Learning the Ropes: Army Medics Use North Carolina Quarry to Fine Tune Rocky Rescue Techniques
What does a Martin Marietta quarry on the outskirts of Greensboro, North Carolina, have in common with the treacherous terrain in remote regions of Afghanistan?
Apparently quite a bit, and enough to make it a prime practice site for members of U.S. military preparing for their impending overseas deployment.
On a recent early spring day, approximately 30 Army medics from the 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, converged on Martin Marietta's Central Rock to rehearse their repelling and rescue techniques.
The daylong session was the third part of a four-day-long course on "Rope Rescue for Military Operations" conducted for the medics by the Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM), a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
"The quarry was basically their graduation day," said lead instructor Shannon Orndorff, a fire rescue training specialist with the OSFM.
"The soldiers were able to put into practice the skills we taught them the previous two days."
After their safety orientation in the quarry's employee building, the medics were divided into four groups and rotated through stations which simulated.... read