East Pierce Special Team: Technical Rescue

YOU KNOW YOU ARE HAVING A BAD DAY when you see this team. These East Pierce firefighters who belong to the Technical Rescue Team respond to extraordinary or highly dangerous rescue situations such as building collapses, confined-space entrapments, wilderness and high-angle rescues.

Before team members can respond to a call, they must have completed several hundred hours of demanding training, demonstrating proficiency in specialties such as trench rescue, confined space, rope rescue and complicated motor vehicle extrications.

The East Pierce team are members of the Pierce County Technical Rescue Team. They train with tech rescue personnel from Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One, Lakewood Fire Department and University Place Fire Department. Together they form a regional response throughout Pierce County.

East Pierce crews have become proficient responding to numerous emergencies in isolated locations.

East Pierce has two all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and a trailer that can be used to transport patients from remote sites that are inaccessible by other vehicles. The quads are often used to rescue hunters, hikers, ATV riders and off-road enthusiasts who have been injured or became ill far from a civilization.

As with the other special operations teams at East Pierce, the Tech Rescue Team members must attend hours of team training in addition to all of the firefighting and emergency medical training they receive as firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. But for someone who has driven off a cliff, is trapped in a trench at a construction site or is seriously injured far from civilization, this team may be the only one you want to see.

The East Pierce Technical Rescue Team uses specially-equipped ATVs to rescue hikers, hunters or other outdoor enthusiasts who become ill or injured in otherwise inaccessible areas.

The East Pierce Technical Rescue Team is led by Lieutenant Rich Simmons.

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