Bakersfield Fire trains on Stockdale Tower

Posted at 11:19 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 02:19:11-05

A drill guaranteed to produce an adrenaline rush as Bakersfield firefighters dangled off a 12-story building -  trying to harness a mannequin to safety.

"Oh, it was fun. I mean, it was exciting, I learned a lot. It was a great view of Bakersfield. It was good, it was a very good drill," said John Nash, engineer with the Bakersfield Fire Department.

Firefighters held  drills off the Stockdale tower on California Avenue - simulating the rescue of a window washer.

"Just from day one, when you start off in the academy, you're learning about ropes and knots and rescues and different harnesses and you know, conditions of patients and victims," said Nash,"So, it's an ongoing training process pretty much your whole career."

Anthony Galagaza, fire battalion chief said when crews are put to the test - it can be challenging, "it's valuable training. We train all year long in ropes systems and technical rescue and to be able to do this, is just an advantage to us."

He said this drill is critical for firefighters because they hone their rescue skills. Even though these type of incidents aren't common in the area, they still provide a valuable lesson.

"It's something we have to be ready for because most of our rescues, as the media has seen, is off the panorama bluffs," said Galagaza, "That's generally our high and low rescues that we do off of there. This is just another avenue. Another type of rescue. "

As for the firefighters doing the drill, they said hanging from a rope while wrapping a harness on a victim can be a little tricky - but it's all part of the job.

"Our department has a long history of wanting to serve the public and do a good job and that's why we practice these things," said Nash.

It was raining when the drills were going on but BFD said, as firefighters they can't let weather conditions deter them from doing their job - and adapting to a changing environment is part of the training process.


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