For Immediate Release
April 07, 2016

Nearly Two Hundred First Responders Receive Technical Rescue Training at the New York State Academy of Fire Science

Nearly two hundred New York first responders including firefighters and rescue specialists recently attended workshops and practical skills sessions at the 4th Annual 2016 Technical Rescue Conference to improve their technical rescue capabilities. Held at the Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls, the first responders attended workshops and received hands-on rescue training in a variety of scenarios involving swiftwater and flooding, confined spaces, structural collapse, trench, and industrial and agricultural machinery rescue.


Presented by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC), the conference annually attracts first responders from across the state. Utilizing the facilities at the Academy of Fire Science, the attendees have the opportunity to practice their hands-on skills in a variety of life-threatening rescue situations.


“This annual conference continues to provide our state’s first responders with an outstanding opportunity to sharpen their rescue skills, learn new skills, and practice rescuing individuals from harrowing situations,” said John P. Melville, Commissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. “I commend my colleagues at the Office of Fire Prevention and Control for offering this conference, and making improvements to the program each year to make it a fulfilling experience for the attendees.”


Before the conference began on April 2, OFPC offered two days of advanced in-service training on topics including vehicle extrication, rope rescue, water rescue, and industrial/agricultural machinery rescue.  OFPC staff also conducted a Trench Rescue Operations course and authorized State, municipal and county instructors to present the New York State Trench Rescue Operations and Medium Level Structural Collapse Concepts: Exterior Shoring courses.  Workshops offered during April 2-3 were conducted by technical rescue personnel from across the United States and Canada and covered topics such as:


  • Swiftwater and flood rescue;
  • Rope rescue;
  • Trench rescue shoring;
  • Vehicle extrication, including initial company operations, new technologies and techniques;
  • Disaster Search K-9 team capabilities;
  • Structural Collapse shoring techniques;
  • Ice and Cold water rescue;
  • The NFPA Technical Committee and Standard Development program; and,
  • Heavy wrecker and air bag use during vehicle rescue operations.



“This conference gives OFPC the opportunity to offer first responders additional training and educational enhancements on topics and content from our standard course offerings as well as other rescue related disciplines,” Bryant D. Stevens, New York State Fire Administrator said. “Each year, the OFPC team designs workshops and training scenarios that first responders may experience in the field at any time. This provides further valuable rescue training experience that they can apply rapidly when an individual or group needs help.”


Click here to view B roll scenes from this year’s conference.


About OFPC:


OFPC delivers a wide breadth of services to firefighters, emergency responders, state and local government agencies, public and private colleges, and the citizens of New York. The Office advances public safety through firefighter training, education, fire prevention, investigative, special operations and technical rescue programs. The timely delivery of these essential services enables the Office to make significant contributions to the safety of all of New York State. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit




The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and its four offices -- Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications -- provide leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies.  For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit


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