AZ Fire Departments Hold Annual Rope Rescue Training

April 29, 2024
The Yuma and Tucson fire departments train for rescues of palm tree workers who may suffer emergencies.

The Yuma and Tucson Fire Department recently held their annual rope rescue training that prepares firefighters for rescues when saving palm tree workers.

“Because these are rare events, but they are very critical events when they do happen, it requires a lot of training for very few events. But when that happen, that’s where really the value of this training comes in,” Battalion Chief Alvin Luedtke told News 11 Yuma.

The joint practice focused on different climbing and rope rescuing techniques.

The fire department said palm tree emergencies are a low frequency but high-risk situation that usually occur when tree workers have a medical emergency while on the tree.

“Maybe they have a heart attack or a stroke. Heat exhaustion is really common in Yuma. It’s really hot," said Fire Captain David Padilla Jr. "In that instance, we’ll generally climb up the palm tree and use the same techniques that the worker uses to get into the palm tree."

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