On June 8 and 9 the Barnstable County Technical Rescue Team along with the Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk technical rescue teams and the National Guard participated in a regional training exercise. The deployment designated as “Operation Swift”, was fully funded by Homeland Security funds managed through the Southeast Regional Planning & Economic Development District.
The exercise was based on the post emergency response to a hurricane that devastates the Town of Plainville causing major destruction including multiple building collapses throughout the community. It involved scenarios designed to test the four team’s operational readiness, interoperability, mobilization capabilities and technical rescue competencies.
Specific technical rescue skills included breaking and breaching concrete, victim removal, shoring collapsed buildings, technical extrication, and lifting and moving large objects. In addition, to the technical rescue scenarios the National Guard was utilized to transport team members to the site via helicopter to assess the potential use of National Guard resources as an emergency transportation platform for future deployments.
The drill also evaluated a Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety strategy currently in motion that is designed to build regional based technical rescue teams capable of rapidly responding to and providing technical rescue services to communities throughout the State.
The Barnstable County Fire Departments currently providing staff and resources to the County Technical Rescue Team include; Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Harwich, Eastham, Sandwich, Barnstable, Mashpee, and Joint Base Cape Cod.