Training for high angle rescues

Members of the Kelowna Fire Department's technical rescue team found themselves in the hills above Kettle Valley Wednesday for a bit of training.

"We are doing some wilderness high angle rescue training," says shift C team leader, Scott Cronquist.

"There are cliffs near here that we are using to train to bring anybody that may be injured or can't get up or down a cliff. We are practicing to bring them back up the hill."

Cronquist and his six member team practice about seven times a year for high angle wilderness rescues, high angle industrial rescues including tower, crane or window washer rescue, confined space rescues and swift water rescues.

The team will perform rescues when needed anywhere within the Central Okanagan Regional District.

He says the Kettle Valley location is an ideal training spot.

"There is a lot of climbing that goes on around us. It's an easy area for us to come and train. It's typical of what we might see in the Okanagan."

The Myra Canyon Trestles is another popular training spot.

Brushing up on skills and different techniques does come in handy in the off chance a rescue is required.

And, if you are going out into the wilderness.

"Make sure you are always being safe and make sure people know where you are in case something happens.If something does happen, don't be afraid to call 911."

And, because accidents do happen, Cronquist says to make sure you have a fully charged cell phone, carry extra food and water.

Wayne Moore


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