First Responders Train for Search and Rescue Missions at Disaster City

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

COLLEGE STATION Emergency responders from across the country prepare and train for situations involving collapsed structures at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service in College Station.

"The best place to receive the training is here at Disaster City," said Chief David Martin, Program Director of rescue training at TEEX.

Martin says collapsed buildings are more common than people may think, so Disaster City is designed to prepare first responders for a variety of scenarios.

"Everything from a wood debris pile that you would see if an apartment complex was hit by an F5 tornado, to the type of rubble pile you'd see in an earthquake if concrete structures had been brought down," said Martin.

TEEX officials say their instructors train thousands of emergency responders from around the world in how to use search cameras, listening devices, and trained dogs to find survivors in the wreckage.

"We were in touch yesterday, and closely monitored what was going on in Philadelphia. Many of those first responders have received training at this facility," said Martin.

Chief Martin says no two disasters are the same, but they do have one thing in common: the main goal is to find survivors without putting first responders at risk.

More than 126,000 first responders from all 50 states have received training from TEEX. TEEX officials say that includes emergency responders from almost every community in Texas.

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