Counterterrorism and rescue operations in complex, urban terrain are a reality for today’s military and law enforcement. Chances are, your area of operations contains some sort of metropolitan area and the associated hazards you may need to negotiate. Take in your surroundings. Do you see water towers or storage tanks?  Are you among high-rise buildings and bridges?  If so, do these buildings have elevators?

First responders in New Mexico encountered this situation in late March 2018, at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Two visitors wanted to see the famous park that features more than 100 caves. Not feeling up to making the trek into the caverns by foot, they got into the elevator and began the journey down.

At about 740 feet underground, the elevator stopped working.

Luckily, park service first responders arrived on the scene and knew just what to do. According to the incident response commander, though this was the first time they had to conduct an elevator rescue operation, it went smoothly because “the inter-agency search and rescue team had just recently trained for this exact scenario.” Not only was their recent training impeccably timed, but two of the three emergency responders who had conducted the actual training scenario were there to rescue the visitors.

They were presented with two rescue scenarios: one with emergency responders repelling down to the elevator and taking them back up by rope, and one with responders using harnesses to hoist the three visitors out of the elevator’s escape hatch, and then transfer them to a working elevator. The visitors weren’t comfortable with the first option, so they opted for the other rescue plan.

It’s important to note, the responders were trained and ready with different options and ways of approach, and the visitors were in good hands.

GRA Maven’s Climbing Services can enable your team to be prepared for this type of “high-risk, low-frequency” operation.

Our Climbing Services are designed and taught by former US Army Special Operations team members and elite rescue firefighters. Its objective is to safely provide military and law enforcement personnel with challenging and realistic climbing training, in preparation for the distinct hazards of conducting tactical rescue operations in large metropolitan areas.

In contrast to traditional rural and alpine ropes courses, our services take place at a variety of unique venues in New York City. From high-rise apartment buildings, skyscraper elevator shafts, and industrial complexes, to sewer systems and public transportation networks, New York City presents an unparalleled training landscape and offers exciting, new opportunities for any military or law enforcement team.

If you are interested to find out more info on this training opportunity, contact us today!