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Subject:   City Light, Shoreline Fire Collaborate on Tree Rescue Training
For Immediate Release:   
6/3/2008  2:54:00 PM
For More Information Contact:
Scott Thomsen  (206) 386-4233


Utility Shares Its Rescue Expertise Regarding Tall Trees Ladders Cannot Reach

SEATTLE - Seattle City Light and the Shoreline Fire Department are working together this week to improve emergency response for people who get trapped in tall trees.

Utility crews and firefighters are participating in joint training exercises designed to simulate rescues in trees beyond the reach of the fire department's 40-foot ladders. Utility lineworkers are required by the state and federal government to maintain tree rescue certifications. During the exercises they are sharing their knowledge with the firefighters.

Should the need for a tree rescue arise in the future, City Light will be available to assist the fire department.

"This training gives Seattle City Light and the Shoreline Fire Department an opportunity to get to know each other better and work together more effectively," Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. "That will improve our joint ability to respond not only to tree rescues but other emergency situations such as a wind storm or an earthquake. And when we work together, the community wins."

Capt. John Palmer of the Shoreline Fire Department agreed.

"Anytime we can train with other agencies and improve how we operate we see as a benefit for our department and the people we serve," Palmer said. "This is a great opportunity to work with Seattle City Light and we're excited about it."

The training was organized after the Shoreline Fire Department contacted Seattle City Light about a rescue last year in which a man broke his leg while working in a tall Douglas fir. The fire department could not get its equipment near the tree and 40-foot ladders could not reach the victim. Firefighters climbed on limbs to reach the victim and get him down.

Because some tall trees are trimmed where they do not have limbs at lower levels, the fire department sought out the utility's expertise in reaching tall spaces that ladders won't.

Reporters are invited to attend a training session Thursday June 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The exercise will be conducted in an electricity transmission line right of way in Shoreline on 192nd Street, one block east of Aurora Avenue.



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