Firefighters train to rappel to victims

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Rescuers from the St. Louis Fire Department showed FOX 2’s Kim Hudson how they train to rappel from rooftops or bridges to reach a victim. She joined the firefighters at the department’s Training Center in North St. Louis.

In the St. Louis Fire Academy, instructors teach cadets how to rescue victims trapped in burning and collapsed buildings and wrecked cars.

Most of these emergencies allow rescuers to stand on the ground or a ladder. But, what if that approach will not work because the victim is over water or in a building too tall for ladders to reach?

That is when firefighters seem to come in from the sky.

They train in the academy, and throughout their careers, on rappelling procedures. The rescuers use safety belts, ropes and a team of fellow firefighters to help a first responder slowly descend down the side of a structure and reach people in need of help.

To learn more about the St. Louis Fire Academy, visit http://stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/public-safety/fire/fire-academy.cfm.

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