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Firefighters from Indianapolis save an IMPD drone that became stuck on a construction cane



Indianapolis, Indiana – An unruly police drone that became caught on a crane this past weekend was saved by the Indianapolis Fire Department.

After it touched down on the building next to the “Rise on Meridian” apartment construction site on South Meridian Street on Saturday, the crew was called upon to retrieve the drone belonging to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

A firefighter is seen climbing 130 feet in a video and photos that the fire service shared on social media during the rescue. On Saturday, at around 10:15 a.m., the rescue began.

“After an errant IMPD drone perched itself on top of a construction crane while in the course of its duties overnight, IFD TacTeam 7C utilized the ask by IMPD Logistics to help retrieve it, (and took it) as an opportunity to conduct some spur of the moment high angle ropes/crane training,” IFD wrote in the post.

Lt. Erik Baynard, a licensed rope access technician, led the rescue efforts, with Private Ryan Cundiff acting as support, according to IFD. After getting in touch with the building team, they were able to complete the extremely high retrieval. According to firefighters, the structure would eventually accommodate 269 apartments known as “Rise on Meridian.”

The two firefighters started their ascent as soon as the crane’s generator was turned off. The articulating crane arm, or jib, extended around 160 feet out from the mast, which was positioned 130 feet high, according to IFD. About 12 feet from the end of the jib, according to fire crews, the drone became stuck. The crane’s location was predicted to cause the climbers little anxiety because of the moderate 3 mph winds.

According to crews, the ascent began at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. It took Baynard thirty minutes to make the treacherous switch to the jib. The drone was found at 12:23 p.m., and an hour later, at 1:26 p.m., Baynard and the drone were both securely on the ground.

IFD continued by saying that while the drone did have a few minor wounds, nothing irreparable.

According to the department, because high-angle rope work may be extremely risky, the rescue was an excellent chance to practice.

“High Angle Rope Rescue Training is inherently dangerous, highly technical, equipment intensive, and requires constant training to maintain a perishable skill,” the post said. “The reality of our teams responding to an issue involving a crane is more common than one might think. The bonus for today’s evolution was that no human victims were needing rescue, just a piece of expensive equipment that had a mind of its own.”

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