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First responders training for high-rise rescues

Greenville first responders practice real-life scenarios regularly and Friday was no different, except for how high they were in the air. As Greenville grows and construction projects pop up, it's a situation rescuers may face in the future. (Stephanie Brown, NewsChannel 12 photo)

It's the first training of its kind that Greenville Fire/Rescue has had to do.

It's also the first time many of the first responders had ever been on a crane, as high as 160 feet.

Just another day on the job," said Steven West, Lieutenant with Greenville Fire/Rescue.

Greenville first responders practice real-life scenarios regularly and Friday was no different, except for how high they were in the air. As Greenville grows and construction projects pop up, it's a situation rescuers may face in the future.

"But when you're up there and you're working on a four or five foot platform, and there's four of you plus a victim, then that limited space gets even tighter," West said.

"We know that there are going to be other cranes, other high structures in our city that are coming in the future as we continue to grow, especially in the downtown uptown area," said Eric Griffin, Chief of Greenville Fire/Rescue. "We want to make sure we're prepared."

So they teamed up with Taft Development Group, the team behind the Campus Edge Student Housing project on Charles and 10th Street. Crane operators like the one on this project sit 125 feet in the air for the entire workday, making it difficult to get to them if there is ever an emergency."

"He wanted to know that we were prepared to take care of him, and take care of other people in the community that may choose to make a bad decision and go up on that crane when he's not here," said Mervin Taylor, Captain of Safety and Fire Training for Greenville Fire/Rescue.

Thanks to the training, the department is better prepared.

"We're training on this facility here, there's a chance that that could happen over there, and we have crews that are now more capable of knowing what to use, how to use it, and get somebody down safely," West said.

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