August 12, 2007
Sunday marked the final day of training for a group of EMT students learning the ins and outs of ladders and ropes.
How do you use a ladder and a rope to safely get someone out of the fourth floor of a burning building? Students had to quickly answer that question and more as part of their rescue training.
"What's going on right now is their final scenario that all the students are participating in," said Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad instructor Gilbert Monroe.
Instructors took a building and turned it into a crisis situation. It was then the students' job to set up the rescue mission.
As part of one scenario the first floor is blocked, meaning the only way in or out is by a ladder, and ropes are used to retrieve needed equipment.
"We had to look around the building find what doors are open, use some ladders, and get in there," said student Sarah Farrell.
Instructors say many of the trainees have never used a ladder before this class. Although they may not use all of these new techniques everyday, the call for help could come as early as tomorrow.
"Some of the stuff that we're going to be doing today is a lot more intense and we may not use it for this year or the next three or four years, but we could also use it tomorrow if the call needs," said Farrell.
Part of the training is teaching more than just rescue techniques; team work and the ability to adapt to a changing situation are also key.
"In the real world things are not going to go as planned, you're going to have water rain down on you, you're going to walk around the building and find some guy hanging off the side of the building, you're going to find stuff that you're not expecting," said CARS instructor Will Barndhart.
Nearly 30 students signed up for the class. Most were from the Charlottesville area, but many people from other parts of Virginia participated as well.