BENTON - From swift water to high angle technical rope rescue training, members of the Marshall County Rescue Squad continue to advance and expand their capabilities to ensure preparedness in any emergency situation.
It was April of last year when members of the squad were called to the spillway at Kentucky Dam where an overturned boat had thrown three fishermen into the churning waters. Two perished in the tumultuous waters, while one clung to life on the spillway, hoping for rescue.
But getting to the victim required an approximate 85-foot repel from the top of the dam, a feat emergency responders are required to be certified in before utilizing in a rescue situation.
A member of the Livingston County Rescue Squad, certified in high angle rope rescue, repelled down and secured the victim, while members of the Marshall County Squad used their 24-foot vessel to complete the rescue mission.
At the time, squad Chief Curt Curtner said it was his mission to ensure members of his squad earned certification in swift water and high angle rope rescue, as well.
This past weekend, he accomplished that goal as five members, including Tim Brinkley, Cory Curtner, Michael Ruch, Kenny Pratt and the chief himself, completed the Kentucky Emergency Management’s five-day, 40-hour course in technical rope rescue.
Training included preparedness in flat, low, steep and high angle rescue operations. The exercises tested the limits of those who attended, including those not so fond of heights such as squad member Michael Ruch, who despite his fears, volunteered to repel off the cliff first.
Squad members completed swift water rescue certification last September, as well, following several moderate to high-risk rescues particularly during spring flooding.
“I believe this training really shows our member’s commitment to this community and surrounding areas, so that when called, we can respond when effectively,” Curtner said.
“We hope to be recognized as a dedicated and well-trained team committed to the community, proudly representing Marshall County.”