Fire Rescue Training at the Isla Vista Bluffs

By Robert Bernstein

Once again, my music practice at the Isla Vista Bluffs connected me with an interesting experience. Santa Barbara County Fire was doing routine rescue training at the Isla Vista Bluffs.

Here you can see all of my videos and photos.

Some firefighters assembled above on the Bluffs while others were on the beach with a dummy representing a victim who has fallen and is injured. Unfortunately, this is a scene that happens for real all too often. Such rescues are also needed if a surfer or swimmer is injured.

Here was the scene on the beach:

Here you can see the full view above and below. You can see they used a concrete bench to anchor their cables.

Here they are preparing the cables and rescue basket to be lowered.

Here is my video of them preparing the basket to be lowered.

Here is my video of them lowering the basket and placing the dummy in the basket.

Here a firefighter climbs up the cliff face.

And here is my video of them raising the basket up the cliff face with the dummy in it. Notice that they deliberately picked an especially challenging location with an overhang that had to be negotiated.

This was the most interesting part of the rescue for me. The dummy weighs over 150 pounds. The firefighters up above are doing the heavy lifting. But notice how the firefighter with the dummy has to cradle it in his lap and use his legs to push out from the cliff face.

Here the firefighters were packing up the equipment after their rescue exercise.

When I finished documenting the training I was approached by firefighter Michael Young who asked if I could share my photos and videos with them. He said they do this training every month or two but they almost never have any photos or videos to help with their training.

They are based on campus at UCSB and do the trainings everywhere from Campus Point near Goleta Beach out to near the Cliff House at Coal Oil Point.

Watching the rescue exercise it seemed to go painfully slowly. But he explained that is because they had to take the time to teach each step and be sure everyone understood. We can all be grateful that they take the time to be prepared.

By the way, here are my photos of a real life rescue nearby at Coal Oil Point back in November 2007.


Written by sbrobert

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