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Firefighters raise skills in high-level rope rescue

About 24 members of Columbia-Richland Fire looked to take their skills to ‘higher levels’ by taking an advanced course in Rope Rescue.

The class, which was hosted at the South Carolina Fire Academy during the week of August 6, drilled firefighters in using basket stretchers from high elevations. Rope Rescue is a basic skill that can be put to use in all types of emergency situations, include rescues on swift water and in high buildings.

“It’s all repetition,” said Jeff Matthews who is the owner of Technical Rescue Consultants.

The company provided the class at the academy from Tuesday through Thursday during the week. A final exercise took place at a site near downtown Columbia on Friday August 10.

Each and every firefighter got practice raising and lowering baskets as belayers, acting as edge attendants and also going with the basket on its accents and descents.

“The interesting this is only one person can be seen on the edge of the rope,” Matthews said, “but you can see {there’s a lot} of background things.”

Matthews added that by drilling with the equipment and practicing critical thinking responders should walk away with the ability to complete a rope rescue in less and less time.

Firefighters in the Advanced Rope Rescue Technician Class