The Edmond Sun

August 27, 2013

Fire recruits experience swift water rescue scenario

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — It’s happened before in Edmond and will likely happen again.

Fast-moving water strands a motorist who needs assistance getting to dry ground. City personnel respond and use their rope skills to elevate, move over the water, drop down, latch on to the victim, raise both up and get them to dry land.

Edmond Fire Battalion Chief Keith Randolph said the techniques the recruits were performing would enable them to access difficult to get to spots such as a river, between a couple of houses, any void where access is needed. During the process, personnel can also render medical aid, Randolph said.

“The guys are doing awesome,” he said. “This is our third class that we’ve had with them so they’ve had almost 54 hours of technical training and rope rescue. They’re starting to catch on pretty good.”

Increasingly, he is letting the recruits build their own rope rescue system, and their confidence level is rising, Randolph said. Rope rescue skills take a lot of hours, special equipment and personnel trained in how to use that equipment, Randolph said.

The training is all about serving the public and helping save a life if necessary, said Randolph, a 28-year veteran with the EFD. He’s been involved in several related rescues during his career, and often this is the only way to get to a victim.

Graduation for the recruits is Sept. 27. | 341-2121, ext. 108