available, we try to get in and do some training so it’s as real as possible. It’s more realistic conditions,” Truesdale said.
The firefighters will have access to train in the two houses for the newer members of the Sidney Fire & Emergency Services until the beginning of February. They also plan to conduct fire training. Truesdale said, due to high stipulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), firefighters are no longer are allowed to set homes on fire for training. However, they will “smoke them up” for as realistic as possible fire training.
This week, each member of the department’s three crews will participate in the collapse training. Firefighters trained on Tuesday and continued training Thursday morning.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.