Device being used in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

"Glen Rescue Arm" to Speed-Up Gorge Rescues

May 30, 2013 Updated May 30, 2013 at 8:36 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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May 30, 2013 Updated May 30, 2013 at 8:36 PM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO (WKBW) Every year, thousands of people will hike through the Niagara River Gorge taking trails on both sides of the border.

While it is one of the most scenic areas in Western New York and Southern Ontario, it can also be very dangerous.

Each year, emergency crews are called out to rescue individuals who have become hurt while walking in the gorge, and up to now, rescuers on the Canadian side have been forced to carry the injured up a 55-foot zig-zag staircase at the Niagara Glen.

To make things easier and faster, the Niagara Parks Commission has spent several thousand dollars to purchase a "Glen (Davit) Rescue Arm."

Manufactured by MSA - The Safety Company, the device lowers a rescue basket to the floor of the gorge and allows rescuers to lift a person weighing up to 310 pounds back to the top.

Besides speeding up the process of rescue, the "Glen Rescue Arm" will help minimize injuries to emergency crews who will no longer have to struggle up dozens of steps while maneuvering a rescue basket with a person strapped inside.

PRESS RELEASE FROM NIAGARA PARKS COMMISSION:

Niagara Falls, ON - The Niagara Parks Police High Angle River Team (HART) and members of the Niagara Falls Fire Department will gather on Thursday, May 30 to begin training on the newly acquired "Glen Rescue Arm," at the Niagara Glen staircase.

The Rescue Arm project has been in the planning stage for the past year and is a joint effort of the Niagara Parks Police HART team and the Niagara Falls Fire Department. The arm is designed to aid rescuers by hoisting up injured and immobilized persons in a rescue basket from the base of the Glen to a waiting ambulance above.

Historically, emergency service workers were required to carry injured visitors up the staircase or set up haul systems to bring individuals up the side of the gorge. The acquisition of the Glen (Davit) Rescue Arm will reduce the risk of injury to emergency workers and allow those in need of medical attention to receive treatment as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The funding for the project was made possible by The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC), and all necessary fabrication and modifications to the Niagara Glen metal staircase have been completed by NPC staff welders.