Westhampton Beach volunteer firefighters spent this past weekend learning to bail out of burning buildings by jumping out of a 13-foot high window using a rope and pulley system.
The state-mandated training, says Chief Chip Bancroft, will be beneficial in the case of an emergency on Dune Road, where Bancroft says some homes stretch as high as 40-feet and at the proposed three-story hotel at
The training stems from a South Bronx, Jan. 23, 2005 fire, known as Black Sunday, where two firefighters were killed and four others were badly hurt when they were forced to jump from a fourth-floor window of a burning building.
All firefighters are now mandated to take a 10-hour course that trains them how to shimmy out a window and use a hook decent device that is attached to their gear at the hip. The firefighters made several practice jumps over the weekend including one in which they were blind-folded.
The ten-hour course was given by Coastal Fire Systems, said Bancroft. And to help cut costs, the ten fire officials who were trained will be responsible for training the rest of the 25 interior fire department members.
Bancroft did not have on hand the costs associated with the training, but did say each bail-out system in which all interior fire department members will be equipped with will run the department about $20,000.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that each bail-out system cost $156,000. We regret the error.