MA Task force members train to help tornado victims
BEVERLY, Mass. (WHDH) -- Massachusetts task force members have been training year round to prepare for a tragedy like the one in Oklahoma City. And now, they think they’re ready.
“We’re all here to save a life and that’s our main goal and that’s why everybody here is here, to save a life, the ultimate reward,” said Massachusetts task force leader, Gerry Giunta.
Members from Western Massachusetts, Southern Massachusetts and Cape Cod came together for a training day in Beverly Tuesday. They torched their way through twisted steel in a pile of rubble, learned to crawl through tight spaces and cut through thick cement.
“We’re here to learn the safe way to keep ourselves safe and getting other people out of the predicaments that they’re in,” said R.J. Pensivy of the Agawam Fire Department.
Tuesday’s training consisted of mimicking a situation in which a victim is trapped on the other side of a concrete wall. The goal was to remove the concrete without allowing the building to collapse on the victim trapped inside.
“They’re working on slabs of concrete that are engineered just the way a floor in a concrete building would be. And they’re learning a technique where we can lift up a slab of concrete surgically where we could be able to reach someone below it,” said Lt. Tom Kenney of the Hyannis Fire Department.
If needed, these crews will be called out to help in the search and rescue of victims in tornado-ravaged Oklahoma.