Firefighters better prepared to save lives with structural colla - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Firefighters better prepared to save lives with structural collapse training

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, OK (KSWO) -Firefighters in Altus are working to be better prepared for rescue missions, specifically during Oklahoma's natural disasters.

Tuesday's training operation at Altus Air Force Base focused on rescue operations from collapsed structures or crushed vehicles. Dozens of firefighters learned how to physically stabilize their surroundings, so when a building collapses, they're able to go in and rescue those who are trapped.

Firefighters have to bring a lot of equipment with them when going to the scene of an accident or natural disaster. Even though they are physically fit, they still have to rely on the building’s shoring systems to help them save the lives of those stuck in a structure.

A group of firefighters were in a scenario of the aftermath of a tornado. They built a shoring system to hold up the roof that was collapsing.

"We're taking these guys through a refresher course on structure collapse and how to basically capture loads, so when a building collapses they're able to go in and pull the victim out, but also stay safe by building these systems," explained Chuck French, OSU structure class leader.

Firefighter Anthony Williams went through structure training for the first time and says he already feels more prepared for the next time he's called out.

"Safety is our big thing around here, so I make sure I look out for the rest of my guys and they look out for me too. So, it's good to have all these safety skills on point," Williams said.

In Oklahoma, natural disasters happen year round, so firefighters will be called to earthquake, tornadoes and ice storm damage.

"Anytime we have a disaster like that come through, these guys are going to be tasked with going in to rescue folks and that's what the public expects, and so these guys need to be able to do this and have this skill set to keep themselves safe and also to make effective rescues," French said.

Among the things they learned in the class Tuesday, they're also learning how to put wood in between concrete to keep it from crashing.

"We've used some of these skills or some of the other skills that we learned through technical rescue, so it's almost like a mixed bag of tricks, so that's when it really pays off," French said.

French says training in the heat is challenging, but it's rewarding when they hear from the community how the firefighters saved someone's life.

"I may never be here when these guys have to do that, but knowing I had a part in that role, that just makes me happy," French said.

French says structural collapse training is just one of the many events they have to help prepare the fire fighters throughout the year.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Sean Spicer resigns; White House hires new comms director

    Sean Spicer resigns; White House hires new comms director

    Monday, February 13 2017 6:10 PM EST2017-02-13 23:10:56 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 2:44 PM EDT2017-07-21 18:44:44 GMT

    Sean Spicer resigned on Friday. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was promoted to White House press secretary.

    Sean Spicer resigned on Friday. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was promoted to White House press secretary.

  • O.J. Simpson triumphant, others devastated as he gets parole

    O.J. Simpson triumphant, others devastated as he gets parole

    Friday, July 21 2017 4:08 AM EDT2017-07-21 08:08:39 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 2:30 PM EDT2017-07-21 18:30:45 GMT

    Barring any last-minute snafus, O.J. Simpson will walk out of prison a free man in about three months.

    Barring any last-minute snafus, O.J. Simpson will walk out of prison a free man in about three months.

  • Budget cuts and lack of teacher raises forces Tulsa-area educator to panhandle

    Budget cuts and lack of teacher raises forces Tulsa-area educator to panhandle

    Friday, July 21 2017 2:16 PM EDT2017-07-21 18:16:36 GMT

    An elementary school teacher in Tulsa says her salary has left her so short on cash that she had to panhandle for classroom supplies. Teresa Danks has been an educator since 1996. She says that while it's never been a financially rewarding profession, lately is been getting even harder to get by. She makes around $35,000 a year, with about $3,000 being spent out of pocket for school supplies. 

    An elementary school teacher in Tulsa says her salary has left her so short on cash that she had to panhandle for classroom supplies. Teresa Danks has been an educator since 1996. She says that while it's never been a financially rewarding profession, lately is been getting even harder to get by. She makes around $35,000 a year, with about $3,000 being spent out of pocket for school supplies. 

Powered by Frankly