DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Response agencies from across the nation are currently undergoing specialized search and rescue training with Ohio Task Force One.
The 32-hour course prepares teams for advanced emergency response in disasters.
Ohio is home to one of two sites in the country that train emergency responders to become heavy equipment rigging specialists. Here, technicians learn how to work together in search and rescue situations.
Ohio Task Force One is highly selective in their training. In fact, it takes many years to be able to participate in this training. Putting time in is one of the requirements to be considered.
Rescue Team Manager Michael Muhl was part of Ohio Task Force One when they responded to the building collapses on Sept. 11, 2001.
Since then, Muhl has helped develop this training program. Teams learn the exact techniques used in real-life rescues, like those used in the team’s recent Surfside, Florida deployment.
“Over the past two decades, we’ve forged that relationship and continue to improve the level of training to the point where now Ohio is recognized as one of the national centers of excellence by FEMA.” said Muhl in a recent interview.
The training includes exercises to teach responders how to operate cranes and other heavy rigging equipment in disaster environments.
Crews learn how to drill into concrete and cut metal, necessary skills to rescue trapped individuals in rubble or damaged structures.
Task forces across the country are trying to increase the number of responders trained for this kind of work.
“There are not many people trained in this. Each task force probably only has a dozen people on their task force trained to do this. So, we’re trying to increase those numbers so that operations are more efficient when we do get called out to these building collapse.” Muhl said.
Ohio’s task force tries to hold this training annually. The organization receives money from FEMA every other year to make sure it continues.