Firefighters learn the ropes at Cascade Falls

Firefighter Eugene ‘Junior’ Da Silva smiles on his way down the ropes set up at Sunday’s training session, Oct. 3. Photo: Laurie TritschlerFirefighter Eugene ‘Junior’ Da Silva smiles on his way down the ropes set up at Sunday’s training session, Oct. 3. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Lt. Adam Lacey gives a thumbs up before heading up a rock face with the department’s rescue basket. Photo courtesy of Christina Lake Fire and RescueLt. Adam Lacey gives a thumbs up before heading up a rock face with the department’s rescue basket. Photo courtesy of Christina Lake Fire and Rescue
Grand Forks Fire/Rescue’s Tyler Thate, harness and helmet on, steadies his footing midway through his rappel.Grand Forks Fire/Rescue’s Tyler Thate, harness and helmet on, steadies his footing midway through his rappel.
(Front L-R) Lt. Adam More, firefighter Eugene ‘Junior’ Da Silva, Lt. Adam Lacey and Chief Joe Geary (Back L-R) steady a course instructor strapped into the department’s rescue basket. Photo: Laurie Tritschler(Front L-R) Lt. Adam More, firefighter Eugene ‘Junior’ Da Silva, Lt. Adam Lacey and Chief Joe Geary (Back L-R) steady a course instructor strapped into the department’s rescue basket. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Cpt. Rob McGregor hangs out during a lull in Sunday’s training. Photo: Laurie TritschlerCpt. Rob McGregor hangs out during a lull in Sunday’s training. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Training exercises put volunteer firefighters on the ropes last weekend at Cascade Falls — rescue ropes, that is.

Joe Geary, Chief at Christina Lake Fire and Rescue (CLFR), said nine of his members joined Grand Forks Fire/Rescue’s Tyler Thate for a three-day course starting Friday, Oct. 1. Led by Coquitlam, B.C.’s Dynamic Rescue Solutions, the course advanced the firefighters’ rope rescue skills to the point where they can hoist and lower injured patients vertically and across long distances.

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CLFR is called to haul swimmers out of the falls at least once every year, most recently in July, Geary said. Department members had been trained to use ropes in this scenario. The difference is that they can now use pulleys to effect rescues more quickly and with considerably less discomfort for the patients who can look forward to being lifted through the air as opposed to being hand-carried on the ground.


 

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laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

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