West Metro Fire Dept. based in Lakewood, Colorado responds to a number of rope-related callouts on an annual basis. Their area of response is where Denver recreates. As such, there are an inevitable number of incidents and accidents that occur in semi-backcountry settings around the western aspects of the greater Denver metro area.
Rigging for Rescue has been working with West Metro Fire as well as numerous other Front Range fire departments for nearly 20 years now. In that time, we have had the opportunity to fine tune techniques and approaches in helping them solve their rope rescue challenges. One example is the use of 11mm rope versus traditional 12.5mm. Around ten years ago now, West Metro Fire largely led the effort within the state of Colorado to trend towards adoption of 11mm host rope for rope rescue response in the fire service.
Our training event this past week included firefighters from four different Colorado agencies: West Metro Fire, South Metro Fire, Rocky Mountain Fire, and Vail Fire. We utilized a variety of techniques ranging from pickoffs to litter evolutions, as well as a Guiding Line aerial suspension system. Thank you to all of the participants and agencies for investing their time and resources into their ongoing rope rescue education and skills.