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Bozeman Fire Department technical rescue team adds to their fleet

Posted at 2:40 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 16:41:34-05

The Bozeman Fire Department responds to calls that expand far beyond battling flames.

“If something falls on someone and they're trapped, we have airbags that are able to lift thousands of pounds if need be,” said Captain Josh Charles at the Bozeman Fire Department.

They’re also training in technical rescue, which means saving people stuck in trenches, confined spaces or needing help after a structural collapse.

“It’s just kinda a broad spectrum, if you don’t know who to call, we’re gonna be the answer to that phone call,” said Charles.

Technical rescue requires lots of equipment including specialized tools like remote cameras, air bags, paratech struts, hydraulic tools and gear used for rope, confined space and trench rescue.

Storage for the gear could have posed an issue, but now Bozeman Fire stores all their technical rescue equipment in a 28-foot-long, tri-axle trailer.

Charles says consolidating all the gear is key for rescue missions, "now we have sort of a one-stop shop to bring the trailer and have everything there,” said Charles.

“We’ve had a lot of this equipment prior but spread out among several apparatus. So, if we had an incident, we had to have all three fire engines and fire trucks show up.”

The Bozeman Fire Department says there are 15 people being trained in technical rescue and that training will be continuous. Especially since the capabilities and the resources of this trailer will continue to grow.

“As we’re gaining new equipment, we’re putting our team of 15 through all the training to have the technical knowledge to use it properly,” said Charles.