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ASC Heavy Equipment Operations students learn from real-world simulation experience

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VIDEO: Alfred State senior Heavy Equipment Operation students work on a trench collapse simulation with Wellsville rescue crews

From Alfred State College,

ALFRED, NY, March 4, 2024 – Alfred State senior Heavy Equipment Operations students took part in a hands-on, real-world simulation of a trench collapse in partnership with the Wellsville Volunteer Ambulance Corp (WVAC).

The all-day event allowed students to understand the emergency response if a trench collapse took place in the workplace. The students worked with Chris Martelle, the WVAC rescue chief, in walking through a variety of rescues involving a trench collapse.

“In our world the most dangerous accidents always seem to be a trench collapse,” commented ASC instructor Brian Adams. We have thirty-five seniors taking part in this simulation experience and someday, somewhere one of them is going to have to assist in a rescue attempt. Rescue companies do not always have all the equipment needed or the manpower and they are going to rely on people in the field to help with the rescue.”

Martelle added, “the students need to understand that this is going to happen on a job site in construction. They are going to dig through material that is not good enough to maintain. They need to know how to react, and they need to understand what the next steps are instead of waiting for fire, EMS, and rescue to get on scene. They can start doing stuff on the job site that make the rescue faster and make it a rescue not a recovery.”

Students learned from Martelle and other members of the rescue team and were able to split into groups to perform different rescue scenarios. The students assessed the situation and went into rescue mode. The groups performed a rescue of a submerged victim and a buried victim.

William Banner (Brockport, NY) thought the experience prepared him for future jobs. “It adds to everybody’s resume. We can say that we did a rescue for trench cave in, and it makes everybody look better.”

Adams was appreciative of the partnership with Wellsville Rescue. “There are great benefits to learning how to collaborate with different people at various times to get something done quickly. It aids both of us as a community and a school to be able to do those things together.”

This is one of numerous real-world simulations that Heavy Equipment Operations students experience during their time at Alfred State. Later this semester students will be put through a water main break simulation.

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