Firefighters train in Kanawha County, WV for heavy - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Firefighters train in Kanawha County for heavy equipment rescue

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Crews staged realistic scenarios so responders can practice their extraction techniques. Crews staged realistic scenarios so responders can practice their extraction techniques.

Thirty students from West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia are doing some very important training in Kanawha County, WV this weekend.

"We're very proud that the Kanawha Valley can be a leader in this type of advanced, technical rescue training," said Tom Miller of the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department.  "It's something to be proud of."

Miller said firefighters are learning how to remove victims from accidents involving buses, semi-trucks, bulldozers, excavators and other large machines using realistic training scenarios.  

"We actually had an incident in our area where an excavator was involved in a building collapse in a building they were tearing down.  We've replicated that incident," Miller said.  

He said the course is hands-on and is the first of its kind in our region.  "This class has been about six months in the development.  With a lot of help from Walker Machinery and working out the logistics and making sure the scenarios are as realistic as possible."

Firefighters said these types of incidents are high risk and low frequency  The need for this type of training, though, is crucial.  Miller said the fact that this many first responders came to Sissonville to learn proves the dedication of these men and women.  "You always have to prepare," Miller said.  "You have to be prepared for anything and everything."

The firefighters will be training until Sunday night in Sissonville.

The West Virginia University Fire Service Extension said they designed the course for first responders who cover areas where mining equipment, drilling equipment, or other heavy machines are used.
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