Thomasville firefighters spend hours training on cell towers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thomasville firefighters spend hours training on cell towers

Firefighters in Thomasville went through a unique type of training this week.(Source:WALB) Firefighters in Thomasville went through a unique type of training this week.(Source:WALB)
"You get up there it is kinda scary but if you're not scared then you're a danger to yourself," said Mark Sealy, Asst. Chief Paramedic. (Source:WALB) "You get up there it is kinda scary but if you're not scared then you're a danger to yourself," said Mark Sealy, Asst. Chief Paramedic. (Source:WALB)
"Low frequency, high risk. You say those things that are high risk is the things that you probably ought to practice the most and hope you never have to use it," explained Rhodes. (Source:WALB) "Low frequency, high risk. You say those things that are high risk is the things that you probably ought to practice the most and hope you never have to use it," explained Rhodes. (Source:WALB)
The crew said that these skills won't just be used to help base jumpers or trespassers, but it can also help utility crews who are installing or working on cell towers. (Source:WALB) The crew said that these skills won't just be used to help base jumpers or trespassers, but it can also help utility crews who are installing or working on cell towers. (Source:WALB)
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

Firefighters in Thomasville went through a unique type of training this week.

Crews were trained to climb cell towers.

They said that after frequent tower installations and a recent base jumper death, it's a skill that is much needed.

Firefighters in Thomasville have been climbing towers thousands of feet in the air all week long.

"You get up there it is kinda scary but if you're not scared then you're a danger to yourself," said Mark Sealy, Asst. Chief Paramedic.

Sealy said that climbing these extremely tall towers can be nerve wracking, but it's a skill they have to learn as first responders.

"You have to be looking at it as you have to be a little nervous or scared to keep yourself safe," explained Sealy.

Many people might wonder why it is so important, of if there is really a need for it.

"There are a lot of towers being erected around here, radio towers, cell towers, that sort of thing. Ultimately who are you going to call if you're in trouble? Your local fire department," said Pat Rhodes, Instructor.

In April there was an accident in Thomas County.

Brandon Jackson, 37, a retired Army Master Sergeant, died after jumping from a 2,000 foot tall TV tower outside Metcalfe. 

"Low frequency, high risk. You say those things that are high risk is the things that you probably ought to practice the most and hope you never have to use it," explained Rhodes.

And that's just what they were doing. 

"Prepare, train, repeat," said Sealy.

The crew said that these skills won't just be used to help base jumpers or trespassers, but it can also help utility crews who are installing or working on cell towers.

"A lot of companies to be honest about it do some pretty extensive training and can rescue their own people but often they have people that are some what novice at being on these structures and they can and do get in trouble," explained Rhodes.

With Friday being the last day of training, the crew said that they have probably spent close to 70 hours this week practicing the new skill, but it's not one you learn overnight, so they will continue to practice year round. 

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