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GFD High Angle Rope Rescue

Firefighters train for high & low angle rescue situations

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Greenwich, CT | Added on May 06, 2015 At 10:00 PM

You may not see high rise buildings in Greenwich but the Greenwich Fire Department is ready to step into action if a high or low angle rescue needed to happen. At their training facility on North Street, firefighters prepared for just that scenario.

One by one Wednesday afternoon, firefighters scaled the back of the training facility to simulate rescuing a window washer on the side of a building.

"Once or twice a year we will go through a high angle rescue type evolution. Last year we had to lower a patient about 45-feet from the rock climbing tower at Camp Seton. There was an injured party up there so we went and secured the patient, lowered him in a stokes basket down to the ground. All of our personnel are trained to this level," said Assistant Chief Robert Kick.

When asked what are some of the challenges of a high angle rescue, firefighter Chris Povella said "Not knowing what you have while the guy is hanging there. Whether he is on a safe harness that we can use. If it windy, the platform can start blowing around."

And while high angle rescues don't happen often, the skills learning during training can be applied in other situations.

"They use these evolutions not only for high angle rescues but low angle rescue. For instance a car over an embankment on the Merritt Parkway. A lot of times they are down 30 or 40 feet and we have to set up some type of rope system to raise them back up to street level," said Assistant Chief Kick.

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