Structural Collapse

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Submitted By skyfall
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Structural Collapse
Fire fighters and other emergency rescue workers (first responders) have to contend with a variety of natural events causing collapsed structures such as earthquakes, fire, heavy snow accumulations, hurricanes, tornadoes, and landslides. Today, emergency responders face the added threat of entering buildings that have collapsed as a result of a terrorist attack. For example, the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, the Alfred P. Murray Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995, the second terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on 9-11-01 as well as the Pentagon. Not only do these emergency responders face the expected dangers upon entering a collapsed building such as natural gas leaks, fire, exposure to live electrical wiring, secondary collapse and insufficient oxygen, they may now have to face the unexpected hazards of secondary explosive devices and residual contamination from CBRN. As a means of mitigating these types of major disasters first responders, particularly firefighters have been asked to take on additional responsibilities which include the management of hazardous materials, confined space, water rescue and structural collapse.
The attacks that occurred on 9/11 and the hurricanes that struck the gulf coast revealed shortcomings in response capabilities and demonstrated the need for increased training and preparation to respond to acts of terrorism and large-scale manmade and natural disasters. Recent history has shown a definite need for specialized training to respond to structural collapse and the federal government has acknowledged this by providing funds for training. The NFPA has also addressed this issue in the Special Operations Training section 5.4.1 of NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program; “The fire department shall provide specific and advanced…...

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