Firefighters practice rescue techniques

PO‘IPU — Past Spouting Horn, Engine 4 out of Koloa Fire Station was precariously parked on the side of Lawa‘i Road.

Firefighters yesterday were practicing a rescue technique in case of an emergency.

In an accident where a vehicle crashes in an isolated area, such as the bottom of a ravine, rescue personnel need a way to pull the victim out.

The Koloa firefighters lowered a Stokes litter basket, which is essentially a stretcher with sides, down to the bottom of a rocky South Shore cliff for the training exercise.

“In the case of car crashes, this would be the only way to get the person back up to safety,” said Solomon Konoho, of Rescue 3.

Edson Martin, captain of Engine 4, ran the drill and firefighters Tracy Cummings, K.J. Ishikawa and Ryan Washburn, all of Engine 4, participated in the exercise.

Konoho and other rescue personnel from Rescue 3 observed the drill.

“Each company has monthly drills that they are required to complete,” Konoho said. “We’re just here to watch.”

While Washburn was at the bottom of the cliff, Cummings and Ishikawa manned the rope that was belayed to the fire truck.

Edson then helped Washburn figure out the best way to get the basket up to safety.

Washburn suggested going straight up the rock wall.

In order to do that, Edson said rope protection was needed so the rope used to bring up the basket would not be cut on the sharp rocks, damaging the rope and possibly putting it out of commission.

Once rope guards were put in place, Cummings and Ishikawa pulled the basket up while Washburn and Edson guided it from the back.

When the basket had almost reached the top, firefighters gathered to carry it up the rest of the way.

Konoho said this kind of practice was good for Engine 4.

“If something bad were to happen and we had other calls, they would be the first responders,” Konoho said. “They could get started on the rescue and we could help once we got there.”

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