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Manteca responders train for ‘The Big One’
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Aaron Fields is pulled from the simulated collapse of a roof by Manteca firefighters during an earthquake drill at the senior center. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Firefighters and other emergency personnel in Manteca spent Thursday morning training for “The Big One” as part of the annual Great California Shakeout.

“The Big One” in the vernacular of California is a major earthquake.

The citywide drill that started Thursday at 10:18 a.m. was based on an earthquake triggering the collapse of six buildings within Manteca

Firefighters were first called to the senior center on Cherry Lane for a roof collapse.  Firefighters cut a hole in a simulated collapsed roof and led two men to safety 20 minutes after their arrival. A third was brought out on a backboard through a hole cut into the roof from where he had been trapped in the attic. There were six “victims” in the collapsed structure.

 Meanwhile the city’s emergency command center that is part of leased space on Cherry Lane went into operational mode. Battalion Chief David Marques controlled the logistics of the event as City Manager Tim Ogden directed his department heads to assist with rescue efforts and other quake-related issues.

Manteca Library had a call for emergency response as well where a man had fallen off the roof during the tremblor. Manteca District Ambulance responded to the Center Street location. 

Eckert Cold Storage on Moffat Boulevard had reports of an ammonia leak at their plant with fire units from Manteca and Lathrop responding to the scene.  Mutual aid also came from Ripon District Ambulance.

A levee breach on a waterway in Lathrop also caused several homes to be flooded as part of the drill.  

The reserve firefighters who had been rescued from the collapsed senior center were Tyler Gulan, Aaron Fields and Lucas Romero. Police Chief Jodie Estarziau and Fire Chief Kyle Shipherd also lent their expertise to the simulated rescues. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email