Firefighters talk about Tuesday cave rescue
Posted at: 08/15/2012 12:03 AM
| Updated at: 08/15/2012 3:45 AM
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com
Heavy downpours created rising water that made it difficult for the three hikers to climb out of a cave along the Genesee River Bank.
News10NBC is told they were searching for a geo-cache package near Seth Green Drive Tuesday afternoon.
It was everything Matt Sauers and Greg Drew train for. Still Tuesday's rescue of three people in a cave was one of the most dangerous these two Rochester Firefighters have faced.
"With the weather coming through so quick like that," says Sauers. "That normally tame atmosphere turned fierce. Especially when think you're in the middle of the city and it felt like you were in the middle of the country."
A Rochester Fire Department Battalion Chief tells News10NBC the group was hiking along the Genesee River Bank and was in a cave when they found themselves trapped by a heavy downpour and the water rising fast. They had their cell phones and called for help. Drew, a nine year veteran arrives first.
"The first thing I did was get down and make contact with the victims," says Drew. "They seemed to be in good spirits now that they were talking to us and not someone on a phone."
Sauers who's been at this for six years came just a few minutes later. One by one the firefighters strapped the hikers in harnesses and they were lifted to safety.
"It was a blessing they were not injured and they were able to help us in getting them out because all three did a lot of work physically to help us get them out," says Sauers
And then there was the team up top, these two are modest, quick to give credit where they say it's due.
Drew says, "You're here talking to two of us, but I don't even know the number of guys that were up top. They are the ones who should be up here talking because the brought us and them back up safely."
Sauers says, "There were just two of us that were on the end of the rope...but it took a whole multicompany, chief, officer response to make this happen."
The situation was pretty tense. The hikers were in waist deep water when the rescuers got there. Fortunately they were able to find a ledge to climb while they waited.