With Katrina fresh on their minds, members of the Southwest Florida Urban Search and Rescue Task Force are preparing 20 local firefighters and paramedics today to respond to flood and swift water emergencies. The local urban search and rescue task force is comprised of approximately 73 firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics representing seven local emergency response agencies. They along with members of other fire departments in Lee, Charlotte and DeSoto Counties are participating in a 40-hour flood rescue training course.
Deputy chief of the Bonita Springs Fire Department, Ken Kraft is the task force program manager. He says it there are plenty of incidents locally that beg for such training.
“Locally we’re talking things like Blind Pass, New Pass down by Fort Myers Beach and Bonita springs, events that took place when you had the 90 day flooding back in 1995 in Bonita Springs – that’s a floodwater example of the operations that would be needed there – getting people out of the water from their cars and their houses that are floating are all types of incidents pretty much identical to what you’re seeing in the footage taking place in Louisiana and Mississippi.”
They simulate rescuing patients from rapid moving water, in still water such as a flood and then raging water like at New Pass. The task force also trains for specialized rescues that involve confined space, trench, low/high angle rope and structural collapse situations.
Friday, 16 September 2005 01:00