As the hurricane season continues, firefighters statewide in Mississippi are receiving adequate training on how to respond to a hurricane and even tornado disaster.
The first responders have been completing all their training at the Meridian Public Safety and training facility. One thing instructors are educating them on is shoring and how to react in the event of a building collapsing.
“Emergency responders need to understand how shoring works because they need to shore buildings up to protect them in order to extricate them out of collapse buildings they need to save that building, and that’s the only way we can do it.”
Meridian Public Safety director Doug Stephens says firefighters this type of training is usually not offered but believes it’s good to have firefighters from all over come together and be a part of this great opportunity.
“ We’re very fortunate to be able to host this class here at the Meridian Public Safety Training facility, it’s done through a great through the Mississippi Homeland Security, this class is not offered that often, and it’s just a great opportunity to get multiple people from throughout the state here to Meridian to the training facility.”
Richard Alfes says the shoring training started 25 years ago and was meant to prepare first responders in the event of one major catastrophe occurring; it later evolved into several other scenarios.
“ In 1985 there was a very bad earthquake in Mexico city, for every person that was trapped we killed a rescuer, meaning the Mexico government, we had sent people down there, and we witnessed it, so when we came back to the states we realized that there was a need to be able to come up with proper methods to be able to extricate people from these buildings so at that point we formulated US Department of Homeland Security ”
Alfes also says they go into great detail on how to break down concrete.
“ We teach these guys how to lift these objects up broken concrete which are very, very heavy, 8, 9, 10 thousand pounds using cranes and then using brute force. The other module is breaking and breaching concrete. The way we construct our buildings here; our concrete is very hard; it has a lot of steel in it, so we use specialty tools and special methods in order to breach that concrete”.