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illager News: Urban rope rescue unit hangs tough in the city

"Villager News" Newspaper

Urban rope rescue unit hangs tough in the city

By Nikolina Menalo, November 1999

With more than 12,000 highrise buildings dotting the landscape across Ontario there is no specially trained urban highrise rope rescue unit to respond to emergencies that could save somebody’s life. Until now.

Eiger HEART is a new volunteer rescue team of rope access technician with knowledge in rigging, rope rescue, first aid, communications and bylaws.

Founder of Eiger HEART, Ivan Kristoff, said that the purpose of this rescue team is to minimize loss of life, injury, property damage and risk to the high-rise environment and maximize the rope rescue efficiency through innovation.

“It’s a good way to ensure the community and keep people happy and safe, ” he said.

Kristoff said all of the members are trained professionals, who work on a volunteer basis. They currently have four members, which include 1 pilot, 2 technicians, an 1 paramedic. Kristoff is also part of the Canadian Rescue Emergency Service Team, which consist of 17 members who also assist and contribute to the focus of the team, and spread public awareness.

In collaborations with other volunteer and government organizations, Eiger HEART provides high-angle rescue and support for 911 Emergency Services., Urban Highrise Rope Rescue and they also enhance community – based emergency services.

Eigher HEART allows people to help people. That is what it’s all about.

Photo: Hang up there! Ivan Kristoff scales a building during a recent practice with Eiger HEART, a volunteer rescue team of rope access technicians. The group is trained for urban high rise rope rescue and is all volunteer.