Trench Rescue Training RegiOnal Teams foCus on High staKes scEnArio

On Wednesday, October 18, The Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team hosted 53 technical rescue technicians from three different teams for a mock construction accident. This took place in the town of Agawam. The Enfield, Connecticut rescue team and rescuers from the Westover Fire Department responded to assist with a scenario that two construction workers were missing in a partly collapsed trench. Crews needed to work together to monitor the trench for hazardous gasses, secure the area, assemble and install shoring to hold the collapsing trench walls, breach through concrete piping that was in the trench, locate and remove two victims. Throughout the day, mock complications were inserted into the scenario to test the members ability to adjust and move forward in the safest way possible.

The drill was designed by leaders from the three agency’s to test interoperability. The drill was very successful. It was determined all three teams use common techniques, share similar equipment, and worked together seamlessly. These factors are critical for successful outcomes of large incidents such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

This particular drill brought back memories to some of the technicians of the tragic incident in Longmeadow two years ago where a worker was trapped in a flooding trench.

We would like to thank the town of Agawam Fire Department, Agawam DPW and 24 Trauma for sponsoring the drill.



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