|The Fort McCoy Fire Department and local fire
departments trained on heavy-vehicle extrication at the Fort McCoy Fire
Department Training Center Sept. 15.
Fire and emergency rescue personnel at “The Big Lift” event at
Fort McCoy respond to a rollover/extrication scenario and look
for a good lift point to place the rescue cushions. The Sept. 15
training event brought together personnel from throughout the
Firefighters and Emergency Rescue personnel from Fort McCoy and
other agencies throughout the area participated in “The Big Lift,”
an intensive training exercise that taught the techniques of lifting
and stabilizing heavy vehicles for victim extrication.
Fort McCoy Station Chief Mark Wieman said the training was open to
all Fort McCoy Fire Department Mutual-Aid Partners. Personnel from
Tomah Rescue, Sparta City Fire Department, Town of Lincoln Fire
Department, Cashton Fire Department, Wilton Fire Department and the
Bangor Fire Department attended.
“We had 10 scenarios, which included entrapped people to be
extricated,” Wieman said. The scenarios dealt with large vehicles,
some of which exceeded 80,000 pounds.
“Our mutual-aid partners may encounter these scenarios through the
military or through the Interstates or highways that run through
their communities,” he said.
“At Fort McCoy, we have responded to scenarios like this and did the
best we could,” Wieman said. “We never had the ability to train for
it before now.”
Participants in “The Big Lift” event at Fort McCoy use
high-pressure bags to begin the lift and add cribbing to
stabilize the vehicle. The personnel also looked for victims
entrapped in the vehicle.
Some of the scenarios included a concrete truck straddling a
vehicle simulating a head-on collision, an overturned dump truck, an
overturned tractor trailer onto another vehicle, an overturned
transit bus and an overturned front-end loader.
Wieman said the personnel also faced victims trapped in the
Instructors from several civilian/commercial firms trained emergency
personnel on the latest technology available, he said.
The participating companies were P.E.R. Towing of Sparta; Paratech
Inc. of the Chicago area; and the Fire Rescue Supply, T-N-T-Rescue
Tools firm of Belleville, Wis. No federal endorsement is implied.
Training tools included air-bag rescue systems, strut/cribbing
support, etc., he said.
“The hands-on training gave the personnel a chance to learn how to
use the equipment used in heavy lifting and stabilization,” Wieman
The instructors commented to Wieman that they had been to multiple
training exercises and had never seen so many scenarios with that
much thought and consideration put into them.
Fort McCoy organizations, including the Installation Materiel
Maintenance Activity and the Directorate of Family and Morale,
Welfare and Recreation, also provided excellent support to help
ensure a successful event, he said.
The Fort McCoy Fire Department hopes to sponsor the training again
next year and, ideally, would like to expand it to a two-day event.
This would allow everyone participating the opportunity to get more
in-depth training, Wieman said.