Firefighters train at Point Danger Coolangatta.
Firefighters train at Point Danger Coolangatta. Blainey Woodham

Tweed firefighters toy with Danger

SCALING down a cliff face might not sound like a fun work day, but the Tweed Heads’ dedicated firefighters love it.

The professional and retained firefighters yesterday climbed down Point Danger to ensure their vertical rescue techniques are up to scratch.

“When you go over a cliff you need to make sure everyone’s 100 per cent,” Tweed Heads Fire Station commander Chris Perrin said.

“It’s not just one person going over, it’s a whole team. Our number-one priority is always the safety of our crew.”

Commander Perrin said they conduct vertical rescue training about four times a year, and it is always popular.

“There are certain hours a week we have to do training, but if it’s something fun like this the guys get more enthusiastic about it.”

A crowd of onlookers gathered at the top of Point Danger to watch as the firefighters abseiled about 20 metres to Duranbah Beach.

Vertical rescues, Commander Perrin said, are fairly infrequent in the Tweed Shire.

“It’s not a really common thing, but that means we have to keep practising.”

Commander Perrin said they sometimes conduct vertical rescues when cars go down steep embankments on Tomewin Road and Scenic Drive, Bilambil.

“The only time you would really do a rescue here (Point Danger) would be if a kid started climbing down and got scared and had to be rescued.”

The team practised different rescue techniques, including self, top-and-bottom belays and rescues using the basket.

The crowd-favourite yesterday was senior firefighter Conor “man-of-action” Maguire, according to Commander Perrin.

Mr Maguire is a former Special Air Service officer and currently serves in the Army Reserves.

“He’s done a lot of jumping out of planes and off cliffs,” Commander Perrin said.

Mr Maguire, who has descended 70-metre drops, ran down the cliff.

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