Hamilton County Cave and Cliff Rescue Team training to rescue climbers, cavers
Most first responders aren't stabilizing a patient while 60 feet in the air, but the Hamilton County Cave and Cliff Rescue Team is prepared.
"We have to go down and get our Randy who's caught on some rope," said Lt. Brian Krebs during a training scenario.
They routinely face more complex rescues since more people are pushing the limits.
"We're going to do the best we can out in the middle of space," said Krebs.
In this scenario they worked to rescue 160 pounds of dead weight, by using a test dummy named Randy. The dummy helps the team prepare for a real life scenario.
"You have to have the mental stability to go this is bad, we have to fix this and how we're going to do it and you have to do it in seconds," said Krebs.
The Cave and Cliff Rescue Team is made up over over 45 volunteers, including dozens of EMT's, two trauma doctors, two flight nurses, and three paramedics, which is something that makes this rescue team unique.
"Because of our medical oversight and the level of the people we have on the team we have the ability to bring more medical care than most systems," said Krebs.
They all train at least once a month with a combination of ropes and complex equipment to keep their Mountain Rescue Accreditation. They typically get around dozen calls a year, and since they're called so infrequently that's why they're a volunteer organization, and all their equipment is purchased through donations.
Lt. Brian Krebs has been with the rescue team for over 20 years.
"We believe in train like you fight," said Krebs. "So we use live loads and we use techniques that we wouldn't normally have to use."
Veteran team member Tim White explained how one of splints works that they were using during training.
"So the red vacuum splint is a full cervical immobilization device," said White. "So if you were injured with a back injury or a leg injury we just immobilized you."
Krebs said they're working with people that sometimes have life altering injuries so they have to work as quick as they can.
"Asses the patient, package the patient up," said Krebs. "If they were realistically at the base of a 100 ft once we were on scene that rescue shouldn't take over an hour an hour and a half and that's putting them in the ambulance."
It's a complex job that requires skill, training, and practice.
"If we weren't out here doing it there really wouldn't be too many other people that could," said Krebs.
If you would like to donate to the Hamilton County Cave and Cliff Rescue Team click here.