Crews to train for disaster in Scott Towers ruins - FOX Carolina 21

Crews to train for disaster in Scott Towers ruins

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Scott Towers is readied for its implosion. (Jan. 8, 2014/FOX Carolina) Scott Towers is readied for its implosion. (Jan. 8, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Firefighters to use the Scott Towers ruins to stage training exercises (Jan. 20 2014, Fox Carolina) Firefighters to use the Scott Towers ruins to stage training exercises (Jan. 20 2014, Fox Carolina)
Firefighters to use the Scott Towers ruins to stage training exercises (Jan. 20 2014, Fox Carolina) Firefighters to use the Scott Towers ruins to stage training exercises (Jan. 20 2014, Fox Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Greenville firefighters said they will use ruins of the Scott Towers for emergency response training before developers take over the property.

Crews imploded the towers Sunday, bringing down the high-rise that had stood on Augusta Street since 1970.

The towers are expected to tumble in less than 20 seconds Sunday morning after the high-rise dotted the skyline of Greenville's West End for decades.

Once the destruction site is deemed safe by the NEO Corporation (the company responsible for the demolition), the Greenville City Fire Department will stage a series of large-scale disaster training exercises.

Firefighters prepped the building for the training by placing props and mannequins in the building before it was demolished, and will return after the site is safe to use heavy equipment to prep what is expected to be a 30-foot pile of debris.

On Wednesday, the first exercise will begin with a call to dispatchers about an explosion and structure collapse at the site. City police, firefighters and paramedics will respond along with other local fire, EMS and law enforcement agencies.

St. Francis Hospital personnel will have a simulated emergency room at an off-site location to train and test the region's ability to manage a large-scale event with causalities. Additionally, the regional Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction team and technical rescue assets, including teams from Columbia and Asheville, will deploy.

"The challenges this large-scale event provides can seldom be duplicated and will provide us the experience required to manage incidents that are the results of catastrophic events such as a hurricane, earthquake or wildland fire, and should be considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Greenville City Fire Chief Stephen Kovalcik.

The city said the training exercises will take place between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

NEO crews will begin debris removal Jan. 26.

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