Disaster City Adding Props Based On Scenarios From West Explosion, and Moore Tornado

COLLEGE STATION, Texas Preparing for the worst.

Firefighters and first responders from around the world come to College Station each year to train at Disaster City.

And instructors want to make sure they're prepared for emergency situations of all sizes.

News 3 looks at some new additions coming after members of Texas Task Force 1 responded to the explosion in West, and the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma last year.

From fighting fires of all different types to searching through rubble, a simulated train derailment and building collapses, Disaster City is a hands-on place to learn and train to potentially save lives.

Jeff Saunders is the Texas Task Force 1 Operations Chief and says the new simulations being built include scenarios they encountered after the fertilizer explosion in West including not being able to use the stairs on some second story apartments.

"So a lot of the work we had to do was on an exposed front and this building is going to have a two story section to it that's going to let us teach our people how to access that second story without the use of anything on the building," Saunders said.

The newest additions to the most famous urban search and rescue training facility in the world is just one more way first responders can simulate disasters they might encounter in real life.

After the devastating E-F 5 Tornado last May in Moore, Oklahoma, they are also adding an underground tornado shelter covered in debris, to see if rescue dogs can find a person taking shelter underground.

"We got a list of about 1,900 storm shelters we needed to make sure were completely clear. A lot of those were flush to the ground with very light debris over the top of them, but some of them were hard to find so we're going to simulate that here as well," Saunders added.

Preparing for catastrophe one prop at a time.

The new disaster simulation prop is expected to be finished this spring in time for training exercises in April.


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