Oshkosh fire officials train to handle sinkhole situations

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OSHKOSH (WITI) — Sinkholes are more common in states like Florida, but they are still on the mind of some officials in the Oshkosh area. Officials in Oshkosh participated in sinkhole training on Tuesday, March 5th.

Emergency crews practiced for a scenario not often seen in Wisconsin.

“The events are pretty rare, but it’s one of those situations where the events are low-frequency but a high hazard,” Oshkosh Fire Battalion Chief Rick Krumenauer said.

In fact, it’s been more than a year since the Oshkosh Fire Department has had to keep a building from collapsing.

“The last time we had that we actually had to shore up a building was due to a motor vehicle accident. A tractor-trailer took a corner too fast and actually knocked the corner of a building down,” Krumenauer said.

A trailer contained all of the equipment and supplies firefighters need in an emergency. And the training for this rare type of event helps them be ready when it counts the most.

The recent sinkholes in Florida just happen to coincide with the training these firefighters went through, but it serves as a practical example of the different types of events this training is meant to prepare them for.

“It actually is pretty good timing. We did talk about that unique situation in the classroom a little bit. Not something that we normally see a lot of, although there are hazardous areas in the state for it,” Krumenauer said.

The department is conducting the training for all firefighters in the department this week.