Kings Dominion host Central Virginia Technical Rescue Training

Imagine you are a maintenance worker at Kings Dominion, and you  have been tasked with doing routine track maintenance 80 feet in the air in Flight of Fear. You harness up, get into the basket and start your ascend. You are almost to the top when all of a sudden the power goes out. What would you do? Well if you’re Kings Dominion, you call in the Central Virginia Technical Rescue Team. On Saturday, November 9th, 2012 Kings Dominion partnered with the Technical Rescue Teams from Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover fire departments to hone their skills and prepare for an emergency like this if needed. This event has taken place at the park for the last 18 years.

Maintenance worker stuck in the basket after a simulated power outage.

The day started off at Flight of Fear where we met LT. Matt Newell from the Hanover fire department. Lt. Newell explained to us what the technical rescue team is and what they do. The team is made up of technicians and master riggers from the different departments. They meet quarterly to do different training events like this. LT. Newell explained that it takes 2-3 years to obtain the title of technician and another 2-3 years for master rigger. In order to rescue the worker, the riggers ran a line from the top of the track to the ground. After that line was secured, another line was sent up with a pulley. A technician was then hoisted up to the basket, attached the line to the worker, and was then lowered safely to the ground.

After observing the team rescue the worker out of the basket, we headed over to Grizzly where another team was responding to another simulated emergency. In this scenario, a victim has fallen down a simulated elevator shaft. The team was given only a minimal amount of space they were allowed to work in and could not use the bottom portion of the track. In order to accomplish this, the team had to run a rope from one side of the turnaround to the other side. The team sent a member directly over the victim and then lowered them down. After the victim was secured to prevent any more injuries, both the victim and the rescuer were lifted to the top of the track and then pulled to safety.

About to repel down a simulated elevator shaft to a victim waiting at the bottom.

I personally think this evolution was a great experience. I had no idea how much time and planning it took to perform task to this extent. It was a true display of trust, teamwork, and a sense of brotherhood that is rivaled by close to none. I would feel 100 percent safe in the capable hands of the men and women of the Central Virginia Technical Rescue Team

I would like to thank Gene and Shanta from King Dominion for providing the opportunity to observe this event. Also I would like to thank Lt. Matt Newell , Lt. Stacey Harris from the Richmond fire department and the CVTRT for taking time to explain some of the techniques and equipment they were using.

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