Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Far above city, firefighters hone skills

April 25, 2006

Advertisement

Byron Miller rappels down the west side of City Hall Monday afternoon. Miller was one of several members of Lawrence Douglas County Fire & Medical practicing their rappelling skills on different buildings to gain familiarity with the equipment.

Byron Miller rappels down the west side of City Hall Monday afternoon. Miller was one of several members of Lawrence Douglas County Fire & Medical practicing their rappelling skills on different buildings to gain familiarity with the equipment.

Firefighters and paramedics from Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical spent the afternoon Monday jumping off the roof of City Hall.

The roof jumping was part of a training regimen for the men and women of Fire Station 1, where firefighters are required to know how to rappel down the side of a building to save a fire victim.

"We're all trained to a certain extent," Capt. Pat Karlin said.

Karlin has been at the station for five years and has participated in Monday's kind of intensive training several times, he said.

Karlin and the department consider the City Hall training a real life situation, where all of the elements are just as they would be in a real multistory rescue - minus the flames.

City Hall had all the right ingredients: the high building and the balconies situated on the north side that could hold a victim in need of rescue.

"We had access to it, and it had everything we needed," Karlin said.

To rappel down the side of a building, the fire and medical crew attached thick cords to the building's air conditioner, then ran the cords to a tripod fastened into place near the edge of the building.

Firefighters strap on their rappelling gear to practice their rappelling skills on different buildings gaining familiarity with the equipment.

Firefighters strap on their rappelling gear to practice their rappelling skills on different buildings gaining familiarity with the equipment.

But every step was slow and methodical - all very intentionally, Karlin said.

These drills are meant to educate those who may not know the intricacies of every piece, every step in the rescue process.

So, one at a time, Karlin and the more experienced members of his team went over the braces, ropes and brackets they would have to set up in case of a real roof rescue.

Which doesn't happen that often, Karlin said. In his total 13 years on the force, including his five at Station 1, firefighters have had to rappel, at most, four times to rescue someone from the upper floors of a tall building.

"Hopefully, we never have to do it," he said.

Comments

cowboy 8 years, 9 months ago

Firemen Rock , But it would have really been cool to see Boog , Rundle and Schnauer jump off , without ropes of course !

superduper 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm actually a little concerened about the safety of those firemen.
The tail on that figure 8 violates three of the key rules of climbing knots. 1) The tail is much to short 2) The tail is frayed, a super no no 3) There is no stop knot on the end of the tail.

The two biggest reasons climbers have knots come undone is too short of a tail and no stop knot.

As I look closer at the photo I'm thinking he's not actually rapelling but rather being lowered. There's no rope hanging down from him.

Maybe he's at the end of the rope :)

Devon Kissinger 8 years, 9 months ago

They dont actually rappel, they are lowered by their crewmembers. It's actually much safer and more controllable in rescue situations, especially if there is more than one person and possibly a stokes basket containing a victim hanging from the end of the rope.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.