During the summer months, firefighters see an increase in building collapses. On Thursday, Rochester firefighters conducted a special drill to ensure they are prepared for rescues.
A highly-trained crew has received more than 100 hours of training in surrounding parking garage collapses, vehicles crashing into homes, and house explosions from natural gas.
In Thursday’s drill, the house is falling and a victim is inside. Firefighters build a structure to stabilize the wall. In order to find the victim without actually entering the home, they cut a small hole and use a camera to search. Once they spot the person, they will make the hole bigger to get in and rescue the victim.
Captain Ed Tracey says incidents like this happen about 10 to 12 times a year.
“The fire service has evolved into a hazard response agency,” said Tracey. “It’s not just going to buildings that are on fire, it’s also going to buildings that have fallen down, or workers are injured, hikers in the gorge that are hanging on rope. It’s important because when people call 911, they want us to come and help them. We better have the skill set to help them through any emergencies.”
Tracey says all-in-all, the time it takes to get inside can take up to 40 minutes but they are working every day to move more efficiently and effectively to reduce that time as much as possible.