By Kim Josue
Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park and Crematory recently hosted the Pierce County Technical Response Team for a training exercise held on the unused grounds near the Valley Chapel. The team is made up of firefighters from the Lakewood, University Place, Gig Harbor, Puyallup, Graham and Central Pierce fire departments and specializes in trench rescue, high/low angle rescue, and structural collapse recoveries.
Training lasted for three days at the end of September. Mountain View‚Äôs staff dug a deep “T” trench prior to the team‚Äôs arrival for their use in simulating a ditch collapse. This type of trench rescue is a subset of the confined space rescue used by technical teams across the country and is considered a highly specialized and dangerous operation. Victims caught in a collapse can suffer internal and life threatening injuries due to the weight of the soil even if they are not fully buried, and rescue workers often cannot enter the ditch to begin freeing them until it is secured against further collapse. Rescue workers must be able to quickly shore up the ditch using special pneumatic, hydraulic, and/or mechanical shoring equipment without causing further injury to the victim. The Pierce County team used a life size mannequin and hydraulic equipment in their exercise.
Mountain View has a longstanding partnership with the EMS community. The Lakewood Fire Department often uses the memorial park grounds for physical fitness training and reciprocates by loaning the fire department trucks for special events and funeral services. The staff of Mountain View is very proud to continue that partnership with this training exercise and have the opportunity to help the local fire departments as they continue to provide our community with highly trained and competent personnel.