SAFD's technical rescue team ready for anything

Specialized team of elite firefighters spends hours training to be ready for real world rescues


SAN ANTONIO – A dramatic rescue of a construction worker Monday night who was trapped in a trench highlighted the capabilities of the San Antonio Fire Department's technical rescue team.

The specialized team of firefighters used a variety of tools and tapped into their training to save the man who was trapped at the bottom of a 20-foot-deep trench.

"We have a trench training program where we have a 40-hour class every year on live trenches out at the fire training academy," said Capt. Luke Schott, a member of the technical rescue team. "We have a week-long class that all the guys go through and get good hands-on training and that's what allows us to be efficient when we get out on scene."

Team members are also trained to respond to other dangerous situations. Whether it's people trapped in a high rise elevator, a collapsed building or someone stuck in rushing floodwaters, the technical rescue team has the skills and knowledge to pull it off.

Whatever the call may be, the team is ready to respond to help the citizens of San Antonio.

"They're expecting us to show up and do our job so that's what we're going to make sure our crews are ready to do," Schott said. "And, we're going to train until we can't get it wrong."

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