Port Alberni Fire Department members wrap up a rope rescue on a steep cliff above Harbour Road on Wednesday, Aug. 15. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Man rescued from cliff on Harbour Road in Port Alberni

Fire department uses new equipment in rope rescue

Port Alberni Fire Department had to deploy its rope rescue team after a man became trapped on a steep cliff over Harbour Road, Wednesday night (Aug. 15).

Firefighters were called out shortly after 6 p.m. about a man trapped on a rocky ledge on the cliff between Kingsway Avenue and Harbour Road, acting fire chief Wes Patterson said.

“He wasn’t able to go up or down from the point where he was. It was a steep, dry and slippery slope.”

A firefighter was lowered down to the man, he was harnessed and both were lifted back up to the top of the cliff. The man was examined by B.C. Ambulance paramedics and released.

The rescue went quickly, Patterson said, thanks to some new training and equipment. “We had completed some training so we placed into service some equipment that helped speed the process up,” he explained.

“Usually when we do rope rescue we’ll lower down on a one-rope system.” Firefighters would then set up a second single-rope system to bring someone back up.

“With the new system we have…it’s a lot quicker response.”


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