ROCHESTER, NY – (WROC) – Inside the Rochester Fire Department there is a special unit that handles collapsed buildings. They respond to incidents like the one this past Sunday at Family Dollar.
“We have equipment that structurally re-support collapsed buildings,” said Jason Whairty, Firefighter Rescue Company 11. “A lot of equipment that is specifically designed for breeching, breaking, and accessing portions of collapsed buildings.”
Unlike their counterparts their main focus isn’t fire. It’s the building itself.
When we originally arrived there they weren’t really sure what the building integrity was yet,” said Kris Theodorou, Firefighter Rescue Company 11.
Members of Firefighter Rescue Company 11 spend hours completing specialized training. This allows them to operate equipment that saves lives.
“We have specialized cameras where we are able to penetrate void spaces looking for trapped victims,” said Whairty.
“Everday were touching something with the magnitude of stuff we gave on this rescue,” said Theodorou. It takes a lot of man hours and training to practice and become proficient in it.”
Even though they are armed with lifesaving equipment and hours of training there is one thing they always try to bring to the scene.
“So anytime we respond to any incident our pre-knowledge is limited,” said Theodorou. “When heading to a technical rescue call you have to keep a very open mind.”