Ontario County Rope Rescue at the ready

Not all rescues have a happy ending. But the odds of living through a free fall into a gorge or surviving a night lost in the woods of High Tor Wildlife Management Area unscathed are higher, due largely to a team of firefighters who comprise the Ontario County Rope Rescue Team.

This is the busiest time of year for the team of mostly volunteer firefighters who have additional training to manage and maneuver the most dicey situations. The team of 15 averages about seven rescues a year, said Naples Fire Chief Patrick Elwell, who heads the rope team with Bristol firefighter Steve Kepner. Responses may range from helping an exhausted hiker to bringing the victim of a treacherous fall to safety.

This is the busiest time of year, running right through the fall. The team this year has already done several rescues.

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