Technical Rescue, USAR

Anatomy of a Building Collapse

Issue 3 and Volume 172.

BY BRIAN C. KOKKILA On Wednesday, July 12, 2017, Pennsylvania Urban Search & Rescue Strike Team One (PA-ST1) deployed to Washington, Pennsylvania, for a structural collapse with confirmed entrapment. The incident rapidly evolved into a coordinated response: The team partnered with local resources and urban search and rescue (US&R) members as force multipliers to successfully remove the heavily entrapped victim. Dispatch At 0903 hours, Washington County Dispatch received initial reports of a structural collapse at 15 North Main Street in Washington. The Washington Fire Department (WFD) was dispatched with on-duty staffing of five personnel. Subsequent reports cited cries for help from the interior. The WFD headquarters fire station unit, approximately four blocks away, was the first unit to arrive. The initial incident commander (IC) reported a partial building collapse, initiated an off-duty recall, requested mutual-aid resources, and requested assistance from the Washington County Department of Public Safety. The initial local…

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