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Fayetteville Firefighters Perfect Rescue Technique

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FAYETTEVILLE — We've seen the amazing pictures of rescuers pulling climbers to safety or plucking a person from raging waters. But have you ever wondered how rescuers learn the ropes? Practicing these daring rescues can be just as dangerous as the real thing.

In a practice scenario, a man has fallen fifteen feet. He's hurt and can't move, so rescuers have to get down to him, assess his condition, get him back up and get him to the hospital as quickly as possible. Training officers say the skills learned here could mean the difference between life and death.

"Being able to do it in nighttime situations, real situations, then when you actually have the rescue occur, it will be more realistic to the point that you know what you're doing," explained Lt. Steve Sanders. "You've been there. You've done that. You've got the experience."

After 90 minutes of training inside the classroom, firefighters head outside to brush up on basic skills like knot tying and rappelling, skills they'll probably use at some point in their careers.

"We've had occasion in Fayetteville over the years where people, victims have fallen into various creeks that run through the area," recalled training officer John Harold. "And we've had to go in and retrieve them and get them to a hospital and assess them."

At the end of the month, firefighters will be finished with the rope rescue training. In September, they will take part in confined space training, concentrating on sewer and cave rescues.

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John McDonnell, Reporter
Doug Bricker, Photographer
Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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