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"I'd Be Lying If I Said There Wasn't A Few Nerves..."

An 11-story building sounds fairly tall, right? It feels even taller when you're on top of one looking down.

Missoula firefighters spent a few hours using the University of Montana's 11-story Aber Hall dormitory this week for their monthly training exercise.
MFD Captain Chad Kidd says the crew used the estimated 110-foot dorm to practice  "High Angle Rescue Techniques":

"The ropes is a foundation for the rest of our training scenarios Whether it's a confined space, trench, etc - rope is an integral part of that. Today's skills are basically rigging, coming down, doing a pick off, getting somebody to the ground; maybe not in that order, but all those elements are there and that relays into our disciplines as far as our rescue training."

Firefighter Nate Auge (pronounced oh-ZHAY) was the first to be lowered off the roof for the descent to the sidewalk. Once there, he was to pick-up another firefighter, take her halfway up the building, then bring her back down to the sidewalk. Auge had never stepped off such a tall building.

"Luckily we haven't had to do this on a scenario and I haven't had to do it for a training scenario either. This is a first time for me. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a few nerves going off the top, but it's the best way to get comfortable with it."


Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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