Metro Atlanta firefighters train for trench rescues

Source: WGCL

Firefighters from different metro Atlanta departments are working together this week to learn how to perform a trench rescue.

Trench rescues aren't calls they get often, but they need to be prepared to work quickly and efficiently when the call comes in. Trench rescue is just one of the disciplines for technical rescue teams. They train in several other areas including swift water rescue and structural collapse.

The Cobb County Fire Department, which had one of the first trench rescue teams in the southeast, hosts the certification course.

"As far as technical rescue, it's low frequency events so they don’t happen very often but they can be very risky," said Cobb County Fire Lt. Ryan Fleeman.

Despite policies that should be followed when working in a trench, collapses can happen for any number of reasons, leaving a worker trapped under soil or equipment.

"When sometimes a shortcut is taken or maybe it rains for a long time and the soil is disturbed by water, it stays open and it gets too dry, soil is very fickle in that way, if it's too dry or too wet it can do weird things," said Fleeman.

He said, "We have to train for them regularly so that when they do happen everyone makes it home safely.”

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