Orange County rescue team holds successful drill

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:46

Goshen — The Rope Rescue Division of Orange County’s Technical Rescue Team held a successful exercise recently, simulating the safe removal of a “victim” from multiple points on and below the Hamilton Fish Newburgh-Beacon Bridge over the Hudson River, according to Orange County Commissioner of Emergency Services Walter C. Koury. The drill completed the first phase of the team’s certification by the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control. “By forming the Rope Rescue Division, those who are currently trained in this expertise may now have access to the specialized equipment that individual fire departments may not be able to afford, and yet necessary for a successful rescue” said Koury. “It also eliminates the duplication of emergency efforts, forming a unit that trains together and responds together, county-wide.” The Technical Rescue Team handles technical calls concerning building collapses, trench rescues and confined space rescues. This team comes under the Office of the Fire Coordinator John Horan and the Team Leader is Deputy Fire Coordinator of Special Operations Leslie J. Greenwood. “When fire ladders can’t reach victims in an emergency,” Horan said, “the technical team is mobilized and comes to the rescue, extracting victims from particularly unusual locations.” In 2010, while the Orange County Legislature approved the formation of the Orange County Technical Rescue Team, the state awarded the Orange County Fire Services a $150,000 grant to help support this regional effort. The City of Newburgh and West Point Fire Departments are now conducting training to create the Rope Rescue Division, within the county’s Technical Rescue Team. Shortly, Port Jervis and Sparrowbush Fire Departments will join them and comprise the other half of this division.