FORT BELVOIR, Va. - With the ongoing construction of the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir's 911th Technical Rescue Engineer Company has an opportunity to add various training exercises using an existing structure.

Typically, the squad conducts most of its training at various structures and courses set up throughout the installation, including a tower at Davison Army Airfield; and the former Lorton junior correctional facility and several others.

On Feb. 17 and 26, 911th conducted rescue training in and around the hospital site.
The exercises were a part of the six week-long technical rescue engineer course, which is conducted twice a year to train new Soldiers on rescue.

Capt. Robert Crowe, commander of the 911th, explained how the course works and what exercises the engineers conducted.

"There are many sub-disciplines within the course," Crowe said. "The current discipline we are in is the rope rescue portion and we have had the great opportunity to do two training exercises on the hospital construction site.

"On Feb. 17, we conducted a high-line exercise, where we span a rope between two high points, trolley a rescuer out to the middle and then descend him into a hole to rescue a victim at the bottom," Crowe said. "On Feb. 26, we did an elevator shaft descent; where we lower a rescuer down an open elevator shaft to the bottom where a notional worker or victim has been injured and we go down to rescue them at the bottom."

Crowe said each of the trainees has been extensively trained in the classroom with tying knots and the knowledge of weight limits with carabiners, pulley systems and other equipment.

Crowe noted the importance these exercises serve to the students going through the course.

"Both of these exercises have given the students an opportunity to identify and apply those things they learned in the classroom into a culminating exercise," Crowe said. "The real key thing to be aware of for these Soldiers is how to come to a rescue site and be able to assess the situation and be able to identify the safe and proper way to creatively carry out their mission."

Spc. Garfield Lamont is a current student in the Technical Rescue class and he noted how much he has learned participating in the two exercises at the hospital site.

"I have learned a lot about ropes and the correct way to repel with a victim, both in the hands-on and in the classroom," Lamont said. "I think it has been great training and not only will I be able to use it in uniform, but you never know when I will have to use it in everyday life."