VIDEO - Rangeley Fire Cheif Tim Pellerin said his team and many surrounding communities used extensive rope training techniques for a three-hour operation to rescue a driver teetering on a rock ledge.
Pellerin said a commercial truck veered off Route 4 at Small Falls, hit a guardrail and went airborne, landing on a rock ledge some 40 feet off the roadway. One side of the van was against a rock ledge, but the front end of the vehicle was teetering on a second ledge. Pellerin said the vehicle could have fallen another 60 feet to the water pool below.
Crews had to stabilize the vehicle to make sure it didn't slip over the edge. They made contact with the driver and asked him to stay still while they executed the rescue, said Pellerin.
Pellerin said a crew of approximately 25 volunteer firefighters made a ladder bridge and rope harness lines ensure safety of all involved.
"We need more than one person per rope line," Pellerin said. "We need one in the harness and then two people manning the line to ensure safety. This rescue was successful because it was a total team effort." Pellerin said teams from the surrounding communities train in the exact spot for the exact circumstances of the crash but have never had to use the experience until Thursday.