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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Wind farm drill combines agencies, skills

  • Early Saturday morning, Sept. 29, many people heard on their scanners there was a fall and injury at the Howard Wind Farm.

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  • Early Saturday morning, Sept. 29, many people heard on their scanners there was a fall and injury at the Howard Wind Farm.
    The call was the start of a combined agency drill at the site of one of the 25 Wind Turbines owned by Howard Wind Farm, LLC. The site is in the town of Howard and the Howard Fire Departments Fire district; however Howard Fire Chief Rob Patrick knew if someone were to be injured in the top of one of the 280 foot tall wind turbines it would take a coordinated effort of resources to complete the rescue successfully.
    The drill was the result of a number of meetings between the Howard Wind Farm, LLC, Howard Fire, Cohocton Fire, Canisteo Fire and Bath Fire Dept. Regional Technical Rescue Team and Bath VA Fire.
    Earlier in the  morning, the wind farm staff placed a live weight mannequin high in the air inside of the wind turbine with simulated injuries to his back and a fracture to his right leg.
    Shortly after 8 a.m. a call was placed to the Steuben County 911 center for the simulated injuries to a technician working on the wind turbine. Howard Fire was toned out first for the call and Chief Patrick requested mutual aid from Bath Fire and Bath VA Fire for the High Angle Rescue Team, Canisteo Fire for an ambulance and Life Net 77 medical helicopter.
    The Bath Technical Rescue Team’s high angle rope rescue team climbed the ladder of the 280 foot tower to access, treat and lower the simulated patient to safety on the ground. The teams medical personnel splinted, back boarded and placed the mannequin into a Stokes Rescue Basket while two other members prepared the rigging that would be needed to safely lower the basket out of the rear hatch of the wind turbine down the long descent to the ground. Canisteo Ambulance crews then transported the patient to the care of Life Net 77 medevac, which also responded to the scene.
    The drill was requested by John Nichols, site manager for the Howard Wind Farm. A representative from the wind farm’s parent company, EverPower also observed the drill.

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