Fire department trains on Grandad Bluff - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Fire department trains on Grandad Bluff

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LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—A hiker stranded on Grandad Bluff doesn't happen often, but two months ago it did, and the technical rescue team was called out to help.  Thursday, the La Crosse Fire Department was back on the bluff practicing rope rescues.

"They are very high risk, low frequency calls," Capt. Frank Devine, La Crosse Fire Department said. "When the calls do happen, you really have to have the expertise to do it so its safe for the victim and safe for the rescuers."

Thursday afternoon was just a drill, but they pulled out all of their gear and rigged everything up properly to practice working as a team.

"We horizontally move a rescuer across and then control their lower down to the person, pick them up and then bring them back on the same rope system," Devine said.

Thursday's drill took 45 minutes.

"The goal is next time we train on this or next time we get a call we should be able to do it faster than what we did today because in the end its time that ends up saving lives," Bryon Stein, La Crosse Fire Department said.

The Fire Department asks people to stay on the hiking trails; but, if you find yourself in a dangerous situation don't be afraid to call for help.

The last couple rope rescues ended quickly because the victims had their cell phone with them. 

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