Recently, Matthews Fire and EMS became certified to operate in various technical rescue disciplines. On June 1, 2023, crews worked to expand that certification by working with neighboring departments on trench rescue. The scenario began with a worker who was working on a trench going unaccounted for after a simulated trench collapse. The drill simulated an initial response by Matthews Fire and EMS and the Mint Hill Fire Department. Under command of Matthews Lieutenant Chris Jones, firefighters began the initial setup and rescue until the scene was upgraded and Charlotte Fire Department was sent in to respond. Charlotte sent a crew from the Urban Search and Rescue Trailer (USAR-1), one of their heavy rescue trucks and CFD Engine 9. The engine company was used as support and extra manpower. A simulated victim was trapped under a tunnel and tons of dirt. Firefighters worked on various shoring methods as well as working with Paratech Strut System. Crews had the simulated victim extricated from the trench within 50 minutes. The opportunity to work with various neighboring agencies was invaluable.

– Fire News photos by