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High Risk Training in Rochester

Posted at: 06/11/2013 6:41 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The Rochester Fire Department held one of their technical training rescue drills Tuesday. This drill came with real fears. The rescue training had Rochester fire fighters hanging over the edge.

The Rochester firefighters that participated in the drill are all members of the Minnesota Task Force one team. Climbing a water tower is just one of scenarios they need to be ready for.

"Working more than 10 stories off the ground," said Rochester fire fighter Mike Schultz.

This drill will help prepare them for a high angle rope rescue.

"Anytime were talking about any kind of medical or trauma related incident at elevation whether it’s on a water tower, construction crane, or window washer," said Battalion Chief Chris Bailey.

The firefighters had to repel off the tower to rescue the dummy, who is supposed to be a fatigued water tower painter. As rare as this type of rescue may be, it does happen.

"This is modeled after a real situation where a painter was working on an elevated structure, he'd been there all day and in this situation he'd been so fatigued and he was not able to get back up," said Chief Bailey.

It's important for them to refresh their skills with the special tools needed.

"Rope skills, knots, everything that goes along with harnesses, and we went to do it as safely as we can," said Schultz.

To learn what can happen when they out their hanging feet from the ground.

"We want to be ready for anything that happens," said Schultz.

The Rochester Fire Department does do training drills about once a week, but they only do these types of technical drills every 3 or 4 months.