The Edmond Sun

August 9, 2013

Edmond fire recruits practice rappelling skills

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
Special to The Sun

EDMOND — Edmond has its share of water towers in different locations around the city. If a welder, for example, was 100 feet in the air and became trapped in a dangling bucket, a high-climbing rescue team would be needed.

Edmond fire Capt. Greg Westermier said Friday the city’s nine recruits were going through Ropes II, the second part of a three-part series to get them to the technician level in rope rescue.

“Rope rescue is the basic building block for all of the disciplines of rescues that we do whether it be confined space, trench, structural collapse or swift water,” Westermier said.

Friday morning, the recruits were practicing rescuing victims via rappelling at the Edmond Fire Department’s five-story tower. The skills would reply to multiple situations including a water tower rescue, Westermier said.

“It’s not a high-frequency event, but over the years we have had a few of these types of rescues,” he said.

Westermier said Fire Department trainers want to give the recruits the basic foundation to become good firefighters so they can serve Edmond citizens in a professional manner. That includes all aspects of the fire service, not just fire or emergency medical services, he said.

Nine recruits are progressing through the EFD’s 28th in-house academy, a 25-week program. Graduation is Sept. 27. | 341-2121, ext. 108