Nebraska Task Force One conducts urban search and rescue training exercise

Fresh off of helping with Hurricane Florence relief in the Carolinas, Nebraska’s top urban search and rescue crew was back at it Thursday.

Nebraska Task Force 1 members participated in their eighth and final day of training at Lincoln Fire & Rescue’s training facility near 3rd and South Street.

Upon completion of the training,  21 new members were added to NE-TF1’s ranks. 

The team consists of people from Council Bluffs to Grand Island, which members say makes for a unique team atmosphere.

“From what they tell me they enjoy practicing with different people and interacting,” said NE-TF1 Director Lloyd Mueller. “Everyone brings a different part of knowledge form their own home agency and so when they come here we get different ideas on how to do things.”

Thursday’s training divided the group into two teams.

The teams worked together to break, breach and shore up a concrete structure with wood.

They’re training to be fully ready for any type of disaster that may come their way in the future.

“It’s definitely like working the fire service everyone work together to accomplish a goal,” said Matt Woitalewicz, a newcomer to the team. “Everyone relies on each other just like we do on the fire service.” 

Team leaders say seeing all of the different personalities working together and solving a problem in an emergency situation is what the training is all about.

“The old adage you can hammer a nail 100 different ways will the same way here you can build these shoes or do types of rescue 100 different ways but what’s the most safe at that time,” said Mueller.


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