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Lodi firefighters practice shoring techniques

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Posted: Saturday, March 27, 2010 12:00 am

Lodi firefighters traded their fire hoses for hammers, nails and a circular saw Thursday for a different type of emergency rescue training.

Dressed in heavy yellow protective suits and hard hats, about a dozen firefighters sawed rough-cut lumber to construct braces used to support buildings on the verge of collapse.

The training site was a donated home that will soon be demolished in the 800 block of South Sacramento Street.

Stockton area crews used these shoring techniques in Haiti while conducting emergency rescues after the massive January earthquake, said Battalion Chief Ron Penix.

Penix said the techniques could be used in Lodi with building collapses. He referenced the collapse that happened in September 1997 when a roof caved in at the Lodi Supermarket, now the Pep Boys at the intersection of Cherokee and Kettleman lanes.

Penix pointed to a two-post vertical shore style brace that stretched from the home's floor to ceiling. The nailed web of lumber could withstand a 38,000-pound load, while creating a safe zone inside for emergency crews while they make a rescue.

While gripping a nail between his teeth, Fire Cpt. Joe Hansen nailed the shoring to a side of the house. The web of sturdy-nailed lumber made an L-shape as it snugly fit against the siding. With that the home was secure.

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