Firefighters Rescue High Above

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

September 18, 2005

Firefighters honored one of their fallen brothers this weekend, with the first annual Walker Sisk memorial training. It was the first time many of these firefighters and rescue workers have been though such a specialized school--focusing particularly on truck operations.

"Any rescue you do and [if it involves] anything that's out of the ordinary above ground of course it's dangerous, but we do it the safest we can and that's why we're out training to make sure that the firefighters know how to set the systems up and be proficient with them before they actually have to use them," said Assistant Chief Dennis Hahn Seminole Trail Fire Department.

First they practiced saving someone from the second or third floor. High enough they can't reach, but still in range of a ladder.

"That is a latter slide. It's where you are rescuing people out of a window in a stokes basket. It's basically like a sled and you put the victims in there and you actually slide them down the ladders instead of having to carry them down steps or throughout the building," Hahn said.

But for higher buildings, they use the truck. Victims are strapped into a Stokes Basket and lifted from high parts of buildings down to the ground.

"You have somebody at a construction sight, or on a tall building. Instead of carrying them down the steps, we actually put them in a stokes basket, attach them to the ladder truck with ropes with an attendant attached, and they ride down in the stokes with the victim to get them down to the ground quicker and safer," Hahn said.

Seminole Trail is the only company in the county with this aerial ladder--so they respond to different areas if the truck is needed.

They strap victims into the stokes basket so tightly, they are safe and secure throughout the ride to the ground. Organizers said they hope to make this an annual training weekend.

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