PITTSBURGH, PA (October 2, 2020) – The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire is pleased to announce that it has completed training to become recognized as a Type-3A swift water and flood response team by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.
Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones began putting together a swift water rescue team shortly after a severe rain storm caused flash flooding along Washington Boulevard in August 2011, killing four people.
“We were not prepared at that time and now we are prepared. We’ve been working toward this certification that now recognizes the technician-level training our teams have achieved and officially states that we meet the standard to perform this task, this rescue, this duty,” said Jones.
Under the guidance of Chief Jones, Captain Patrick Shaw with Engine Truck 17 has headed up the training program over the past eight years.
“Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire is on PEMA’s radar now. If a hurricane comes through the Eastern part of the state, PEMA can request our Type 3-A team. We’re actually providing a better service to the citizens, they pay their taxes and we’re here to give them a better service. We are trained at the technician level and a top notch rescue team is what they have now.” said Shaw.
Thirty-eight firefighters are trained and certified at the technician level, split between two separate squads. The Type-3A certification makes the teams a regional asset deployable outside of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County for flash flood and disaster response.