Billings Fire Department Rescues Two Who Fell From Rims Overnight
According to a post of the social media from their official account, the Billings Fire Department responded to a call Wednesday night (5/26) just before midnight, regarding two individuals who fell from the Rims. Multiple engines and crews arrived to assist and firefighters were able to extract the people using a steep angle rope system rescue technique.
Rescues on the 300 - 800 foot tall Rimrocks are fairly common. Pat Landry with the Billings Fire Department confirmed there were 7 rescues in 2020 and 11 in 2019. Those high-angle rescues included both animals and people.
An uptick in calls in 2020 kept the fire department busy.
The Billings Fire Department's 2020 annual report notes a 68% increase in calls in the last decade. In 2020 they responded to 18,284 total calls for service. Those calls included:
- 8,575 EMS/Rescue
- 446 fires
- 9,263 All "other" Service
Staffing was a big issue in 2020, with a shortage of new recruits and a number of retirements leaving the department short. A public safety mill levy passed in 2020 has allocated additional funds for staffing.
Ongoing training ensures firefighters are equipped for safe rescue efforts.
Collectively, Billings firemen and women received over 25,000 hours of training in 2020, down 10% from 2019, due to COVID-19 restrictions. There are 33 firefighters trained with specialized skills to handle high/low angle, water/ice, confined space and trench rescues.
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