LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management has a new tool in its arsenal.
Today, they held training for a cutting torch, design to melt through layers of metal, and help people out from under collapsed buildings.
Firefighters from seven departments across the state attended the training as part of the state’s premier search and rescue group, Arkansas Task Force One.
Task Force Leader with Arkansas Urban Search and Rescue Andy Traffanstedt said, “A lot of this came about from 9-11, murgo the bombing in Oklahoma City, back a number of years ago. Basically, terror related, but we can handle a lot of natural disasters as well.”
There are about 150 task force members in Central Arkansas. They are partly funded by the Department of Homeland Security. They also respond to disasters nationally, like last year’s flood rescue from Hurricane Harvey.