FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Regarding asbestos, my home (or office building, or condo) was built last year. asbestos isn’t even used in construction materials anymore, right? so i don’t need to perform testing, right? 

Wrong. Asbestos testing is required by Federal EPA regulations regardless of when a building is built, due to the continued (and sometimes inadvertent) use of globally-sourced (read: imported) construction materials from countries where asbestos-containing materials may still be used. Remember Chinese Drywall?  The same idea still applies.

Did you know? Per federal and Florida state law, an asbestos survey is required before any renovation or demolition activity begins. A copy of the survey report must be kept on-site during renovations, and a copy must be attached to the written notification for demolitions. Asbestos surveys must be performed by a State Licensed asbestos consultant. Pinellas County (Clearwater, St. Petersburg, etc.), in particular, is known for being very strict about enforcing these laws. Other neighboring municipalities are quickly catching up, however.

regarding search-and-rescue consulting, doesn’t fema already teach structural collapse courses?

What we do is teach practical urban search and rescue (USAR) lessons which can benefit both the general public as well as specialized rescue teams. The same information could be provided by qualified firefighters and tech rescue personnel who have specialized in structural collapse. However, we feel that we bring a different perspective on providing this information due to our formal education and experience, and are able to sometimes provide a deeper insight as to the reasoning behind the rules.

 

 CAN THE TALKS BE ADJUSTED TO SUIT THE NEEDS OF INDIVIDUAL GROUPS?

Absolutely. We are happy to discuss your individual needs and goals for the rescue team.

 

 CAN YOU ALSO DISCUSS EMERGENCY RESCUE MEDICINE, K-9 SEARCH TIPS, CRANE AND RIGGING OPERATIONS, OR HAZMAT TOPICS?

Unfortunately we cannot. Our background is in structural engineering and building collapse. We are able to speak in general terms regarding urban survival and urban search and rescue (USAR) as appropriate for layperson audiences. However, for firefighters and tech rescue teams we limit our discussions to that which we are explicitly qualified for.

 

 CAN WE DISCUSS ADVANCED SHORING TOPICS?

We can discuss basic shoring operations, however we focus more on the concepts behind shoring. Why is it needed, when do we consider using it, and what are the practical considerations for how it helps, etc. We will discuss which types of shoring are more appropriate depending on the given application, how much load we should anticipate, etc.

 

 CAN YOU CRITIQUE OUR SHORING CONSTRUCTION METHODS, OR SHOW US HOW TO BUILD SHORING?

We do not teach classes on how to build shoring structures such as raker shores, laced posts, etc. However, we will discuss the sources where this information can be found and who can teach those classes. Most firefighting teams are more skilled at building shoring structures than engineers, due to their often advanced mechanical prowess and the fact that many of them have hands-on construction experience.