April 7, 2021

YCFD Regional Crew Tackles Complex Rescue

Yellowhead County Fire Department (YCFD) members train tirelessly to be prepared for any emergency in the county. When protecting over 22,000 square kilometres of varied and distant terrain, you never know what to expect—but you best be prepared for anything when you get the call.

On March 27, 10 YCFD fire fighters put their training to the test when they were called in to respond to two people who had fallen down the Pembina River’s bank. Initial crews arrived within minutes, and support crews from throughout the county were immediately en route.

The crews found themselves setting up at midnight in cold, dark, and slippery conditions. Before them was a 30-foot cliff that would have to be carefully navigated. At the bottom of the cliff were the two people who had been stranded for over 24 hours.

Responding to structure fires is just one facet of YCFD’s work. Rope rescue is a very real part of the job and a necessary skill to practice for our fire fighters. Luckily, our members throughout the region are thoroughly trained—they quickly assessed the situation and began a setup for a technical rope team rescue.

With the support of their crew, two rescuers rappelled down the sheer cliff and reached the stranded individuals. After a thorough assessment of their condition, rescuers then transferred them to a Stokes Basket—a type of splint stretcher meant to minimize trauma to injured persons.

The team at the top of the cliff began to haul the rescuers with the basketed individuals in tow. Thanks to the diligence and training of our members, the operation went smoothly, and the two people were soon turned over to EMS.

“Our members dedicate themselves to a profession that requires countless hours of training so that they can be the answer for an occasion such as this,” commented YCFD Fire Chief Albert Bahri. “This is a perfect example of how our fire fighters will respond to any situation when the public calls on them.”

Find out how you can train with the county’s finest and serve your community proudly here.