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SEK Homeland Security Trains Area Responders On Structural Colla - KOAM TV 7

SEK Homeland Security Trains Area Responders On Structural Collapse and Rescue in Parsons

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Those in Parsons Kansas might have noticed a large amount of First Responders rolling into town this week. Not to worry, 12-different Fire Response agencies from across the state are in town to participate in training from the Regional Homeland Security.  
These 28 First Responders from across the state of Kansas are gathered in an abandoned nursing home in Parsons to learn a thing or two about securing a building during a collapse. It's all apart of a week-long training by the Southeast Kansas Homeland Security Region Task Force.

 "Safely get into the structure without worrying about it compromising and falling on us,"

Kyle Highberger has come all the way from Manhattan, Kansas to take the course. Highberger says lessons he is learning here will help him not only secure the walls and ceilings of buildings in fires, but natural disasters too.
 
"If a tornado rolls through town it's going to pretty much flatten and destroy everything, nothing is going to be solid and stable," Highberger said.
 
Which is why the Parsons' Fire Chief, Larry Steeby, says it's important to teach these First Responders how to do it now, so they can be ready when emergencies strike.  

"Safety is always our top priority and by getting them the proper training and learning how to do this right and build these things the right way is just paramount to us," Chief Steeby said.
 
And the First Responders we spoke with say using dilapidated buildings like this fire damaged nursing home in Parsons, makes for a more real life experience for their training.  

"It adds realism," Highberger said, "Obviously any sort of, big incident, you're not going to have nice clean floors, you're going to be working over fallen debris, trees, wood, walls-things of that nature."

Highberger says not only is the training about learning how to secure buildings, but it helps to work with other agencies across Kansas. Because in real life emergencies it's always all hands on deck.  

The Responders are spending the week learning how to stabilize buildings and then will return to their respective towns. They'll be back in parsons on the third week of April to work on moving fallen concrete and gravel when disaster strikes.
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