Dothan Fire Department Trench Rescue Training

Dothan Firefighters Trench Rescue Training
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Several years ago, an out-of-town contractor was working on an underground pipe in Dothan, when something went terribly wrong.

Nearly 4,000 pounds of dirt pressure collapsed on his chest,
suffocating him.

Because of 9-11, Homeland Security money was made available to help states fund what's called "Trench Rescue Training", that's when firefighters have to save someone trapped underground.

Course supervisor and Dothan Firefighter Sergeant Brad Cooley says, "If you don't have this type of training, you put your own self at risk when someone gets caught in the trench accident where a cave in is, the first killed that shows up is the compassionate person that wants to go in and start digging them out."

And fire department officials say this is the kind of ignorance that could get more victims hurt.

When someone starts digging to rescue, there is an 80 percent chance that more dirt will fall into the pit. Cooley says all the gadgets you see them use are for a purpose

"All the 'showy' material that we put in is not for the victim, all the 'showy' material is for the rescue workers so they can get to him. We're sorry he had a bad day and we're doing all we can to get to him, but we have to make sure we can get to him alive as well"

For the past 15 years, the Dothan Fire Department has had trench rescue training.

But this is their first time they've hosted the training in Dothan. The Dothan Fire Department has just been given a new trench rescue truck

In the past eight years there've been four trench rescues in Dothan, the training last about two weeks.