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We always train like the real thing. So when the real thing happens, we know what we’re doing.
Jason Lopez

Last month, a fire started raging through a six-story apartment building in Harlem. The blaze began on the third floor and almost immediately filled the hallways, blocking access to stairwells. Firefighters, unable to reach the trapped occupants, deployed a rescue technique known as “the life-saving rope evolution.”

“Our members attach themselves to a rope, and then another member goes on to the rope and goes off the side of the building, goes down to the window, and grabs the person that is trapped by the fire,” said FDNY Chief of Operations John Hodgens. “This happened three times at this fire. Three firefighters performed this evolution. We usually have one of these a year or two. This was three-at-one fire, a very heroic action,” Hodgens added.

Because an active inferno is a bad time to attempt something you’re not familiar with, firefighter Jason Lopez and his team practice the maneuver every Monday and Tuesday.

Cheers to Jason and his teammates, who insist on the highest level of preparation when lives are on the line.

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