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Structural collapse rescue responses involve multiple agencies. For fire department units, engine, truck, and rescue companies will all be involved as well as supervisory chiefs. A responding engine company has to consider life safety, fire suppression, secondary collapse potential, and calling additional resources. Walking wounded, crowd control, and utility control are also major factors to address.

Assembling the resources you need as the initial engine on a structural collapse rescue response is going to take time. Depending on conditions, waiting for other units assigned on the box might take time. As the first-arriving unit, you have decisions to make immediately.

Use this week’s drill to review your department’s procedures for dispatching/assigning resources, initial actions to take at this type of incident, scene security and safety issues, and support activities for those not specially trained for this type of rescue operation.

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