Johnson County emergency crews practice trench rescue skills

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- Several emergency crews from Johnson County spent hours out in the heat, practicing their skills Tuesday.

They want to make sure they know exactly what needs to happen if they're every called to rescue someone from a trench. They know every second matters.

“It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it`s very dangerous for the person. Soil is very heavy, it constricts their ability to breathe, and actually profuse oxygen and nutrients through their blood,” said Brian Montgomery, an apparatus operator with Johnson County Consolidated Fire District #2.

They take this training seriously because each person here knows they may be called to help save someone's life at any time.

“Accidents happen. When a hole has been open for a long amount of time, it gets susceptible to cave in,” Montgomery explained.

The challenge is finding locations to practice, getting decent weather, and fitting it into everyone`s schedule.

“It`s something you want to keep your skills up to date, so when it does happen, you`re not trying to remember, 'how do we do this? How do we do that?' It`s fresh in your mind,” Montgomery said.

“You need to make sure that those things are trained well, your people are prepared, they know what steps need to be taken, they know the safety procedures, and that we can do that process, that doesn`t get done very often, in a manner that`s both safe for the people involved in the rescue and the people we`re rescuing,” said Steve Chick Jr., the training chief at Consolidated Fire District #2 in N.E. Johnson County.

Each shift gets training, so training continues Wednesday and Thursday for different groups.

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