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Collapsed Building Search and Rescue Training Center Breaks Ground

caloes via flickr

caloes via flickr

Collapsed buildings and blocked underground garages are hazards first responders sometimes face as they try to reach people in the aftermath of a disaster.   

Mark Ghilarducci is Director of the California Office of Emergency Services.  He says the training center's first phase of construction will include trenches and building materials positioned to safely resemble different types of collapsed buildings. 

"You can have a pancake collapse, you can have a cantilever collapse, you can have a partial collapse," says Ghilarducci.  "And, there's different types of building materials.  So, if you've got an unreinforced masonry building or a concrete building, it depends on what kind of structure you have, you're going to have different collapse patterns.  So each one of these props will represent a different kinds of collapse pattern."

Ghilarducci says there will be many different types of training courses, "They're for our rescue dog teams.  They're for our medical teams -our physicians and paramedics that have to know how to work in a confined space environment, hazardous material teams that may be working in an environment that has explosive gases or some sort of biological or chemical impact."

The first phase of construction will cost $2.7 million and take up about eight acres off Zinfandel Drive.  A "confined-space maze", two collapsed-building props and a trench-rescue prop are scheduled to be completed within the next three years.

The Office of Emergency Services hopes to secure funding to provide training props like electrical substations and derailed train cars on an additional 45 acres.

Ghilarducci says he planss to make the medics, HAZMAT, and search and rescue team training available to federal and international rescue agencies.  

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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