FWFD Rescue Training Event "SORT"

By BROOKE WELCH | bwelch@wfft.com

Published 08/28 2014 01:37PM

Updated 08/28 2014 01:50PM

You may have seen two men dangling off the side of a building as it was all part of the Fort Wayne Fire Department's "Specialty Operations Rescue Team", or SORT training.

WFFT's Brooke Welch was at the Rescue Training Event and explains why the Department needs to be prepared for anything.

The Fort Wayne Fire Department's SORT training team conducted a high angle rescue training mission on the top of the Rousseau building downtown.

"If 30 feet doesn't scare you, then 100 something won't either."

At an estimated 130 feet in the air, the Specialty Operations Rescue Team, constructed a safe way to get someone off a building.  SORT Leader Russ McCurdy says the Fort Wayne Fire Department wants to be prepared for any rescue scenario.

"This is an in your face type of deal.  You could hurt somebody very easily.  We have to make sure everything is perfect and this keeps us sharp."

The SORT team has 30 members that are trained in high and low angle rescue, trench cave in, confined space, structural collapse, and tower rescue.  McCurdy explains more about the process.

"These guys have all trained for a long time, long and hard.  The certification process is about a 5 year process.  Before we've really got a guy that's operationally ready that we can trust him with anything."

Firefighter Kevin Bertram explains what it's like to work at 10 stories.

"We spend a lot of times with the ropes, so you get to know what they do, how they work, what to expect.  So when you practice when you're 10 feet off the ground, so you know what's going to happen when you're even higher.  So at that point, the height doesn't really become a factor."

The training was a success as team member and "victim" landed safely on the ground.

Now McCurdy says that there are a number of ways to get a victim off of a building and that firefighters just want to make sure they can get anyone out of anywhere.

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