Tulsa firefighters went through risky rescue training Thursday. They simulated a building collapse.
Dummies posed as victims, but as News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson explains, the danger for firefighters was real.
Coordinators at Thursday's training wanted to make sure things were as authentic as possible. Crews built a debris pile, with two dummies buried underneath near 6000 North 105th East Avenue. They call it a "live" pile, because it's not stacked safely, it could give way at any time. It's meant to resemble situations like the Murrah bombing or the World Trade Center attacks.
Firefighters from Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Muskogee, Stillwater and Edmond worked to clear debris and get to the victims as quickly and carefully as possible. Some cut through metal, while crews operating forklifts and cranes carried away loose debris.
This is the final day in a weeklong urban search and rescue program, meant to prepare fire crews for the worst. Tulsa Fire Captain Deannie Caldwell: "When they get out of this class, they're prepared for almost anything you can throw at them. We can cut through concrete, 18 inches of concrete, steel, rebar, I-beams, cars, it doesn't make any difference."
As intense as this training has been the past week, team leaders say some guys have even stayed late to make sure they're as prepared as possible.