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Posted on: December 7, 2020

Panama City Fire Department to conduct unique, high-angle rescue training

Photo of Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center with two cranes

The Light Technical Rescue Team (LTRT-101) with the Panama City Fire Department is partnering with Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center and J.E. Dunn Construction on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 to conduct a high-angle rescue training at the hospital.

The Fire Department and its LTRT-101 was approached by J.E. Dunn Construction with a unique opportunity to simulate a medical emergency in one of the contractor’s cranes. The company has staged two cranes on the hospital's property for the ongoing hospital expansion project.

During the training exercise, the Light Technical Rescue Team, along with non-team members, will work with J.E. Dunn Construction and Gulf Coast employees to rescue a patient in the cab area of the tower crane. The process includes securing the simulated patient, rigging the rope rescue systems and safely lowering the patient to the ground.

"At Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, we strongly believe that while our facility is undergoing construction efforts to expand our capacity, it is important that construction teams and our local first responders have the opportunity to train for potential emergencies," said Holly Dean, COO of Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center.  "While events like this are rare, this training is best practice to ensure first responders and our construction teams are not only familiar with the site, but best prepared to respond to if a construction-related incident were to occur.”

The Fire Department currently has 16 certified members with additional firefighters currently working to earn their certifications. The team trains on a regular basis in order to be prepared to respond to rescue events both in and around the Panama City area. Members stand ready to answer the call for Confined Space Rescue, Structural Collapse Rescue, Trench Rescue, High Angle Rope Rescue and Vehicle or Machinery Entrapment Rescue. The team has conducted multiple successful operations and has deployed to assist in other areas of the state.

“Our team believes in being proactive with regard to high-risk and low frequency events, such as what could occur involving one of the tower cranes at the hospital,” said Fire Chief David Collier.  “We are excited and grateful to work with Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center and J.E. Dunn Construction. The collaborative effort between our agencies will ensure we are providing the highest level of care possible while strengthening our relationships.”

The training exercise will temporarily block the driveway around the northeast corner of the hospital beginning at 1 p.m. on December 9th. Citizens who need to access the Emergency Room or south side of the hospital can use the entrance on Jenks Avenue.

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Photo courtesy: Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center

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