Baraboo Rope Rescue Team practices bluff rescue at Devil’s Lake

Baraboo Rope Rescue Team practices bluff rescue at Devil’s Lake

Millions of people visit Devils Lake State Park every year, but not all of them make it through their trip safely.

For those instances, there’s Baraboo’s Rope Rescue Team.

On Monday the rope rescue team held a practice drill for a bluff rescue, sending down someone to act as a patient while crews worked ropes and a basket to bring them to safety.

The Med Flight helicopter has landed to assist with rope rescue training tonight at Devils Lake.

— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) May 13, 2019

Mark Willer, a lieutenant with the Baraboo Fire Department and manager of the rope rescue team, said the crew responds to about 20 falls a year at the park, about five of which require this type of response.

“We want to practice it, stay proficient,”Willer said. “And because we’re so busy, there’s a high demand to have a highly skilled team.”

One firefighter is heading down with the basket. The “patient” is at the bottom of the cliff, about to be rescued. #News3Now

— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) May 14, 2019

But what’s better than this team being ready and being practiced is for people not to put them there in the first place.

“If I were to tell anybody that was going to come visit Devil’s Lake, just please stay on the trails,” Willer said. “And if you need help we’re there.”

The Baraboo Fire Department, Baraboo Emergency Medical Services and UW Med Flight do these drills between 10 and 12 times a year, but Monday was their first ahead of this summer.

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