Emergency Response Training in Altoona

By Christian Heilman

Published 07/26 2014 06:44PM

Updated 07/26 2014 06:46PM

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY -- Local and state police, fire companies and search and rescue teams came together at PNG Field in Altoona for emergency response training.
Martyn Nevil has responded at the world trade centers, Hurricane Katrina and other significant disasters. And today, he's giving feedback to local first responders.
Martyn Nevil, task force leader, said "The best way to demonstrate your skills is in the most realistic type environment."
Saturday in Altoona, 150 people with fire, police, urban search & rescue teams among others came out to train.
Mark Taylor, the chairman of the Fire Rescue Hazmat Committee, said "Because of the skills that are necessary to do this work, it's really important to stay on top of your training. Because it's not something you do every day."
But Saturday they did. Here, they're simulating a building collapse by cutting a hole, listening if there is a person, and getting them out safely.
The search teams here today are using high tech tools like this -- the search cam. It allows them to see and hear from places they couldn't be otherwise.
The search cam is used by search and rescue teams across the state, and it was also used during the stadium collapse simulation, where crews were tunneling to find six people who were trapped in rubble.
Taylor said, “We hope we never get called to a structural collapse in Altoona or anywhere in the region, but if we do I think the people need to know we have people who are specially trained to do that.”
Nevil says this training is critical to successfully managing emergencies.
Nevil said, "Certainly the community can be proud of the efforts continuously to train and get the experience and then come out an demonstrate that they are indeed competent and well prepared."
All training so when the call comes in. This was the last large-scale training event for the summer.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos