Amherst Technical Rescue Team: L-shaped trench drill

Drone video of Amherst Technical Rescue Team drilling on L-shaped trenchThis drill conducted at the Pulpit Hill Road DPW facility was designed to test the team’s previous training and skills by including an L-shaped trench, which presents certain additional complications beyond a straight trench.

Of all the disciplines within technical rescue, trench rescue may present the technical rescue team with the most challenges. Trenches are often dug by contractors under questionable conditions and when an accident has occurred, the situation by definition is unstable and may still be prone to further collapse, putting the rescuers at higher risk than other situations a team may respond to. Successful rescue of an individual trapped in a collapsed trench involves application of a combination of knowledge, skills and abilities, all which must be carried out under tremendously stressful conditions with extreme time constraints. 

Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillThis drill conducted at the Pulpit Hill Road DPW facility was designed to test the team’s previous training and skills by including an L-shaped trench, which presents certain additional complications beyond a straight trench.

Assessing a scene for safety and determining whether the team is gearing up for a rescue or recovery can be the first and often most important decision a leader makes. 

Amherst Technical Rescue Team - Captain Brian SterlingAmherst Technical Rescue Team - Captain Brian SterlingThe Amherst Technical Rescue Team (ATRT) has been in operation for nearly 10 years. Headed by Captain Brian Sterling, ATRT has been developing skills in high angle, slope, confined space, and most recently, trench rescue.

Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillCaptain Jeff Olmstead manages logistics at the drill and monitors air conditions at the bottom of the trench for carbon monoxide and other gases that may be explosive or otherwise hazardous to rescuers. Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillCaptain Jeff Olmstead manages logistics at the drill and monitors air conditions at the bottom of the trench for carbon monoxide and other gases that may be explosive or otherwise hazardous to rescuers.

 

Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillFirefighter Dave Clooney and other team members place lumber along the walls of the trench in an effort to keep them from collapsing further. Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillFirefighter Dave Clooney and other team members place lumber along the walls of the trench in an effort to keep them from collapsing further.

 

Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillFirefighter Chris Goodhind assessing the trench conditions. Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillFirefighter Steve Chandler monitors trench walls for instability. Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillFirefighter Ben Graham assessing the trench conditions.

Amherst Technical Rescue Team - air bottlesAmherst Technical Rescue Team - air bottlesAir bottles are used to expand pneumatic jacks that stabilize the walls of the trench.

Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillCompressed air is used to expand struts across the trench to prevent further collapse.

Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillTeam member’s ability to use specialized tools is essential in trench rescue. Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillFirefighter Chris Goodhind enters the trench to place rescue struts that will stabilize the trench walls so victims can be assisted with minimal risk of further collapse. Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue Team - L-shaped trench drillFirefighter Chris Goodhind enters the trench to place rescue struts that will stabilize the trench walls so victims can be assisted with minimal risk of further collapse.

Amherst Technical Rescue Team - L-trench Time LapseThe entire drill took about two hours for the team to assess, stabilize, then enter the trench safely. Amherst Technical Rescue - L-shaped trench drillAmherst Technical Rescue - L-shaped trench drillThis drill conducted at the Pulpit Hill Road DPW facility was designed to test the team’s previous training and skills by including an L-shaped trench, which presents certain additional complications beyond a straight trench.

Thank you to the Amherst Technical Rescue Team for an excellent day! Full size photos and videos can be downloaded from the Amherst TRT portfolio

Contact Public Safety Multimedia to have your drill or exercise documented. 


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