The Heavy Rescue Team has been fortunate to train extensively this year in a multitude of areas, including building collapse, boat operations, and swift water rescue. The team conducted training with the Kansas City Fire Department and University of Missouri at the Worlds of Fun Fury of the Nile during a two week period, spending countless hours in the water refining their skills in swift water rescue techniques.
They also conducted boat training on the Missouri River to hone their rescue skills for operations in their 14-foot Zodiac. These skills are invaluable for safe rescue operations on Blue Springs Lake, Lake Jacomo, Remembrance Lake, and other bodies of water in the area. They are also extremely important in flood situations throughout the Midwest. The CJCFPD Rescue Team is federally sanctioned and subject to recall throughout the region, state, and nation.
The team spent two weeks at the former Bannister Mall conducting building collapse operations with agencies throughout the Kansas City Metropolitan area. They worked in multiple scenarios and dealt with hazards including shoring operations, breaching, rope systems, rescue, search operations, patient care, hazardous materials, and terrorist incidents.
The CJCFPD has one of four Regional Heavy Rescue Teams in the metro area. Since 9-11, FEMA decided there was a need for several light USAR teams to be placed across the country. Becoming one of the teams meant we had to become proficient in several disciplines. Such disciplines as rope rescue, advanced high angle rescue, ice rescue, swift and still water rescue, structural collapse rescue (which was an 80 hour technician and operations class), trench rescue, confined space rescue, etc... We have a rescue truck, Heavy Rescue 1 is a 36' Hackney trailer pulled by a modified Pierce tractor and chassis. The equipment on the truck was paid for by federally funded money. The equipment on the truck comes close to matching the other three trucks in the area.
The Heavy Rescue team has not only gone through the disciplines discussed above, but the team has also had some training with the other 3 teams. When Shawnee Mission Mall was brought down we had a three day training evolution. This training had us working for eight hours breaching concrete, shoring walls, ceilings, and holes. We were moving thousands of pounds of concrete off of vehicles and lowering patient's off of the roof while the rescuer was attached to the stokes basket that the patient was in. We have had advanced training where we have built shores called rakers that will hold a wall that is 24' tall at a minimum.
The Heavy Rescue team has 31 members and getting ready to put four more members on. The team trains once a month off duty, and we try to train once a month on duty as well. When we train on duty we include the on duty crews, this is done so they are aware of the equipment we use and a general knowledge of our equipment, since they will be the first units on the scene and will be assisting the Heavy Rescue team.
The team is committed, We have a quick response to all calls. We are able to do this do to the fact that we have members on each shift. We played a big part in the Clinton collapse, we've had an activation for a man who was hanging off the side a water tower and a couple of water rescue calls.