Firefighters practice trench rescue skills


By Joe Steck – Mankato Times

Firefighters from Mankato, Faribault and Winona worked on their trench rescue skills this week in Mankato. 

Cold, wet, snowy and muddy weather did not keep the brave men and women from getting their hands dirty and working on “real life” situations when it comes to saving lives.

Jeff Bengtson, deputy director of public safety said that the firefighters had 40 hours of training, with both classroom and in the field training.  Federal Emergency Management Associations’ (FEMA) urban search and rescue team led the training.  Learning how to use airbags, panels and braces to properly hold back the collapsing walls are all part of the complex training.

Although this type of rescue situation does not come up very often, trench rescue skills are important to help firefighters reach people in areas they aren’t easily reachable and to move them to medical care as needed.

“We have a lot of trenches in the area with storm drains and water lines.” Jeff said “We also have a lot of construction where people can get trapped.  It is important to have well trained people to be able to help if the occasion arises.”

The field training took place at 1721 Augusta Drive, home of the future new fire department.  This is a small part of the firefighters training conducted on a regular basis to help keep our community safe.  


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