Firefighters Learn New Rescue Techniques

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Normally firefighters do anything they can to save buildings. On Wednesday, they purposely destroyed a house on Harmon Avenue, but they had a good reason.

Lt. Scott Flitcraft says, "Basically what we have done is we have tried to make this house look like a tornado came through and destroy it, so to speak."

The Panama City Fire Department is working with FEMA, taking a more proactive approach in the severe weather exercise. The goal is to save more lives if and when a real tornado strikes.

"Spec Rescue International is the name of the company that has come into training us in urban search and rescue. It takes an 18-member team to access, analyze and execute these rescue missions when people are trapped inside."

From securing the exterior to supporting the house from the inside, members of the team have to come up with different ideas to make it safe for firefighters to get in and get the victims out.

"Make this house safe and make an actual rescue, not a body recovery, we want to make a rescue."

This is the first time the Panama City Fire Department has received this type of specialized training for its newly formed team.