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Urban search and rescue training for firefighters 5 October 2007

THIRTY Island firefighters are to be trained in urban search and rescue techniques.

Six firefighters at a time will attend a purpose-built training centre in Strathclyde to complete the week-long course.

Prior to the start of training, two officers from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service are visiting the Isle of Man this week (October 4-5). Station Officers John Griffin and Edward Gallagher are briefing senior Isle of Man Fire Service officers and Home Affairs political Members and Minister Martyn Quayle MHK about the training.

Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service (IOMFRS) Assistant Divisional Officer Geoff Quayle explained:

‘These Strathclyde Officers have been heavily involved in formulating the urban search and rescue training program utilised in Scotland. This type of training was developed following 9/11 and concerns the safe rescue of people from collapsed buildings. Equipment recently acquired by the IOMFRS includes listening devices to locate trapped persons, chainsaws for cutting reinforced concrete and new shoring devices used to stabilise unstable walls.
‘In Strathclyde they have a purpose-built facility to train on, and we will be sending a total of 30 firefighters – six on each week-long course – to attend the accredited tool handling course. This will be supplemented at a later date by some staff undertaking additional training at a facility in Fife.
‘We have had a couple of incidents involving unstable buildings in recent years, although thankfully no casualties were involved. This type of training and the equipment we have invested in will give us increased capability in the future to stabilise such properties and search safely for anyone trapped inside.’

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK commented:

‘I feel sure that the proposed training will widen the range of skills and capability of the Island’s Fire and Rescue Service to the benefit of our Island Community.’

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