In late September of 2013, a select group of Lakeland Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team members attended a Structural Collapse Technician Course in Ocala, Florida. This specialized training opportunity gave LFD’s USAR members an opportunity to learn new life saving rescue techniques and the ability to train with fellow firefighters from throughout the state.
The course offered by the state fire college was a unique experience for those involved.
The course was 80 hours of rigorous training. It involved various methods of breaching and breaking concrete, usage of various cutting torches, lifting and moving significantly large objects utilizing a crane as well as some basic rigging and hand signals for crane operations, and shoring up of unstable buildings. These skills are particularly useful in the event that access to a victim or multiple victims is needed for rescue as a result of a collapsed or significantly compromised building.
“I enjoyed the class, it was challenging and informative. I would encourage more firefighters to take and obtain this level of training. The learning environment that the state fire college created was excellent. It was great for team building and morale among team members.” said Firefighter Jason Diaz.
All of the firefighters that participated felt that it was a great learning experience and was very useful in improving their skills to better serve the people of Lakeland in the event of a structural collapse or situation requiring heavy rescue.
Firefighters that attended were:
Lt. Scott Gilbreath, Lt. Heath Seeber, D/E Dan Varner, D/E Kuikahi Kawailani, FF Jason Diaz