By Ron VandenBoom
Havre Fire Department personnel conducted live demonstrations of some of the equipment and techniques used to help save lives last week as part of National Fire Prevention Week.
Firefighters demonstrated rope rescue techniques on Friday using a 175 pound practice dummy named Randy that they lowered from the Fire Department snorkel truck to the roof of the department garage and to the ground.
Engineer Todd Solomon was in charge of the demonstration that gave visitors a brief glimpse into the world of rescue fire fighting.
"This would be used in like building construction where someone might get hurt on the roof," he said. "Or like a rescue on a steep embankment."
Solomon said that so far the Department has never had to use the techniques they were practicing on Friday, but they had come close on at least one occasion and they could never be sure when use of the equipment might be needed.
The dummy was placed in a metal basket that is attached on four ends by special rope that does not allow for flexibility. The basket was then hoisted to the top of the snorkel and lowered by a combination of snorkel maneuvers and men on the ground controlling the ropes.
The Department no longer has a certified instructor in rope rescue, but Solomon said he has attended a workshop and now serves to pass on what he knows to his fellow firemen.
Fireman Joe Lamphier also demonstrated the technique of repelling from the top of the snorkel Friday.
Solomon said the repelling technique used by the firemen requires they get above the victim and lower themselves down. The technique is known as a high angle rescue.