New Jersey's Metro Strike Team is one of the most well-trained groups of first responders in the country, and last week it embarked on one of the more comprehensive training drills it has. The team of more than 100 firefighters across 11 departments came to Newark to run through a four-hour training session designed to mimic a collapsed parking garage. Such a circumstance could be the result of anything from a bombing to an earthquake, The Star-Ledger reports.
The Metro Strike Team was founded after September 11, and differs from traditional first responder agencies in that it typically responds to larger, statewide emergencies. According to the newspaper, the team usually see about 10 to 15 calls each year. Though the training is important, members say it's the team building that offers the most benefits.
"The concept of us being prepared is great. But the overall concept of having the mutual aid support of the task force is what's needed," Newark Fire Chief John Centanni told the newspaper. "Because we'll never have enough people to manage a 9/11 alone."
The simulation mimicked the July 2010 collapse of a parking garage in Hackensack. Thanks to quick response, the incident resulted in no injuries and first responders were able to free one person who was initially trapped.