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Snohomish County firefighters train for trench collapse rescue

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Firefighters enter trench after stabilizing. Photo courtesy of South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue.
Firefighters enter trench after stabilizing. Photo courtesy of South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue.

By Leslie Hynes, South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue Public Information Officer.

Firefighters from the multi-agency Snohomish County Technical Rescue Team participated in trench rescue training at South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue’s (SSCFR) Martha Lake Fire Station the week of October 2, 2017.

Trench collapses at construction sites can cause serious injuries or death. Cave-ins pose the greatest risk. The drills held at Martha Lake Fire Station 21 in the Lynnwood area provided hands-on training in shoring and bridging techniques for complex trench rescue incidents. The goal is to stabilize the trench efficiently and rapidly extricate the patient.

Martha Lake Fire Station 21 is home to the SSCFR Rescue Team and TR21, a specialized truck stocked with equipment and tools to support the team’s mission.

Team members are trained in high-risk, specialized rescue techniques such as high angle rescue, trench rescue, structural collapse, confined space rescue, water rescue and auto extrication.

SSCFR rescue technicians also respond to every residential and commercial structure fire in south Snohomish County. These firefighters participate in at least 40 hours of continuing education annually in addition to their normal fire and emergency medical service training.

SSCFR is the largest provider of fire and emergency medical services in Snohomish County, with more than 260 uniformed firefighters to provide full-time staffing at 14 fire stations.

The department serves more than 250,000 residents in unincorporated south Snohomish County, Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.

Firefighters prepare trench for stabilization. Photo courtesy of South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue.

Firefighters prepare trench for stabilization. Photo courtesy of South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue.

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