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Marines, Firefighters cut through training obstacles

Marines and Firefighters working together
Marines cut through concrete slabs with a jackhammer during urban search and rescue training at Treasure Island, Oct. 7, 2015, as part of San Francisco Fleet Week 2015. The event featured demonstrations and hands-on training with tools commonly used for rescue missions during disaster relief.

By Sgt. Terence Brady

SAN FRANCISCO — Marines and sailors met with the San Francisco Fire Department during an urban search and rescue training event at Treasure Island, Oct. 7, 2015, as part of Fleet Week San Francisco 2015.

The mission was to give the Marines and sailors exposure to what a city response force would do in the event of a natural disaster, according to Thom Jaquysh, a retired firefighter from the San Francisco Fire Department.

“We put them through heavy lifting and moving, where we would have to move heavy pieces of concrete to access victims, breaching and breaking to access victims and building shoring to get in and make sure that the building is safe for us to work in so that we can get the victims,” said Jaquysh.

During the training, the Marines and sailors were broken up into teams, cycling through three stations where they were instructed on techniques.

The first station focused on lifting and moving, where they used pry bars to lift and move heavy pieces of concrete. The second was a shoring station, where they made wooden structures to support unstable platforms and buildings. The final station was focused on breaching and breaking concrete using jackhammers, saws and other tools.

The participants used the opportunity to add to their growing repertoire of capabilities used for disaster response, according to Cpl. Ronald Seagrave, a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment and participant at the event.

“Having this added to our toolbox we will be able to do a lot more if we get deployed,” said Seagraves. “This is a great opportunity for [the Marines] at Fleet Week to do it.”

The training also helped solidify relations with the fire department, according to Jayquysh.

“This fosters a good relationship [between us],” said Jaquysh. “To know that they are going to know what the firefighters and rescue teams are doing is beneficial to everybody. It’s a great opportunity for us to work with each other.”

In line with the Fleet Week mission, the training shows the community the capabilities of service members that they were not aware of, added Jaquysh.

“This is a good opportunity for the public to see that the military is not just tasked with wars,” said Jaquysh. “There are a great many tasks that the military does that we don’t see or hear about. This is an opportunity for people to see that the military can help in the event of disaster.”

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