BY LARRY COLLINSIncident commanders on the scene of major terrorist attacks and other emergencies resulting in structural damage or collapse are often faced with a “go” or “no-go” decision: Can they commit first responders to immediately enter the structure to begin life-saving operations with a reasonable assurance that what remains of the structure (or the collapse pile itself) won’t come down on their heads? Do they have the ability to evaluate the structural integrity with a reasonable degree of accuracy? Is the structure reasonably safe to enter without major stabilization, or will it require hours-long shoring operations? A truly accurate assessment of ...

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