Tallahassee Fire Department Conducts Trench Training

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Members of Tallahassee's fire department were deep in the trenches Friday morning.

For firefighters, there's much more than blazes to worry about, like someone becoming trapped in a ditch.

Wes Roberts, a TFD battalion captain, says, "One situation we had recently was in the FSU campus area. We had a patient trapped by a large culvert. We were successful in removing that patient. During the Summerbrooke development, we had a trench cave in on a patient; that person did not survive."

For the past week Tallahassee firefighters have performed a series of trench training exercises over and over and under strict time restraints.

"You think about it from the patient's standpoint. You really want to go within that golden hour. If a patient is down, you want to get them out as quickly as possible," says Judi Davison, another Tallahassee firefighter.

Members of the Blountstown Fire Department were also in on the action.

"We're a small town, but right now our city utilities department is preparing to do several miles of sewer line in trenches similar to these," says Ben Hall, Blountstown Fire Chief.

TFD officials have just completed several weeks of state training in urban search and rescue. This trench training is just one more way to stay ahead of the learning curve.

CAPT Roberts says this type of training is important because one cubic yard of dirt can weigh one ton and could easily cut off a person's breathing.