Surprise training prepares the La Crosse Fire Department

Training simulation to rescue hiker from bluffs

La Crosse firefighters tested their technical rescue skills Wednesday.

The simulation had a person illegally rappelling down from Grandad Bluff. The rescue team had to find the person and their gear then get the person to safety.

It’s something the fire department has to do more often than they like.

Last year they had several rescues, including two while they were training on the bluffs. For those reasons the department says they need to be ready for anything. And that’s why the rescue team didn’t even know when the simulated call was coming.

“We want to see how they’re going to react the same way they would if this was an emergency situation, because it doesn’t do us any good to give them all the terms of the game and just to have everybody kind of walk through the event,” said La Crosse Fire Department Division Chief Jeff Murphy.

It was a busy training day for the fire department. They also took part in a Hazmat scenario.