Trench Rescue Training Wraps Up For USAR Team

Friday, November 15, 2013
After shoring up the sides of the trench, much of the dirt was sucked out using HEPACO’s powerful vacuum truck
After shoring up the sides of the trench, much of the dirt was sucked out using HEPACO’s powerful vacuum truck
- photo by Bruce Garner

The Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team completed its final phase of training Friday with a simulated trench rescue incident on the property of the Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant. The USAR team, based in Chattanooga, is responsible for responding to technical rescue incidents, primarily in a 10-county area of Southeast Tennessee.

This final training scenario involved a deep trench that collapsed on a worker, burying him under a huge amount of dirt. It was up to the USAR students to figure out how to get to the “victim,” actually a mannequin, without becoming victims themselves. To do that, they had to secure the trench with lots of lumber and struts, and remove a large amount of dirt. After several hours of painstaking, dirty, back-breaking work, the victim was pulled from the trench. It’s a similar scenario to what happened back in 1998, when Darby Patrick was trapped under five feet of dirt for about 15 hours at a Highway 58 construction site. He was successfully rescued, but he unfortunately lost a leg and the road to recovery for him has been long.

When that incident occurred in 1998, much of the specialized equipment for trench rescues came from a response team out of Knoxville. Thanks mostly to federal grants, this region has its own specialized team, officially called Tennessee Task Force 4. The students in the training this week came from the Chattanooga Fire Department, Bradley County Fire-Rescue, the Cleveland Fire Department, Signal Mountain Fire Department, and two medical personnel from Erlanger Medical Center. HEPACO, an environmental cleanup company, and Chattanooga Public Works, also provided valuable assistance with this training.

Since Tennessee Task Force 4 was formed in 2007, approximately 180 firefighters have been trained to the technician level for the USAR team.

- Photo2 by Bruce Garner

Drivers Education Program Offers Spring Break Course

The Spring 2016 Drivers Education course will be offered March 28, 29, 30 and 31 at the Public Library Downtown, 1001 Broad St., not at Northgate Mall.  The class will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. each of those four days.  In Spring of 2015, the Tennessee State Legislature made legislative changes to restrict the use of traffic ... (click for more)

Grundy GOP Straw Poll To Be Held Feb. 13

The Grundy County Republican Party will host their first presidential primary straw poll at the Grundy County Courthouse, 2nd Floor on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 10 a.m. CST.  The featured speakers will be from the top three candidate campaigns and all campaigns are welcome to attend and participate.  Representing Donald Trump will be Nashville Metro City Councilman and ... (click for more)

Arrests Made In Connection With Fire At Brainerd Trophy Shop

Fire investigators Captain Moore and Captain McElvain made two arrests Friday night in connection with the fire at the Brainerd Trophy Shop that occurred  on Friday  morning. Gene Wegg and Pamela McNabb, have been arrested and charged with arson by the Chattanooga Fire Department. The two allegedly broke into the Brainerd Trophy Shop and set fire to the building, ... (click for more)

TBI Case Leads To Charges For Woman In Death Of Whitwell Boy

A joint investigation by special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Whitwell Police Department has resulted in charges for a Whitwell woman in connection to the death of her boyfriend’s son. At the request of 12 th  District Attorney J. Michael Taylor, TBI apecial agents began investigating the death of six-year-old Lucas Michael Dillon on March 29, ... (click for more)

The City I Used To Know

“They Dead”, the innocent young voice said as tears began streaming from my eyes.  Foolishness that didn’t involve him snatched away his childhood in the blink of an eye.  Why?  Why has my city become known more for gangs and violence than the River Front, Lookout Mountain, and a fun little theme park?  What happened to hot summers at Lake Winnie, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Stick Of Dynamite

You may have seen the Tennessee Legislature jumped on the bandwagon to send “an atomic bomb” to Washington this week. The “bomb” makes Tennessee the fifth state to adopt a Convention of the States Project that will hopefully limit the power and the jurisdiction of federal government. The official wording is “to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power ... (click for more)