Reno Fire Department holds earthquake training

RENO, Nev (KOLO) -- Reno fire crews are preparing for the next earthquake, laying out specific scenarios to save people trapped in rubble.

"This is just one more tool in the drawer for us to deliver the best and the highest service to the community," said Reno Fire Battalion Chief Mike Pilcher.

Firefighters are practicing for the real thing. Wednesday evening, a small group was told a large earthquake struck, knocking down a building with people inside.

"The more we practice doing extrications and practice doing trauma treatment to patients who have serious injuries, the better we are when it comes time to treat a real patient," said Nathan Goins, Reno firefighter.

The first drill involves rescuing and treating a person trapped under a large chunk of concrete. Next, fire crews learn how to treat a person trapped on uneven terrain.

"To pull them out without the proper narcotics on board of the patient could result in a chemical change in his cardiovascular system that could be detrimental. By having ALS and paramedic allows us to provide the highest levels of service to give to the patient the best chance of survivability."

Crews were evaluated on their skill sets.

"Getting out and doing hands-on training like this really makes us more effective when we have emergencies."

The training, this session starting last week, has been going on for the last 20 years. The department is 2/3 of the way through it.