BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. — Crews from surrounding areas met at a landfill in Butler County Saturday to brush up on their severe weather rescuing skills. The training falls on the tragic anniversary of the 1991 Andover Tornado that ripped through killing 17 and injuring several others.
“We had to actually cut our way into the city and we spent 3 days there doing search and rescue,” said Andy Hall with the Butler County Rescue Squad.
It’s been 23 years since that day. Hall said it was a day he will never forget and now vows to help others learn how to be prepared for a similar situation.
“The scenario I set up is a lot like the scenario I responded to in 1991 in Andover where we had both a trailer and debris all pushed together in one area,” said Hall.
The mission: Crews had to find two missing people, a husband and a wife, lost after a storm. The rescuers made up of different agencies outside the county were divided into two teams and had to carefully find them.
For nearly three hours the men and women pulled, cut, and dug; until finally they spotted their first victim buried underneath piles of debris, hiding inside a refrigerator.
“Here in Butler County we don’t have that are in the area. If we train together, well be able to respond together and know each other and how everybody is going to react to the tools well be using,” said Hall.