7/7/2005 12:00 AM
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Urban search and rescue personnel from the London Fire Brigade are relying on training received at the Texas Engineering Extension Service’s (TEEX) Disaster City in their response to today’s terrorist attacks.
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, has trained 178 urban search and rescue specialists from the London Fire Brigade at Disaster City? in a partnership that dates back to June 2003. Fourteen classes have been conducted at Disaster City? for 652 search and rescue specialists from throughout the United Kingdom, with other responders frequently attending classes in College Station.
London Fire Brigade Commissioner Ken Knight attributed his agency’s preparedness to the urban search and rescue training received in Texas at Texas A&M and Disaster City? during a press conference that aired on national media, including CNN, at approximately 11:40 a.m..
Members of the London Fire Brigade each spent two weeks at Disaster City? for the 80-hour course, which included hands-on training sessions in heavy rescue (internal and external shoring; lifting and moving; and breaching and breaking), structural collapse, structural engineering systems and technical search.
Disaster City? is a 52-acre training facility designed to deliver the full array of skills and techniques needed by urban search and rescue professionals. The facility features full-size collapsible structures that replicate community infrastructure, including a strip mall, office building, industrial complex, assembly hall/theater, single family dwelling, train derailment and three rubble piles.
The TEEX-London Fire Brigade partnership is a result of the United Kingdom’s New Dimension Programme, one of the most ambitious fire and rescue programs ever undertaken by the country. After discussions with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and an investigation of other training sites worldwide, United Kingdom officials selected TEEX to develop and provide a modified version of FEMA’s structural collapse course at the agency’s renowned Disaster City?