Ottawa Fire practice high level rope rescues

Ottawa Fire crews were repelling down from a crane on Bank Street Saturday- but this time it was a drill.

The firemen come from two different stations in the city- one in the Glebe and the other in Bells Corners. They specialize in high level rope rescues. They hold practice scenario sessions often in order to be prepared for when the call comes.

“We do have construction related accidents periodically in Ottawa,” says Capt. Steve Ouellette with the Ottawa Fire Service. “There is a lot of construction going on in the city, a lot of high buildings going up. With this much equipment and this much construction workers it is inevitable that someone gets injured. “

The training session was held at a construction site at the corner of Bank Street and Fifth Avenue. The site and crane crews used is owned and operated by Bellai Brothers Construction Ltd.

Saturday’s session had about 14 officers run through various scenarios. The crew’s equipment includes high-tech ropes, carabiners, harnesses, fall restraint devices.

Crews not only practice rescuing someone from a high height, but they run through a scenario where that person may need medical attention during the rescue because they are in medical destress.

Ouellette says, “Broken bones or broken legs. Others could be life-threatening like a heart attack...or other medical distresses.”

The officers practice most of the day and will continue to have training sessions throughout the year.