Tactical rescue team does extreme rope training at Giant City State Park

Tactical rescue team does extreme rope training at Giant City State Park
First responders scaled up and down the rock formation

UNION COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - The wind picked up on top of a 90-foot-bluff at Giant City State Park Thursday as first responders from Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Dexter, and Sikeston, Missouri scaled up and down the rock formation.

The crew makes up Southeast Missouri's Homeland Security Response Team who were taking their emergency response skills to new heights with the high angle rescue class.

Battalion Chief Brad Dillow said they used the spot in 2005, and because an updated certification is available the came back to put their outdoor search and rescue skills to the test.

"It gives everybody more of a level of confidence, If I can conquer this, I can definitely conquer something smaller," Chief Dillow said. "We're going to have rocky areas that are 30, 40 feet that if somebody who might have fell, but we have to repel or lower down to them, package that patient and bring them out of that area, and transverse the wooded area."

JoJo Stuart with Cape Fire Department has 25-years of experience as a firefighter but has only been on the tactical rescue team for six months.

Stuart said the training was gave him a lot of experience and he feels prepared for a real rescue situation now that he has some hands on experience.

"A lot of these guys have been on this team for numerous years," Stuart said. "For me and probably four, five other guys that are fairly new at this, so I definitely feel a lot more confident in my ability to help someone in need."

This is the seventh week of the extreme ropes training, which was sponsored by the Missouri division of Fire Safety.

The HSR team will be at a power plant in Sikeston next week where they will be doing confined space rescue training.

"We are going to be down in some tunnels so tight areas," Dillow said. "And we will be doing rope work, so some of the skills we learned here we will be applying during that confined space training as well."

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.