Learning the Ropes


Staff Writer

Twelve members of the Pagosa Fire Protection District quite literally spent last weekend learning the ropes.

The PFPD personnel — four paid staffers and eight volunteers — participated in a four-day Rigging for Rescue course, certifying them to conduct rope rescues in a variety of situations.

Rigging for Rescue is based out of Ouray, Colo. and offers technical ropework seminars involving a variety of conditions for rope rescues, from industrial to mountain. Instructor Leo Lloyd conducted the training in Pagosa Springs.

The seminar included classroom instruction every morning, with on-site practice each afternoon, said PFPD Assistant Chief Brian Leewitt.

Thursday’s topic was low-angle rescues, which would be applied to scenarios such as that of a car going over an embankment, with personnel getting the occupants safely out of the vehicle and up the embankment to a waiting ambulance, Leewitt explained.

The afternoon’s exercise was conducted along U.S. 160 near Wolf Creek Pass.

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