Video: FDNY FFs rescue woman from 16th floor using rare technique
FDNY Firefighter Brian Quinn rappelled down to the woman from a roof-rope secured by a Halligan tool
By Laura French
NEW YORK — FDNY firefighters used a rare technique to rescue a woman standing on the ledge of a 16th-floor window during a fire on Tuesday.
Firefighter Brian Quinn, assisted by other FDNY firefighters, was lowered out of the 17th-floor window of the building in Harlem from a roof-rope secured by a Halligan tool, according to a statement from the FDNY.
The department's Engine 59 crew advanced a hose line into the building and made an aggressive attack on the fire while Quinn held the woman on the 16th-floor ledge. The fire was ultimately extinguished enough to bring the woman back into the apartment on that floor.
"This is a really heroic rescue and it really shows the talent and bravery of the members of the New York City Fire Department," FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said in a statement. "It's something that's rarely done, and yet they exercised their skills quickly, they assessed the situation quickly, and they did what had to be done bravely."
Quinn, of Ladder 30, said he and Firefighter Pat Chiarel had gone to the 17th floor while the Engine 59 crew forced their way into the 16th-floor apartment to extinguish the blaze. He said he and his lieutenant, Lt. Jason Norwich, tried to calm down the panicked woman and tell her not to jump or let go.
"Eventually, smoke started lifting when the guys downstairs started breaking windows and it started clearing out. I was right behind her, so if she did decide to jump or let go I was holding her to the glass," Quinn said in a statement. "I just said, 'I'm not going to let you fall. We're going to get you inside.' No more than two hours ago we were practicing this exact drill. We train all the time. That's our job."