NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Rappelling down a cliff is all in a day’s work for some North Little Rock firefighters who were doing ropes training at Emerald Park Wednesday.
This type of rescue tactic is something special ops crews prepare for in case of an emergency.
NLRFD Battalion Chief Phil Pounders says it happened earlier this year when they had a victim who fell from the cliff almost to the bottom.
“In this case it was a little cooler and it was dark,” says Chief Pounders. “The only way we found the individual was because the [he] was able to call us on his cell phone.”
Chief Pounders describes these types of calls as low frequency but high risk, which makes it necessary to practice often.
NLR firefighter Trent Harlan is part of the special ops team that does the ropes training.
“After training on it so much you just kind of go into robot mode honestly,” says Harlan. “You just kind of react to everything as it comes to you.”
Harlan hasn’t had to use the training in a real world rescue yet, but says if he ever does, he’ll be ready.
“They just teach you to trust your equipment and trust your team,” says Harlan.
“Our policy is that they will have a safety officer check them for each point on that harness to be sure it’s attached correctly,” says Chief Pounders. “[To make sure] everything fits, [and] the rope is actually attached to them before they step off.”