By Adam K. Thiel
Rope rescues definitely fall into the category of "low-frequency, high-risk" events.
Despite their infrequent occurrence compared to other emergency incident types, this story demonstrates the value of proper training and equipment to address the unique challenges of working suspended in the air, whether above- or below-ground level.
In this era of reduced budgets, not all fire departments can keep up with the specialized training and equipment required to safely provide technical rescue services, including rope rescue.
It's important to keep within your scope of training and expertise; trying to "wing it" can only result in becoming part of the problem, with the potential for injuring firefighters and civilians alike.