On Wednesday, May 22, 2013, members of the North County Technical Rescue Team (TRT) which is comprised of firefighters from both Atascadero and Paso Robles, trained together in a simulated trench rescue. The training was held at the City of Atascadero’s Waste Water Facility as part of the fire department’s quarterly training requirements. Every quarter, the team trains for the various types of technical rescues, which may be encountered in the field.
“By simulating the trench rescue, it helps better prepare our personnel for an emergency of this type,” said Atascadero City Fire Engineer Tom Birkenfeld, the training facilitator. “We were able to recreate a trench we could find at any number of construction sites and utilize our training and equipment to successfully remove a trapped victim,” said Birkenfeld.
The Atascadero City Fire Department utilized its recently completed Disaster Response Trailer (DRT) for the trench rescue training. The DRT is specifically designed and equipped to handle a variety of technical rescue emergencies. These emergencies include, but are not limited to, high angle rescue, confined space rescue, trench and swift water rescue, earthquakes with building collapse, hazardous materials incidents, mass casualty incidents, airborne rescue support, large structure fires and terrorism related incidents.
“If a trench collapse were to occur in the communities of Atascadero or Paso Robles, it is important that our technical rescue team have as much experience as possible so they can quickly and efficiently remove victims from the collapse,” said Fire Chief Kurt Stone, who attend the drill. “I am very impressed with the team’s capabilities and how the DRT has added so much more specialized equipment, making the team’s operations go more smoothly,” said Stone.
Both the City of Atascadero and Paso Robles have technical rescue vehicles which are used together during these types of emergencies. The North County Rescue Team was created three years ago and has been utilized twice since its inception. The team consists of six members from the Atascadero City Fire Department and seven members from the Paso Robles Department of Emergency Services.
If you have further questions or comments regarding this press release, please contact Bill White, Fire Captain/Public Information Officer at (805) 470-3336.