Rescue Operations: Doing Battle with the Building

Issue 10 and Volume 148.

Rescue Operations: Doing Battle with the Building BY MIKE SHANNON For me, the incident began five blocks away in my boss`s office. We were discussing budgets for rescue units when the blast occurred. I immediately left the office to drive to the incident site. Smoke, visible from the alley behind Fire Headquarters, indicated the general direction. I stopped at the corner of 5th and Hudson, approximately in front of the Regency Tower Apartments, and walked to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. On entering the building, I noted several problems in addition to the injured and the overall extent of the damage. As OCFD special operations chief, I knew my involvement here would take me in several directions. Two stood out immediately: securing the building–that is, maintaining structural integrity for rescuer safety–and rescuing and recovering the building occupants who were trapped in the collapse. Like the “chicken-or-the-egg” dilemma, it was…

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