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Local firefighters participating in Rope Course One

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Updated: 2/19/2014 7:01 pm

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Several firefighters with the Tupelo Fire Department are taking a course entitled Rope Rescue One.

The firefighters get to perform a rescue where they repel down, and lift someone out of harms way.

"We use ropes, knots in just about everything we do," said Sgt. Tim Gholson, Tupelo Fire Dept. "This builds our confidence to a level where we can actually be proficient with our ropes and knots."

No matter how many years of experience each firefighter has under their belt, it's courses like Rope Rescue One that teach the basic fundamentals to advanced techniques.

"You're never to little to learn and especially when it comes to rope because somethings you forget and there's also new techniques which somebody has invented which we can learn about," said Gholson.

One of the finer points of Rope Rescue One that firefighters are learning this week is what is called a mechanical advantage. Firefighters have to utilize this skill when performing a rescue on the side of a hill and building, or in a confined space.

"A 200 pound person for example, and you have a four to one mechanical advantage, you only have to exert 50 pounds of pressure to actually move that patient," said Robert Parker, associate instructor for the Mississippi Fire Academy. "If it was a one-to-one you would have to put out 200 pounds."

Rope Rescue One instructors say the firefighters will practice the exercises a few times a year.

"If they're under the gun and they don't have their skill techniques down, then it's going to be disastorous," said Parker. "They need to be able to move these people as quick as they can and get them out of harms way."

The next course is Rope Rescue Two which is taught at the State Fire Academy in Pearl where firefighters take a more advanced course.

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