Area fire departments train in high angle rope rescue

Volunteer firefighters from Burlingame and Osage City practice a Stokes basket rescue on a bridge near Burlingame. OCFD No. 2’s aerial truck was used to help move the Stokes basket away from the bridge so the mock victim could be safely raised and placed on the bridge deck.

Training is a necessary component for any fire department; however two local departments recently gave up time with their families to help yours. During four days of training March 23-24 and April 6-7, members of Osage County Fire Districts No. 2 and No. 6, based in Osage City and Burlingame, learned about and practiced high-angle rope rescue techniques in real life situations.

040813-fire-dept2The first day consisted of classroom work and basic mechanical advantage instruction in the morning. That afternoon, members practiced creating knots and pulley systems. The second day, the group worked with a tripod simulating confined space rescue.

Combining all techniques learned during previous three days of training, members from OCFD No. 2 and OFCD No. 6 practice a high angle rope rescue from the water tower.

On day three, the group went to a bridge on the edge of Burlingame and practiced Stokes basket rescue using OCFD No. 2’s aerial truck. A Stokes basket is a stretcher or litter used to transport victims. This technique would be used for a victim who has fallen off a bridge and there is no way to gain access to the victim except going over the bridge. Another use would be for a vehicle wreck off a bridge or down into a steep culvert when patient evacuation is needed.

In addition to Stokes basket rescue training, they also practiced rope pick off rescue, which could be used in situations when a person is injured while working on a bridge, grain elevator, or cell tower.

The final day of training brought together all of the skills the members had learned. They spent the day practicing high angle rope rescue from the top of the Burlingame water tower.

Members of OCFD No. 2 and OFCD No. 6 have spent numerous hours training on basic first aid to vehicle extrication. High angle rope rescue is just one more technique both volunteer departments have learned as part of their public service commitment.

Photos and information submitted by Keri Welch.


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