Firefighters carefully climbed a steep drop-off behind the Evans Wal-Mart in the dirt and high humidity to safely bring up an "injured victim" - all in the name of training.
The department recently purchased $6,000 of rope rescue equipment and are training to learn to use it.
"The problem is when a vehicle is down an embankment and we have a patient in the vehicle, we need to get the extrication equipment like the jaws of life down there. It is dangerous to do that. If we drop it, it could crush us, the victim or tumble down and break," Kuhlmann said.
The department performed three rescues down embankments in the past month, he said.
The first month of training for all stations was to get familiar with the rope and anchoring systems. This month they are practicing using the equipment. The next two months will offer more complicated and technical information.
Martinez firefighters and emergency medical technicians rescue a victim from a steep gully during a training exercise. The fire department conducts training drills frequently so they will be prepared for any emergency.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"With everything we do, there is a lot of training involved," Kuhlmann said.
Using their training, firefighters from Engine Cos. 2 and 3 raised the fake victim smoothly after practicing with bundles of rope and other equipment in the basket.
The department already has well-rescue equipment and Kuhlmann expects high rescue equipment and training when the budget allows.
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