The name’s Springs. Strontia Springs

Lifting a page out of the 007 stuntman’s handbook, West Metro Fire brings theatrics to Waterton Canyon.

September 24, 2019 | By: Travis Thompson
West Metro Fire Rescue training near Strontia Springs Dam
On Sept. 20, Colorado Parks and Wildlife volunteer in Waterton Canyon, Joe Orgill, captured West Metro Fire Rescue training near Strontia Springs Dam. Photo credit: Joe Orgill.

 

The opening scene of the 1995 movie “Goldeneye” features James Bond leaping from the top of the 720-foot-high Contra Dam in Switzerland, considered one of the most exciting bungee jump stunts of all time.

A similar display of technical skill and brilliance was on display in Waterton Canyon on Sept. 18 and 20.

Except these people were no stuntmen. And there was no bungee jumping.

The Technical Rescue Team from West Metro Fire Rescue found the canyon’s steep terrain rising above the swift-moving South Platte River the perfect location to practice their technical rope skills.

Denver Water provided the dramatic backdrop in the form of its 243-foot-high Strontia Springs Dam.

According to Ronda Scholting, spokesperson for West Metro Fire Rescue, members of the Technical Rescue Team spent several days recently refreshing their rope rescue skills at Waterton Canyon and Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.

“Keeping their skills sharp and being able to practice in the places where they might respond is extremely valuable for our firefighters,” Scholting said. “And it results in quicker response times, so we can get help to those who need it fast.”

The Technical Rescue Team’s members are specifically trained in rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench collapse and building collapse.

So no, Waterton Canyon will not be open for bungee jumping or rope courses.

But there’s a long tradition of Denver Water’s caretakers at Strontia Springs — a working water facility located in the middle of a fire zone that’s also a popular place for public recreation — partnering with the metro area’s first responders.

Together, the caretakers and first responders coordinate, train and prepare for anything that may come their way.

Fire rescue trucks below Strontia Springs Dam during exercise.
West Metro Fire Rescue stagges at the base of Strontia Springs Dam before a rope rescue training exercise in Waterton Canyon. Photo credit: Joe Orgill.

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