While rescue groups are still pulling survivors from the rubble in Mexico after Tuesday’s earthquake, North Texas rescue groups are training for similar scenarios.
Lt. Mike Walters with the Fort Worth Fire Department is on the Texas Task Force 1 rescue team and a FEMA instructor on structural collapse events. He knows what rescue teams are up against in Mexico City.
Workers in Mexico’s capital are using every ounce of grit and tools available to save those who are still trapped in crumbled buildings. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake has already claimed almost 300 lives.
"As soon as we can make access to them, we need to get water to them and get them hydrated so their system doesn't shut down,” Walters explained.
Aftershocks are a big danger now.
"Anytime you feel the ground shaking, anytime you see dust coming down from above, hear creaking in the building without aftershocks means stress on the building is causing further collapse,” Walters said.
After an earthquake, sometimes rescuers are forced deep into a building to make a rescue.
"Anytime you're doing a confined space rescue, you're looking at limited ingress and egress,” Walters said. “Most significant dangers are atmospheric hazards. You don't know what kind of gases there are, may be limited oxygen."