Greenville fire department practices specialized response efforts

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - With more construction projects in one city in the east comes the unforeseen dangers associated with them.

If there is a medical emergency, first responders are up against situations they don't have first-hand training on, until now.

High up in the air, towering over the city of Greenville, there are cranes with an operator inside behind the controls.

But what if that operator had an emergency?

First responders had never practiced high angle rescues before, especially on a crane more than a hundred feet in the air.

"We do medical emergencies on a daily basis but you add that 125 foot of elevation to it, coupled with the condition of the weather and a confined space, you start adding that cumulative effect," explains Mervin Taylor, the safety and training captain at Greenville Fire/Rescue.

Friday morning, 15 members of Greenville Fire/Rescue held a training drill at the Proximity Apartment Complex construction site on Charles Boulevard.

"For this one, we simulated a medical emergency of an operator climbing and he had a medical emergency approximately 125 feet off the ground," Taylor says.

"There are things when you look up there, oh that's not that high, but when you're up there and you're only working on a four or five foot platform and there is four of you, plus a victim, then that limited space gets even tighter," says Lt. Steven West with the fire department.

"We were up there within four minutes and 58 minutes on the ground and that's very generous, we took our time," Taylor explains.

"Being this was the first time doing something like this, high angle like that, our crew performed pretty well," West says.

Practicing to save a life, whether on the ground on in the air.

As more construction projects continue in the city, Fire Chief Eric Griffin says they're practicing on rescue operations, which include a trench rescue training for when the town creek culvert project begins.


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An Eastern Carolina fire department is practicing some specialized response efforts Friday morning.

The scene will look very real in Greenville Friday morning, where Greenville fire-rescue personnel will be practicing high-angle rescues using an uptown crane. First responders will work to figure out how to save a crane operator in the event of a medical emergency more than 100-feet off the ground.

The training gets underway at 9 a.m. at the Campus-Edge student housing project property at the corner of 10th Street and Charles Boulevard.