When an earthquake causes a freeway to collapse or a terrorist bombing knocks down a building, rescuing trapped victims will take more than the efforts of first responders. On Tuesday June 9, the Seattle Fire Department hosted a drill that focused on integrating public and private resources during the rescue phase of a catastrophic disaster. Firefighters from King, Snohomish and Pierce County along with construction workers, iron workers and crane operators participated in the hands-on rescue training.
Using specially built collapse props, the training simulated the kinds of real life conditions workers will encounter in an actual disaster. One prop was set up as if an earthquake caused a freeway to collapse and the other prop simulated a building collapse caused by a terrorist bombing. Cranes and other heavy equipment were used to lift cement slabs and vehicles and sift through rubble for possible victims. Other skills that practiced include concrete breaching and breaking, burning and cutting steel and rigging.