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Emergency Responders Take Rescue To New Heights

Emergencies like this one have only happened twice during the past seven years in Sweetwater, but that hasn't undermined the yearly training offered to students and professionals.
It's as close to reality as it gets.

At least when it comes to emergency training.

"This is good training there are reasons that we do training," said Grant Madden, Sweetwater Fire Chief, "this is going to happen eventually."

In this case Griselda Sanchez is trapped more than thirty feet in the air on top of a wind turbine.

"When I'm that high I'm thinking I want to let go but I don't want to let go," said Sanchez.

Her objective, making sure shes in the right position to get down safely and learning how to depend on others to get her the help she needs.

Emergencies like this one have only happened twice during the past seven years in Sweetwater, but that hasn't undermined the yearly training offered to students and professionals.

"It's probably going to happen more often due to the age of the turbines that are requiring more maintenance," said Madden.

And if it does happen, it will be under much higher circumstances.

An actual wind turbine is 10 times taller than the one students and professionals at the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) practice on.

"They're going to be out there in a remote environment and they may not be able to rely on police or the fire department to get there on a timely basis," said Keith Plantier, program chair at TSTC for the Energy Systems program.

That's why demonstrations like this are key to ensuring wind farm technicians can defend themselves while hundreds of feet above the ground.
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