FEMA Structural Collapse Technician Course

If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted anything in over a week, it’s because I was away at the South Carolina Fire Academy in Columbia, SC taking the 8-day FEMA Structural Collapse Technician Course.

It consisted of:

  • 3 days of collapse shoring
  • 2 days of lifting and rigging heavy objects
  • 2 days of breaching, breaking, and cutting
  • 1 day of a scenario that combined all skills

It was great fun!


  • jfcarlson says:

    That looks really interesting! What motivated you to enroll?Did you have any prior experience? Is there a list of upcoming courses?

  • Tom B says:

    All of these classes fall under Urban Search & Rescue.I had taken collapse shoring and lifting and rigging before, but this was the first time the SCFA offered all three phases (to include breaching, breaking, and cutting) in one course. There are several reasons I took the course.1.) Hilton Head Island is on the coast and it's only a matter of time before we're hit by a major hurricane (or earthquake).2.) Terrorism is a real threat.3.) I recently joined Hilton Head/Bluffton RRT-4 (Regional Rescue Team 4) which is a Type II collapse team.4.) I'm a lieutenant at a fire station that houses a truck company which handles special operations, and sometimes I move over from the engine to the truck.In South Carolina, local assets respond first, then regional, then state, then national.To give you a little background, there are a total of 5 regional teams in the state (and a 6th on the way). The state team is SC-TF1 (South Carolina Task Force 1) which responded to Hurricane Katrina.Many of the regional team members are also on the state team, which helps with a seamless transition.What state do you live in?

  • jfcarlson says:

    Thanks for the details – I’m in WI, but willing to travel. All of that sounds like great information to have, does FEMA have a schedule of sponsored courses?

  • Tom B says:

    If you’re willing to travel, you should consider heading down to TEEX and Disaster City. I’ve heard there’s nothing like it! This FEMA equivalent course was somewhat of an experiment for the SCFA, but it went very well, and I think you can expect it to be offered again, at least once a year.I’ve also heard that LSU puts together an outstanding program. I’ll get the details and get back to you.

  • James says:

    Don’t know if you do any hazmat, but if you’re already a HAZMAT Tech, definitely make it a point to go to the FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness WMD HAZMAT Tech course in Anniston, AL. You get to play with live nerve agent at their COBRA Training Facility. No place else like it in the world. And its free!

  • Anonymous says:

    Awesome course. Took it at FL State Fire College. Eight days in August…in Florida!! The best fire service course I have taken.

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