Down in a hole: Destin, Eglin Fire train in trench

  • Published
  • By Samuel King Jr.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- A utility worker with a broken leg is at the bottom of an eight-foot hole.  That’s the situation Eglin and Destin Fire Departments faced during a specialty rescue training session together June 18 at Eglin. 

The firefighters’ goal was to extract the simulated worker as safely as possible, but also ensure their own safety by avoiding a collapse of the environment around them.  They did this by secured the sides of the hole or trench with compressed braces.

Once the trench was safe, the firefighters in the hole moved the simulated worker out via a pulley system.

The training met annual requirements for the firefighting teams, but also provided insight for American States Utility Services workers who were also on-hand.  ASUS is the contracted company with employees who perform large amounts of water and sewer line work on base.  The training demonstration is part on an annual safety day that brings industry and emergency services together to discuss best practices while strengthening capabilities.  

The goal of the scenario was building relationships and understanding unit capabilities, according to Mike Landis, Destin Fire battalion chief.

“It’s best to address questions, find out the problems and learn from them in a training environment, so that we’re more prepared if a real-life scenario should occur,” said Landis.

Due to its size and overlap within the surrounding communities, Eglin Fire trains with many local fire and rescue units to building a working relationship, so that communication and teamwork can be as seamless as possible in case of an emergency.