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New Waverly Fire Department conducts rope rescue training

Last Updated on June 27, 2021 by New Waverly Fire Department

Tiffiny Sears rescues a simulated victim.

ABOVE: Bill Strahlem, Lead Instructor, reviews the operation with course participants

Friday was an unarguably wet and windy day. Fortunately, between the morning rain showers and multiple funnel cloud sightings later in the evening, New Waverly Fire Department personnel were able to get in some rope rescue training.

The training, known as “pick offs,” simulated rescuing a belayer from an elevated position. In this case, simulated victims were hanging from a rope below the East County Road 150 South Bridge over Pipe Creek. Responders had to build a rope system, then send a rescuer down on a separate rope line to rescue the simulated victims. Nine personnel completed the exercise.

Rocky Buffum, Chief of the New Waverly Fire Department, explained this was a sort of final practical for New Waverly Fire Department’s latest Rope Rescue Operations Certification Course. “This is a final test combining over a month of training into one scenario.” Buffum further explained the next step is the written exam for certification by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

Buffum applauded the students for their efforts. “This is a lot of extra evenings away from family and other commitments. We are fortunate to have the dedication to serve the community and the passion to add new service lines to our department.”

Buffum highlighted the emergencies don’t stop because of training days. “While we were on site personnel had to leave to respond to a medical run, and after the training was over multiple personnel supported emergency management agency efforts as storm spotters, then there was another medical run later in the evening.”

Buffum thanked the many other agencies, personnel and organizations that made the training possible. The Cass County Highway Department and Cass County Commissioners approved the temporary road closure, the highway department provided barricades, and a number of current and past NWFD volunteers also contributed over the course of the program. “It’s great that we have personnel who started at NWFD, have gone on to large full time departments in and out of state that want to come back and be part of what we are building.”

New Waverly Fire Department is a non-profit organization funded by the Miami Township, Cass County Government. They are able to accept donations to further support training and equipment purchases.

A Firefighter is lowered to assist a simulated victim over Pipe Creek