The day also provided a chance for WMTRT members to work together with another agency in the region, getting familiar with equipment, procedures, and most importantly, one another. The Westover Fire Department is available to work along side the WMTRT and certainly may be an integral part to a technical rescue incident in Western Massachusetts.
Two different locations within the gigantic structure were set up, each operating two stations for WMTRT and Westover Fire Department personnel to practice setting up rope systems, rappel to a victim (played by another team member), then conduct a “pick off” operation, before finally descending to the ground below. This is a basic skill rescuers would need to perform should a fellow team member get into a situation where they were in need of assistance to get to the ground, perhaps because of an equipment failure or they had sustained an injury.
In addition to the pick-off drill, team members also practiced ascending a rope using different devices and techniques. These skills are also related to self-rescue and essential for tech rescue specialists to master.
WMTRT would like to extend a warm Thank You to the Westover Fire Department for sharing their facility. It was time well spent that will result in more efficient and safer operations should the two agencies being working together on a scene.
Look for more material from the WMTRT training at Westover, including videos, next week.