Local Firefighters Utilize Former Hospital for Training Purposes
By Brittany Tutt, CT
June 17, 2015

CAPTION: Tuesday afternoon, Chillicothe Fire Department firefighter paramedics we allowed to utillize the former Hedrick Medical Center building to get some hands on training in a structural collapse due to bombing situation. Pictured are firefighter paramedics lowering a "victim" onto the ground safely using ropes and a gurney.

C-T Photo / Brittany Tutt

About 10 Chillicothe Fire Department firefighter paramedics gathered at the former Hedrick Medical Center building yesterday afternoon to participate in some hands on training. A structural collapse was stimulated for participants partaking in the training. Firefighter paramedics had to go into the building and find all the victims (dummies) and get them out of the building safely. There were a few dummies outside the building with concrete and other rubble piled on top of them. Trainees had to work on the dummies as they would a real person in the same situation. Chillicothe firefighter paramedic, Eric Mckenzie, said this stimulation gave participants hands on learning in dealing with different types of medical problems and trauma.

The structural collapse stimulated was due to a "bombing" on the first floor of the building. Firefighter paramedics that entered the building, walked into theatrical smoke making it harder for them to see and breathe. Once participants realized the first floor was clear, they headed to the second floor for their search and rescue. When they reached the second floor, a secondary "bombing" happened, which hypothetically caused the first floor to collapse. Because of the collapse, participants couldn't use the stairways to get out so they went out a window on the second floor and onto a balcony. Using ropes, they hoisted the "victims" up on gurneys and lowered them to the ground safely. There were about four dummies total, according to Chillicothe Fire Chief, Darrell Wright. All participating firefighter paramedics zip lined out of the building after the "victims" were safely on the ground.

Wright said he thought it was a good exercise; and, he thought those who participated in the training did an excellent job. It was approved by the city and the contractor for the fire department to use the building for training. Wright said he wanted to train his men there because they could go in and not worry about breaking things and then having to fix those broken things since the building is already being torn down. Because they didn't have to worry about breaking things, those that participated in the training got to break in locked doors to rescue "victims," which is a skill they wouldn't have been able to practice anywhere else. "They got to practice skills, they don't get to practice everyday. You can't usually just go in somewhere and tear stuff up... We also got to utilize equipment we don't use often," Wright said.

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