RFD hits the rope course for training exercises
Members of the Russellville Fire Department will be focusing on rope rescue training during the month of April as a way to stay on top of certain training measures that the department might not use as often.
Fire Chief Joe Mansell said rope rescue isn’t something his department has to encounter often, but it does happen from time to time and when it does, the firefighters have to be prepared in that situation.
“We have bluffs in this area that people can rappel off of and we also have tall structures like water towers that workers have to climb up to make repairs,” he said.
“If anyone in a situation like that gets stranded or has a medical emergency while on the rope, we’re the ones who will be called out to assist in that particular circumstance.
“Since it’s not something we do on a daily basis, it’s good to stay trained because there are many things to remember like what kinds of knots to tie and how to work the harnesses.”
Mansell said the routine training is important because rope rescue can be one of the most dangerous things a firefighter can encounter.
“When you are involved in a rope rescue, you not only have your own life in your hands but the life of the other person as well,” Mansell said.
“When you’re in the middle of a rescue is not the time when you need to be wondering if you’re tying a knot right or hooking up the harness right,” Capt. Aubrey Harris added.
“The training keeps these things fresh on our minds so it’s second nature when we’re up there, not second-guessing.”
Mansell said all shifts will go through the training at the RFD Station 2 on U.S. 43 where they have a training course and a tower to rappel from.
“There’s no better way to train than to be out here actually doing it,” Mansell said.