Area firefighters are taking a structural collapse operations class this week to prepare for any major disasters that could occur here in the area.
Program Director Dalan Zartman said upon completion of this course, all participants will become certified as required by the state to be a member of the Region 8 Rescue Team. He said their focus will center around natural disasters including water rescues and structural collapses.
"They start with understanding how to analyze buildings and structures and then how to approach those structures and make entries shoring those structures up to create safe environments for them within reason so they can access people and victims and extricate them from those areas," said Zartman.
On Monday, the firefighters were learning in the classroom and by the end of the week they will be involved in a mock-scenario where part of a brick school house will collapse with victims trapped inside. He said this kind of training is essential for real-life emergencies.
"It increases their capability as well as exposing them to something that feels more realistic so that when the event occurs, hopefully their reaction is a little more muscle memory based and they'll respond with a higher level of skill set," said Zartman.
The program is funded through a federal grant and is sponsored by the Muskingum County Emergency Management Agency.