Firefighters practice rope work skills at Castlewood State Park

BALLWIN, MO – It is not for the faint of heart.  But there are a lot of knots involved.

“About as steep as you can get,” says Mike Shafferkoetter, Instructor.  "It`s a 90-degree drop as you get to the edge of the cliff so you`re going straight down.”

You had to climb to the top of Lone Wolf Trail to get to this rope work exercise for first responders from around the region.

Wednesday, they went to the edges of Castlewood Park and over the top.

“One of the stations is just getting people down to people stuck down a cliff and then we`re actually putting them in a basket and locking them in and taking them back up the hill,” says Shafferkoetter.

“It`s a state certification that allows us to have the capabilities to respond to rescues such as this at Castlewood state park,” says Tim Geiss, Captain West County EMS & Fire.  “Or it`s applicable for rescuing tree trimmers or tower workers or window washers. This is the base education that`s necessary.”

Members of the Rock Community Fire Protection District, West County, St. Charles County, Lemay and more maintained their composure and the proper amount rope as some went over and down and up the steep terrain.

“Learning how to do any kind of high angle rescue basically starting out going from zero to hero in a week`s times frame,” says Shafferkoetter.

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