The Aberdeen and Hoquiam Fire Departments conducted training on local bridges this week with assistance from the Washington State Department of Transportation. I reported on the training Tuesday, but didn’t write up a story – I guess I should have because some callers said that rumors were circulating of a protest by local first responders.

Aberdeen Fire Chief Tom Hubbard tells KBKW that WSDOT contacted them to conduct the training inside our local bridges. Fire trucks and cones blocked lanes on the Chehalis River Bridge Tuesday as crews from both Aberdeen and Hoquiam entered the pit and machinery drive portions of the double leaf bascule bridge.

Hubbard said crews refreshed training on how they would rescue an employee or citizen trapped inside the bridge, something that has happened in the past, where 20-foot gears are among the moving parts.

When the Chehalis River Bridge was constructed in Aberdeen between 1953-54, it was the longest double leaf bascule bridge in the state at 271 feet. The bridge today remains in the top 10 longest bascule spans in all of North America.

Hubbard said crews completed the training on all local WSDOT maintained bridges this week.