Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Broadway Ford's rubble to be used for FEMA training exercise

Demolition work at Broadway Ford on West Broadway Tuesday morning. The new showroom is in the background.
Demolition of the old Broadway Ford building on West Broadway started Monday and continued today, but the rubble will not be cleared away until after the Idaho Falls Fire Department’s Urban Search & Rescue team conducts a training exercise there Wednesday night from 5 to 9 p.m.

USAR is a program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and involves the location, rescue and stabilization of victims trapped in confined spaces. The program prepares first responders on various emergencies or disasters including earthquakes, storms, floods, dam failures and hazardous material releases.

Over the past few days, objects have been placed throughout the empty Broadway Ford building in preparation for the drill. After the demolition crew brings down the building upon the objects, the IFFD’s Technical Rescue Team will attempt to locate and “rescue” them.

“We are very pleased that the owners of Broadway Ford could make this building available for such a unique training opportunity,” Idaho Falls Fire Chief Dave Hanneman said in a press release. “We would also like to thank TMC Contractors and Morgan Construction for allowing us access to the building for fire training over the last couple of weeks.”

Broadway Ford moved to a new, state-of-the-art facility in early March. Spokeswoman Ann-Michelle Jones said that after the old building is cleared away the site will be landscaped, after which a grand opening will be held.