Trench Rescue Training Facility Opens in Iowa

NUCA of Iowa and the City of Urbandale supported the facility’s construction

Trench Rescue Training Facility Opens in Iowa

(Photos from NUCA of Iowa)

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A new trench rescue training facility has opened in Iowa.

According to the National Utility Contractors Association, which supported the facility’s construction, intense, realistic training for first responders is required to support successful trench rescues. The new trench training site that opened Oct. 6 in Urbandale, Iowa, will help play a crucial role enhancing the safety of industry employees who work in subsurface excavations and help prepare those in the state who are leading the rescue at any accident scene.

“NUCA of Iowa’s membership not only led the way through its contribution to the new facility’s construction, but they also provided the labor, materials, knowledge and experience to build the facility to the city’s innovative specifications,” says Doug Carlson, NUCA CEO. “They should be very proud of their achievement to help keep their members’ employees safe on a job site.”

“The site will play a crucial role in enhancing the safety and preparedness of our entire region,” says Urbandale Mayor Robert Andeweg. “We are grateful for the generosity of NUCA and its members in making this project a reality.”

The training site, located at Station 42 of the Urbandale Fire Department, came as a result of a harrowing incident in 2001 where department personnel rescued after five hours a local plumbing company employee trapped at the bottom of a 9-foot trench when the unsupported dirt walls gave way. The cutting-edge facility is poised to revolutionize training for emergency responders and construction professionals, offering a safe and realistic environment to develop and enhance critical rescue skills.

Made possible in part by a generous $52,500 donation from NUCA of Iowa, the training site represents a significant leap forward in ensuring the safety and preparedness of the region’s emergency responders. The state-of-the-art facility boasts advanced features and scenarios that allow first responders to simulate real-life trench emergencies, enabling them to train effectively and respond with safe precision.

NUCA’s experienced contractors assisted with the layout and design of the structure, which was built over several weeks during the summer. Workers safety excavated the structure’s foundations, placed, and filled the concrete wall forms for the multiple below-grade trench training structures, and supplied the precast manholes located carefully around the facility. Iowa member contractors also installed the subdrainage system and the rock backfill, finishing off the professional construction by performing final grading of the site.

“Trench safety is one of the single largest areas of focus for our members,” says Kim Frey, NUCA of Iowa’s executive director. “Our members and their hardworking employees recognize the inherent risks associated with underground utility work. NUCA of Iowa was proud to partner with the city of Urbandale to make this project a reality. NUCA of Iowa is especially grateful to our generous members who stepped up with not only monetary donations, but also with materials and services. We are beyond excited to have a facility like this in our region.”

For more information about NUCA of Iowa, visit


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