Topeka Fire recruits take training to new heights

By Natalie Otto
WIBW – March 22, 2017




Recruits for the Topeka Fire Department took their training to new heights Monday.


"Basically what we're simulating is removing a victim or a patient from a rooftop, where we may not be able to access it from an aerial ladder," said Lt. Brian Box.


The firefighters in training took turns saving, and then being saved. Once the ropes are set, it's all about team work and trust.


"You've got to really trust the guys that are rescuing you because once you're in the basket, you're pretty much helpless," said Topeka Fire Recruit Matt Conner.


"This is real, gravity doesn't go away, so training hands on like this it's the same physics that go into play if we were doing this for real," said Box.


First you save the victim, then you save yourself.


"It's pretty nerve racking after you go two or three steps over the ledge you really know that the rope's got your weight," said Conner.


"There is a level of risk but everything has redundancy built in. Every single rope has a separate rope that's fully able to assume the load if something happened to the other member," said Box.


Recruits spent the entire day practicing the rescue technique which is new to TFD.


"We find the bugs and eliminate a lot of that risk and different bugs that can show up in the system, that way if there's a real life rescue that needs to be performed hopefully everything goes smooth like we're doing training," said Box.


Because the scenario may not be real today, but possibility of it happening always is.