Tampa Bay firefighters train for response to structural collapses

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Leaders with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue say they train regularly to make sure they’re prepared for the possibility of a structural collapse in the bay area.

8 On Your Side received an inside look at simulators used to teach the necessary skills.

Miami-Dade firefighters worked underneath the collapsed condo building in Surfside as the search continues for survivors.

Captain Anthony Daugherty with HCFR said preparation is key to help those who are trapped and keep crews safe.

He described the training conducted in Hillsborough County, “We do rope, confined space, trench structural collapse, all of those are what make up a rescue specialist.”

According to Daugherty, training courses are designed to simulate the dangerous scenarios crews could encounter.

“It gives us the ability to emulate to a degree the pancake collapses, V-collapses, lean-to collapses some for the stuff you might find live victims in a structural collapse,” said Daugherty.

Training takes years, he explained, but it’s worth it when you’re able to save lives.

HCFR’s simulators can be reconfigured to teach different skills.

Leaders with HCFR said agencies from across Tampa Bay train for structural collapse scenarios once a month.

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