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Brookhaven Technical Rescue Task Force Trains in Ronkonkoma
By Bill Xikis
On August 17, 2008 The Ronkonkoma Fire Department hosted the August Brookhaven Technical Rescue Task Force drill. The drill was conducted at a Fire District owned building adjacent to headquarters.
3rd Assistant Chief Tim Blewitt was the incident commander of an unknown alarm. On arrival the Chief found a collapse in a confined area. First incoming Ronkonkoma units did a quick search after monitoring the air, and found 1 individual unconscious and covered by debris. Next to the victim was an area covered in heavy debris from a collapse. Chief Blewitt called for the assistance of the Brookhaven Technical Rescue Task Force.
Arriving technical rescue units responded with heavy rescue, technical rescue, and collapse rescue rigs. The atmosphere was monitored and found clean. Members entered the area and set up shoring using paratech struts. While the first patient was packaged a second crew did a primary search and located a second victim using thermal imaging, and technical search cameras. The victim was located under a heavy steel platform and wood debris. At about the same time a firefighter working lost his footing and suffered a fractured leg. Another crew was assigned to packaged and remove the firefighter to awaiting EMS units. The injured firefighter scenario was a last minute add on to test the task forces ability to handle an unexpected emergency while operating. Additionally a simulated collapse of the entry stairs took place and, a ground ladder was placed to facilitate ingress and egress.
A cutting station was set up and a shoring team went to work replacing the paratech strut system wit an all lumber shoring system. They also cut cribbing, wedges and additional shoring for the crew that was working to extricated the second victim. Airbags and, hydraulic jacks were used to raise the fallen steel platform enough to remove some debris and the victim. That victim was packaged and removed via a stokes basket and a 4:1 mechanical advantage.
The drill operating time was 1 hour and 40 minutes. After returning all equipment back in service the team enjoyed a BBQ provided by the Ronkonkoma FD.
The Brookhaven Technical Rescue Task Force is made up of 9 fire/rescue agencies and, 1 EMS agency. They include, Selden Fire, Centereach Fire, Setauket Fire, Hagerman Fire, Holtsville Fire, Port Jefferson Fire, Mt Sinai Fire, Ronkonkoma Fire, SUNY Fire Marshals, and Port Jefferson Volunteer Ambulance Company. For more information see www.brookhaventechrescue.com