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Eastside fire departments to conduct trench rescue training at Kirkland, Redmond boundary

Fire departments from throughout the Eastside will conduct specialized training exercises on publicly owned property at the southeast corner of 132nd Avenue Northeast and Old Redmond Road (Northeast 70th Street) on the Kirkland and Redmond boundary for the next several weeks.

The fire departments from the metropolitan portions of the Eastside participate in joint training exercises through a consortium designed to increase interoperability and reduce costs for citizens.

The departments formed the East Metro Training Group (EMTG) in 2012. EMTG facilitates the training program for the fire departments of Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Redmond. Departments from Bothell, Northshore, Shoreline and Woodinville will also be participating in these joint training exercises.

The focus of this month's training is trench rescue. This training prepares firefighters for incidents involving the numerous trenches created in the regional roadways and on construction sites to install underground utilities such as water and sewer piping, natural gas pipelines or electrical wiring. Rescues of this nature are complex; often involving the collapse of the surrounding soil. Trench rescue is one of many rescue disciplines firefighters are trained to assist with.

Now through July 24, crews with apparatuses from EMTG departments will be conducting training exercises at the site from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. several days per week. Apparatuses include ladder trucks, rescue trucks, fire engines, aid cars and medic units.

For safety reasons, the site is closed to non-fire department personnel without a prearranged escort.

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