INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis firefighters got some spur-of-the-moment high angle ropes training this weekend after an IMPD drone got stuck on top of a construction crane downtown.
According to a Facebook post from the Indianapolis Fire Department, one IFD crew was called by IMPD Logistics around 10:15 a.m. Saturday asking for help retrieving an errant drone that became stuck on top of a construction crane in the heart of the city.
IFD said that TacTeam 7C utilized the ask by IMPD as an opportunity to conduct some spontaneous training with high angle ropes and crane rescues.
“High Angle Rope Rescue Training is inherently dangerous, highly technical, equipment intensive and requires constant training to maintain a perishable skill,” IFD said. “The reality of our teams responding to an issue involving a crane, are more common than one might think.”
The department said that, under command by Lt. Ben Roberts, SPRAT-certified Lt. Erik Baynard, was the primary rescuer and was backed up by Private Ryan Cundiff.
“The IFD team made contact with the TWG Construction supervisor who generously allowed for us to make the retrieval,” the post read. “The building is the future home of Rise on Meridian apartments and will house 269 units.”
IFD said that once the generator powering the crane was shut off around 11:25 a.m., the two firefighters began their ascent of the crane, which has a Mast sits at 130 feet high with a articulating Jib extending about 160 feet out. The drone, IFD said, was perched about 12 feet from the end of the Jib.
Photos of the subsequent rescue, provided by IFD, can be seen below:
The department provided a narrative timeline of the rescue from there, which can read below.
“While Cundiff staged for backup just below the Jib, Baynard reached the Jib at 11:33 AM. The difficult transition to the top of the Jib was successfully made at 11:45 AM. Baynard notified command that end of the Cranes safety cable had been reached at 11:56 AM and he was going to utilize the fall protection system he brought with him to the top. The first transition on the Jib was reached at 12:06 PM and the drone was recovered at 12:23 PM. The drone was brought to safety at 12:33 PM. The two climbers began the process of returning at 12:38 PM and were both safely on ground at 1:26 PM.”Indianapolis Fire Department
IFD said that the incident was, overall, a good learning experience.
“The bonus for today’s evolution was that no human victims were needing rescue, just a piece of expensive equipment that had a mind of it’s own,” IFD wrote.
The drone, according to the department, sustained slight damage “but nothing that can’t be fixed relatively easily and returned to service.”