Urban Search and Rescue team training local firefighters

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In Miami, search and rescue teams continue searching a collapsed condo building. Here in Rochester, the Urban search and rescue team is practicing for incidents that may happen here.

The urban search and rescue team is the only local team in the State of New York. Every three years, the team does a full operation readiness program. Rochester Fire Department Captain Edward Tracey says the training allows firefighters from different shifts to work together.

“They might not work with each other day in and day out, but they come together because they know their roles and with strong leadership and strong management we’re testing the system and allowing them to work together and achieve our objective,” Capt. Tracey said.

This is because the search and rescue team is made of off-duty firefighters. Fire Chief Felipe Hernandez says the collaboration is essential.

“So any opportunity we get to do that cross-training is critical for their proficiency when it comes to responding to these types of incidents,” Hernandez said.

Part of the training is combining past situations to solve new potential crises.

“So we actually melded some of our experiences we’ve had. A couple years ago we had a house explosion as you mentioned with the frequency of cars in houses we try to marry those two scenarios together to provide the situation that you have behind me,” Capt. Tracey said,

The training also fills specific situations the search and rescue team is called for.

“The on-duty forces would get this started and then we would be called back to fill certain roles such as shoring, searching, logistics, planning and that’s all happening behind you as you watch some nails get hammered into a building there’s a lot that happened.”

The fire chief says he’s proud of the firefighters’ commitment. “They do an amazing job, for this city day-in and day out. The amount of training that they’ve done and technical rescue is tremendous,” Hernandez said.

“So, I applaud them for their hard work and dedication to the citizens of Rochester.”

Hernandez added this rigorous preparation helps the team respond to situations at any moment.

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