MCMINNVILLE, Ore. (KOIN) — The McMinnville Fire Department announced Friday it is partnering with Cascade Steel Rolling Mills to launch a county-wide rope rescue team.
Cascade Steel created it’s on-site rescue team in 2010. Select McMinnville firefighters have been training alongside the Cascade team for several years.
Prior to the creation of the team, it took Cascade Steel four hours to rescue an operator from a crane in 2010. Now, it would take the team about 20 minutes.
The partnership with the McMinnville Fire Department will allow the team to provide rescue efforts across Yamhill County.
The city of McMinnville has covered equipment expenses for the fire department, while Cascade Steel has paid for their own equipment, as well as the certification training of the entire team. The partnership saves money for McMinnville residents.
“Running any kind of special operations team is very expensive, so that’s what’s very unique about this situation,” said McMinnville Fire Battalion Chief Luke Loomis.
Chief Loomis says the partnership couldn’t come soon enough. There have been three separate incidents which could have used the rope rescue equipment in the past year alone.