LA County Fire Department personnel ready supplies for shipment to New Zealand after the 2011 earthquake. California Task Force 2 is an Urban Search and Rescue team consisting of firefighters, paramedics, structural engineers and others. © Michael Owen Baker/ZUMA Press/Corbis The scene of a disaster is not a place of order at first glance. Emergency personnel pour in. Bystanders — often desperate to help – jostle with law enforcement and medical professionals for space. All the while, rescue and triage is taking place for victims. But it’s not just EMTs, firefighters and police officers competing for space. In fact, those professionals would be at serious risk if there weren’t also engineers on the scene, surveying and acting quickly to mitigate damage and forestall more danger. Engineers don’t just show up with a fire crew or ambulance, of course. But they might take a class offered through an organization like the Applied Technology Council, after which their contact information would go in a database. The idea being that if a disaster struck, there’s a robust and updated roster of trained professionals at the ready for municipalities. We can’t forget that disaster breeds disaster: In cases like a building collapse, there might… Read full this story
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