Valley Firefighters Practice High-Rise, High-Angle Rescues In Glendale

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - 5:57pm
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(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Valley firefighters consult a pamphlet, walking them through putting a victim dummy in a carrier.

With dozens of mountain rescues each year, you may think Valley firefighters are always prepared for a fallen hiker. But on Tuesday, they got more practice on high-elevation, high-angle rescues at the Agua Fria Power Station in Glendale. 

The training involves rappelling a victim dummy in a cot-like cage straight down eight stories.

Captain Kevin Thompson of the Glendale Fire Department said while this simulation was in an industrial environment, the rescue is also good practice for fallen hikers.

“Most of the time when we’re doing these type of rescues, we’re doing them on the mountain, say at Papago, Camelback, places like that," Thompson said. "Occasionally we have opportunities to do them in this type of environment.”

Thompson also said the practice is good for this time of year, when there are more hikers on the mountains.

“We see a lot of fall injuries, and we’re going up there making different kinds of rescues, not always high-angle rescues on ropes like this, but we’re on the mountain a lot this time of year making similar types of rescues,” he said.

The drill took more than an hour from setup to getting the dummy safe to the ground.

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