Deluxe Inn Put To Good Use

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

"The scenario is we had a report of a collapse in room 124, we have a victim in the building," Lansing Battalion Chief Bill Christiansen said.

Firefighters from Lansing, East Lansing, and Delta Township were at the Deluxe Inn in Lansing Thursday to learn.

"If this is a real-life scenario, what we have to do is make sure the structure is safe to make the rescue," Captain Ward Meldrum said.

The building is scheduled for demolition, but before that happens, the owners of the property -- The Ingham County Land Bank -- gave local fire departments free reign.

"It's something we don't usually get on a building because usually the stuff we train on is in tact and we can't destroy anything," Christiansen said.

Christiansen said the plan for the day was to tear down part of the building to recreate a situation in which this specialized rescue team might one day find themselves in.

"We've had a few situations where we've had cars go into a house, but there hasn't been a rescue like this," he said.

Before firefighters could go inside, they had to make sure the structure was safe.

"We do train on our own departments," Meldrum said. "Today is like a live scrimmage, all the disciplines come together."

In the end, the 'victim' was safely rescued and the team got the hands-on training they needed.

"This has been invaluable," Christiansen said. "We want to know how to do it, but we hope we never have to use it."

Firefighters will be back here Friday for training. Monday, it's local police department's turn.

Demolition of the building begins on Tuesday.


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