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International Operating Engineer - Winter 2018

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Training & Education

Training & Education Michigan Operators Team with First Responders to Simulate Disaster Rescue Missions Open house highlights Operating Engineers’ nearly 20-year partnership in disaster response deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the event of a disaster. Starting with instruction in rigging, Local 324 and MUSAR began their partnership in 1999. MUSAR began using the facilities in Howell for training in skills inside and out of the Operating Engineers specialties. Today, there is a large section of the Construction Career Center dedicated to both MUSAR and First Responder training to keep the public safe during natural and man-made disasters. OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL 324 and their Michigan Urban Search & Rescue (MUSAR) partners opened their training facility to more than a dozen state legislators and local leaders to demonstrate training exercises done that prepare first responders for disaster. The open house included demonstrations of a trench rescue, K-9 rubble search and rescue, building stabilization with crane operations and Michigan State Police Bomb Squad post-blast at the Local’s 555- acre Construction Careers Center in Howell, Michigan. “Operating Engineers do the important, difficult and dangerous jobs that keep our state’s economy running and bravely dedicate their time and talents to keep us safe both in Michigan and beyond,” said Lee Graham, Local 324 LMEC executive director. “I’m proud to have had the opportunity today to share our nearly 20-year partnership with MUSAR with local leaders and lawmakers in Lansing.” MUSAR was founded in 1991 by municipal first responders from around Michigan who receive special training in technical rescue operations. These volunteer responders are organized into task forces that can be Operating Engineers are no strangers to emergency response. From rigging and hoisting to heavy equipment operation, many of the skills and tools necessary when disaster strikes, are the things Operators train and work on daily. This includes Stationary Engineers as well, whose knowledge of boilers and large complex pressure systems, keep us safe daily, from schools to nuclear power plants. In the unfortunate event of a disaster, Operators are often on the front lines of the response. In September, Michigan’s Task Force 1 was deployed to Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma, and two Local 324 Operating Engineers – John Haberkorn and Derek Sather – were among the team dispatched. This was the first out-of-state deployment for the 45-person Task Force, which is made up of disaster relief certified doctors, heavy equipment operators and structural engineers. Their skill, expertise and training are an integral part of this quick response unit. MUSAR stands out as one of 28 Task Forces organized under FEMA’s National Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Response System. Local 324 is proud to partner and work with MUSAR and other Emergency Responder groups, and looks forward to continued collaboration to help ensure safety and fast response in times of trouble. [article & photos] Dan McKernan, IUOE Local 324 8 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER WINTER 2018 9

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