Emergency crews train for building disasters

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First responders underwent a class to learn how to use tools during a building disaster. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) First responders underwent a class to learn how to use tools during a building disaster. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
They used a variety of tools one wouldn’t normally find on a fire truck. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) They used a variety of tools one wouldn’t normally find on a fire truck. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The goal is that these men will be able to quickly analyze hundreds of tons of debris, calculate the stability and load of the concrete and work to pull victims from confined spaces. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The goal is that these men will be able to quickly analyze hundreds of tons of debris, calculate the stability and load of the concrete and work to pull victims from confined spaces. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The firefighters may also have to deal with a number of hazards while sifting through rubble, like cars that could burst into flames. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The firefighters may also have to deal with a number of hazards while sifting through rubble, like cars that could burst into flames. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Two dozen firefighters from all over the Valley are learning how to rescue victims trapped in a structural disaster, similar to what first responders encountered during last week's Miami bridge collapse.

[READ MORE: 6 dead, several injured after bridge collapsed onto vehicles]

"It’s like a whole different level of training," said Nathan Harpster, a firefighter-medic with the Phoenix Fire Department.

In a technical rescue class at the Phoenix Fire Department’s Special Operations Facility Friday morning, Harpster and his team got comfortable with a variety of tools one wouldn’t normally find on a fire truck.

"They have circular saws that are meant for concrete cutting. They have chainsaws that cut through concrete. They’re dealing with torches that cut through metal," said Mark Tirman, training manager and captain with Phoenix Fire Department.

"We also have the jackhammers going to break up the concrete. We don’t want all of that stuff to fall on somebody, so we take it off bit by bit, to be able to pull that out and get to our victim," said Harpster.

In a life or death situation, the goal is that these men will be able to quickly analyze hundreds of tons of debris, calculate the stability and load of the concrete and work to pull victims from confined spaces.

"We’ve had our own incidents in Phoenix, like the Civic Plaza. We just recently had a building, the Rollero, that came apart," said Tirman.

[READ MORE: Roof partially collapses at west Phoenix skating rink (June 20, 2017)]

The firefighters may also have to deal with a number of hazards while sifting through rubble, like cars that could burst into flames.

Firefighters hold this specialized training on a weekly basis and cover everything from water rescues to mountain rescues.

"Everyday people are getting into trouble, sometimes through no fault of their own, and sometimes it’s the other way, but we’re there to provide that support to get them out of that situation," said Harpster.

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