La Crosse firefighters face extra challenges when making bluff rescues in snow and ice

A team of 14 rescued a woman injured on the bluff Sunday

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) Winter weather makes the job of the La Crosse fire department even more challenging. The cold can be brutal, but the ice and snow can be even more dangerous for firefighters on La Crosse’s technical rescue team. 

Over the weekend, 14 team members rescued a woman from the side of an ice and snow covered bluff. The hike up the bluff was difficult; getting the woman down was equally challenging.  Firefighters used a special piece of equipment called a slop evac; basically it’s a stretcher on one large wheel. It helps firefighters to move quickly and safely. “It allows us to have control the whole time down the hill. Even if it’s slippery, our personnel won’t slip as much, and we have control of the patient so they don’t tip or fall.”, explains Division Chief Todd Adams.

La Crosse firefighters use this piece of equipment 3-5 times a year. They train for bluff rescues year-round to prepare for all types of rescues and weather conditions.