911th attends statewide Rescue Challenge
Staff Sgt. Matthew Arnold (left) of the 911th Engineer Company and Firefighter Greg Pulliam of the Fort Eustis Fire and Rescue Department rig a high-angle rope rescue system to extract a skydiver trapped at the top of high voltage electrical transmission

Fort Belvoir's 911th Engineer Company (Technical Rescue) participated in the 17th Annual Rescue Challenge, for four days in the first week of May at locations around Richmond. The Henrico County Fire and Emergency Services Department hosted the challenge.

Rescue Challenge tests the incident-management capabilities and teamwork of technical rescue teams from across Virginia. The host jurisdiction, Henrico County, established 10 rescue lanes at a variety of sites throughout the commonwealth, including Kings Dominion, Fort Lee, Dominion Power, Vulcan Materials Quarry, the Dupont Fibers Plant and Perdue Farms. Each of the teams was assigned eight of the 10 lanes and allowed three hours to complete each rescue.

The team from the 911th included 15 members of the unit and six firefighters from the Fort Eustis Fire and Rescue Department. This team faced challenging events, including a "worker" trapped in a pipe, located in a 14-foot-deep trench. The team traveled to Fort Lee where they had to lift an overturned M1A1 Abrams Tank with two victims stranded underneath the turret.

The 911th team rescued a skydiver who landed and became trapped on top of a high-voltage, electrical transmission tower. On the final day, the team traveled to King's Dominion theme park and rescued a maintenance worker who became stranded at the top of the Intimidator 305.

While all "victims" during the week are mannequins put into dangerous positions, the rescue scenarios are potentially genuine events that host sites, such as Kings Dominion, may experience during the course of normal operations.

The 911th Engineer Company is a 72-person unit comprised of combat engineers, Army firefighters and heavy equipment operators. These Soldiers have the unique mission of being responsible for confined space and structural collapse rescue at federal facilities in the National Capital Region.

Page last updated Thu May 19th, 2011 at 09:49