Firefighters Undergo Collapsed Structure Training

ROGERS (KFSM) -- First responders in Northwest Arkansas practiced recovering victims from a collapsed building on Friday (Aug. 12) as part of their collapsed structure training.

After more than 40 hours of training this past week first responders learned the training that they need, but hope to never use.

Rogers Fire Department firefighter Dennis Thurman helped organize the training.

"This is kind of one of those low frequency, yet high risk, events," Thurman said. "This is that exercise that allows them to practice everything they have been taught."

Responders practiced securing the building, clearing rubble and getting to the victims, which in this case were human dolls.

"It improves our city. It also improves our emergency service. It just goes well hand-in-hand," Thurman said.

Washington County Emergency Management Director John Luther said the training is as much about saving the victims as it is about rescue crew safety.

"We always need to have a fresh group that is up to speed on how to deal with structural collapse," Luther said. "We want to be safe, and be able to take all of our folk`s home with us."

Organizers said response times will be faster after the crews learn to work together.

"We know we need our partners. So, the best thing we can do is train with our partners," Luther said.