First responders train for a structural collapse in Jackson, MO - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

First responders train for a structural collapse in Jackson, MO

Members of Southeast Missouri's Homeland Security Response Team (Source: Nathan Ellgren, KFVS). Members of Southeast Missouri's Homeland Security Response Team (Source: Nathan Ellgren, KFVS).
JACKSON, MO (KFVS) -

The sounds of blowtorches, concrete saws, jackhammers and drills reverberated from a training facility in Jackson, Missouri on Wednesday, but no construction workers were on site.

Instead, members of Southeast Missouri's Homeland Security Response Team were using the tools to practice extracting people who are trapped under a bridge or building that has collapsed.

The technical rescue team is comprised of 45-first responders from Cape Girardeau Fire Department, Jackson Fire Rescue, Sikeston Department of Public Safety and South Scott County Ambulance.

Robert Greif, a Fire Chief from Jackson, said the HSR Team meets for eight hours once a month to increase their knowledge and sharpen their skills with the equipment they use in a variety of rescue scenarios.

"We train for the worst and hope for the best because it's not a matter of if it happens, but when it happens,” Greif said. ““We respond to every technical rescue there is. We do high angle, low angle, confined space, trench rescue, building collapse, search and rescue, extrication, hazmat.”

Many people think HSR Teams just respond to natural disasters like earthquakes and tornadoes, but Greif said the pedestrian bridge in Miami, Florida is a prime example of the most common type of emergency they respond to.

“It was from the construction which we have in our area every day, and it’s happened in the past,” Greif said.

Battalion Chief Brad Dillow from Cape Girardeau's Fire Department deployed with the technical rescue team to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last summer.

Dillow said he was on the HSR Team in 2006 when a parking garage being built at Southeast Hospital partially collapsed because some columns moved out of place.

“It wasn’t being occupied but there were workers there on the scene,” Dillow said. “Luckily no one was trapped and had concrete down on top of them, but we did have to go in and do some shoring to make sure it was stabilized so we didn’t have a further collapse of the structure.”

During the second half of the structural collapse training Wednesday the HRS Team members split up and went through two realistic rescue scenarios.

One group had to breach into a horizontal sewer pipe that was sealed with a concrete wall to rescue a staged victim dummy, while the second group broken into a concrete box from the top down.

“They’re going to drill a whole and check below that concrete,” Dillow said. “If a person is down there then when we breach that concrete we’re going to have to capture that load. We can’t just drop that concrete on that person.”

Dillow said they keep those training safe but make the scenarios as realistic as possible so that they’re more prepared when it actually happens.

“Anytime we're doing stuff like this it's inherently dangerous,” Dillow said. “I always tell them it's not only about how physically strong, but you've got to be using your mind and thinking about what is going to happen if I do this.”

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • 'Night of Hope' held in Anna, IL

    'Night of Hope' held in Anna, IL

    Thursday, June 21 2018 10:03 PM EDT2018-06-22 02:03:39 GMT
    Heroin accounted for over 15,000 overdose deaths in 2016 with over 64,000 overdose deaths that year.   (Source: Wikimedia Commons)Heroin accounted for over 15,000 overdose deaths in 2016 with over 64,000 overdose deaths that year.   (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
    Heroin accounted for over 15,000 overdose deaths in 2016 with over 64,000 overdose deaths that year.   (Source: Wikimedia Commons)Heroin accounted for over 15,000 overdose deaths in 2016 with over 64,000 overdose deaths that year.   (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

    According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Heroin accounted for over 15,000 overdose deaths in 2016 with over 64,000 overdose deaths that year.  

    According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Heroin accounted for over 15,000 overdose deaths in 2016 with over 64,000 overdose deaths that year.  

  • Crews battle early 1900s house fire in Fredericktown, MO

    Crews battle early 1900s house fire in Fredericktown, MO

    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:57 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:57:57 GMT
    An early 1900s home caught fire in Fredericktown, Mo. on June 21. (Source: Fredericktown FD, Facebook)An early 1900s home caught fire in Fredericktown, Mo. on June 21. (Source: Fredericktown FD, Facebook)
    An early 1900s home caught fire in Fredericktown, Mo. on June 21. (Source: Fredericktown FD, Facebook)An early 1900s home caught fire in Fredericktown, Mo. on June 21. (Source: Fredericktown FD, Facebook)

    An early 1900s home caught fire in Fredericktown, Mo. on June 21. 

    An early 1900s home caught fire in Fredericktown, Mo. on June 21. 

  • Steel tariffs hurting nail factory in Poplar Bluff, MO

    Steel tariffs hurting nail factory in Poplar Bluff, MO

    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:43 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:43:44 GMT
    Hundreds of boxed filled with paper tape nails sit inside a Mid-Continent Steel and Wire Facility in Poplar Bluff. The extra inventory, symbolizes a 50 percent drop in sales since steel tariffs were put in place June 1st.Hundreds of boxed filled with paper tape nails sit inside a Mid-Continent Steel and Wire Facility in Poplar Bluff. The extra inventory, symbolizes a 50 percent drop in sales since steel tariffs were put in place June 1st.

    Steel tariffs imposed against Mexico are hurting a large business in the Heartland. A nail factory in Poplar Bluff has laid off dozens of employees this month and it’s possible the situation could get much worse. 

    Steel tariffs imposed against Mexico are hurting a large business in the Heartland. A nail factory in Poplar Bluff has laid off dozens of employees this month and it’s possible the situation could get much worse. 

Powered by Frankly