Last week SBES Rescue Captain Chris Querry and Full-time EMT/Rescue Technician Shannon Guiliani were hard at work training with the states best rescue professionals.
New Jersey FEMA USAR Task Force 1 held an advanced trench rescue shoring course at Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center. HCESTC & NJTF1 were nice enough to allow two slots for SBES members. Due to COVID restrictions students were able to attend the first day in the comfort of their own homes via a virtual lecture. Students then had a choice of two different days for two practical sessions. Over those practical days students completed 4 live trench scenarios.
The first scenario was a trench with several void spaces at different levels of the trench. This required students to back fill, use 6x6 whales, low pressure air bags, and other advanced shoring solutions.
The second scenario simulated a large repair hole in which a rescue would have needed to happen within 6 feet of the end wall of the trench. This requires rescue teams to shore not only the trench but the end walls as well. Various lengths of paratech gold struts were used to complete this evolution.
The third scenario was a “deep trench". Due to trench panels standard height of 8 feet this leaves a difficult situation were rescuers must also shore the remaining 4 feet of soil that the panel leaves. Due to soil conditions crews also had to stabilize multiple different void spaces.
The fourth and final trench was also a simulation of a repair hole. For this scenario crews were told they could not reach the opposing end wall with struts. This required the crews to use a specialized panel carried by Flemington Raritian First Aid and Rescue Squad. The panel is an 8X4 sheet of fin form with two paratech aluminum whales bottled fast to the Sheet. This allows rescuers to make a “raker” with paratech gold struts in the trench to support the end wall of the trench so rescuers can operate safely.
South Branch would like to thank HCESTC and NJ Task Force 1 for the awesome opportunity to train with them. Between soil conditions, weather conditions, and COVID restrictions it made for a challenging week but we wouldn’t have it any other way!