Big Rig Rescues: Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Prepares For The Worst

A vehicle is trapped under a semi-trailer or a train car has run over a motor vehicle. While Sioux Falls Fire Rescue has been fortunate not to have to respond to something like this, they say other rescue crews in nearby cities have.

Firefighter Phil Paszkiewicz said, “Behind me we have a bus that’s rolled over on what we’ve simulated as a hill.”

While this scenario may not happening today, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is acting as if were.

“We have what we have simulated as kids underneath it,” said Paszkiewicz.

At their training center, a school bus has crashed on an embankment and several kids have been ejected. Crews have to move the bus in order to get the children to safety.

Paszkiewicz said, “At the angle the bus is at, we need to lift that bus straight up in the air without allowing that bus to shift because if we shift it one way or the other way that could cause more injuries to these children.”

There’s a lot of stabilization that has to happen that involves the use of fire and tow trucks and as well as air bags.

Paszkiewicz said, “We need a lot of critical thinking so whoever is in charge, there’s a lot of things he needs to worry about.”

They call the exercise a low frequency, high risk scenario, meaning they hardly ever go on these types of calls, but when they do there’s a lot at stake. With so many commercial vehicles moving through the city, they say it’s only a matter of time before the real thing happens.

“You never know if you could go on this today, tomorrow, next week, you just never know.”

The training is a six day course. The City of Sioux Falls has three rescue crews with four guys on each crew. Each shift will work a total of two days to brush up on their Big Rig Rescue skills.