Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Texas - Chapter 5

Saturday p.m. --

Through Scott's contacts as a Boy Scout leader, he was able to arrange a special tour of TEEX National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center. Brian Smith, the PIO, gave us the $5 tour (as opposed to the $0.05 tour) because of my interest and background in disaster preparedness and current connections to Utah response agencies. We spent most of our time driving around and looking through the engineered scenes in the 52-acre Disaster City - the preeminent professional training facility for Urban Search & Rescue.

I was truly impressed by the facility and have chosen only a handful of photos to post here.

Many of the rescue scenarios require the S&R teams to consider points of cause and effect.

The rubble fields are used for training search dogs as well as search teams.

Teams often have to force entry by heavy equipment or explosives. TEEX plans a myriad of scenarios and stocks the buildings/rubble fields with either or both live victims and dummies, dependent on exercise play and danger level.

Here we are looking at the Pancake House. Pancake collapses would likely be widespread in Utah in the event of a major earthquake.

Here we have a parking garage. This particular building was created to simulate an explosion. However, an important element to each sim rescue is that chemical, radiological, or biological elements can be introduced by way of inject.

Here Brian was pointing out where rescue workers would rappel to extract a victim... and where he would place radioactive or biologic materials to add that extra-special contamination effect.

There are two large concrete rubble fields and this one made primarily of lumber.

We sure could have used these actively leaking trains for our simulation during Shake, Rattle & Roll. Decon teams have to figure out a way to prevent the chemicals from contaminating ground & drinking water too.

In the fire suppression area, companies can practice on buildings, planes, ships, or, like this photo below, refineries and other hazardous industrial sites.

The passenger train, donated by Amtrak, allows S&R to extract from a simulated wreck. Volunteer victims come from several local universities and are managed under the Incident Command System simultaneously to the emergency response. I picked up some really helpful ideas for the next time I plan a local exercise.

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