On a cool March evening, firefighters from Jefferson Township Fire Company #1 received annual re-certification in the use of fire service harnesses.

Harnesses can be used to drag injured or disabled firefighters to safety and to raise/lower people through holes in a floor. In addition, firefighters use harnesses to rappel from a higher to a lower floor during a rescue or to rapidly exit a building if conditions suddenly deteriorate. The local firefighters were specifically trained on firefighter drags, raising and lowering someone through a hole in the floor, and rappelling from a roof and out a window.

“The highlight for all was rappelling from a three-story parapet roof into a third-floor window, and then climbing out of the window and rappelling to the ground,” said firefighter Mike Fisher. He explained that the drills simulate two situations: a rescue scenario in which the victim is on a lower floor and self-rescue by “bailing out” through a window to safety on the ground below.

“Everyone who attended the training took away valuable points,” he said. “We will continue to train hard to be able to serve our community at the highest level we can.”

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