NORTHGLENN, Colo. (KDVR) — Thirty-three firefighters from 13 different agencies graduated Friday from a two-week specialized heavy rescue academy.

Those agencies gathered for this training at the North Metro Fire Training Center. The graduates underwent a series of simulations that demonstrated their ability to perform high-intensity rescues in high-angle, structural collapse, trench and confined space environments.

FOX31 crews were there to see two parts to their training: technical rescues in high-angle and trench and confined space environment rescues, all of which are rescues that are highly technical.

“It takes a lot of personnel and a lot of specialized training and equipment,” said Dean Street, Mountain View fire captain. “We don’t do it every day, but when we do have an opportunity to do that, we’ve gotta be trained, because that in itself is such a risky discipline to be focused on and it takes skills that we have to work on on a continual basis.”

Training simulates difficult scenarios

During the high-angle rescue simulation, one of the trainers, Jacob Charney, walked FOX31 through what the firefighters were doing.

“The area we’re simulating here is: There has been structural damage to the building and we’ve done structural shoring to get up to the top of a roof or parking structure, and we can’t go back the way we came with a patient,” Charney said. “They’re unable to walk, and so this is the most efficient way to get the patient to care and lower them off the roof.”

“Another scenario would be if they were on top of a cliff, where we could potentially access the victim from above and lower them down,” Charney said.

For the confined spaces recuses, they went underground. The simulation had a victim who was found unconscious, and firefighters then had to give medical treatment and get to any area where they could safely raise the victim out.

Annual specialized fire training expected

The graduates are now equipped with knowledge of how to respond to these high-intensity situations.

“It’s been a lot of work. We’ve put them through some stressful situations and they’ve done outstanding. This is going to be a great class, a class that’s going to move every single department that’s here forward,” Street said.

Their goal in this specialized training is to have an academy once a year for these north metro departments.

The 13 participating fire departments include: Adams County, Arvada, Boulder, Brighton, Federal Heights, Frederick-Firestone, Lafayette, Longmont, Mountain View, North Metro, South Adams County, Thornton and Westminster.