AUSTIN (KXAN) - This weekend, emergency crews from across the state are spreading out across Travis, Williamson, and Hays Counties tackling training unlike anything most have ever experienced.
Austin is one of three cities in the U.S. to hold Urban Shield exercises. On Friday, there were several crises - like a building collapse. Crews had to tunnel through 32 feet of rubble to reach a live victim inside.
"There's somebody inside there, screaming 'Help me. Help me. Help me,'" said Battalion Chief Larry Jantzen with the Austin Fire Department.
AFD was one of dozens of agencies guiding 18 teams through the times competition. Six hours of non-stop scenarios. AFD Lieutenant Jarrett Jobes headed up one of those crews.
"(We are) just maintaining the safety of the crew, making sure we're able to access the patient," Jobes said.
Jobes' group was on the clock. Every moment closer to that 60-minute time limit meant a greater chance of losing their victim.
"(You have a) greatly increased survival rate over people who are delivered to a facility in over an hour," Jantzen explained.
Unfortunately, time ran out. Learning from their mistakes, they moved on to the next challenge – a crushed parking garage with people trapped inside cars.
"Teams have to breach through a reinforced concrete panel three and a half inches thick," said Jantzen.
"(We) see what we can do better and see where our crew can get better," Jobes said.
Using a variety of tools to pummel their way through the wall, they reached a car and pull out the dummy in just enough time to secure a win.
"They want to win for the patient," said Jantzen. "They want to win for the team. They want to win for the public."
Training continues Saturday with the weekend's biggest challenge - a terrorist attack at the Travis County Expo Center, where a thousand people taking part.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.