Climber Rescued From East Rock

Firefighters responding to a call from the top of East Rock found a man clinging to the face of a cliff, 60 feet from the summit.

The firefighters were able to lower a rescuer down, attach a rope to the stranded climber, and haul him up to safety.

That’s what happened Monday afternoon, according to fire department Assistant Chief Ralph Black.

He said a 911 call came in at around 5 p.m., when someone spotted a man on the cliff face at East Rock. “We sent a rope rescue crew to the summit and found the person hanging on the west side of East Rock approximately 60 feet from the top.”

In about 45 minutes, responders set up a rope system and lowered a firefighter down to the man. Firefighters were then able to haul up the rescuer and the climber.

The climber, who “appeared to be under the influence,” was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Police officers were also on the scene, and will file charges against the climber, Black said.

“We were afraid he was going to let go of the rock,” Black said. “It was a really great example of an operation by the fire department to save a life. It shows how much these guys train” in special rescue techniques.

Black said members of Engine 8, Squad 1, Truck 3, Emergency 1, Car 36, and Car 33 all responded, along with Black and new fire Chief Allyn Wright.


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posted by: Edward Francis on April 14, 2014  7:50pm

It takes a team of well trained firefighters to coordinate a cliff side rescue operation.  Once again New Haven’s Bravest responded to the call ready for the task at hand.

posted by: Jones Gore on April 15, 2014  2:10am

Has any experienced rock climber succeeded yet? I’d like to hear from at least one.

posted by: Bill Saunders on April 15, 2014  3:03am

The top down rescue works again!

posted by: robn on April 15, 2014  11:52am

Since this amateur buffoonery has become a traditional occurrence I suggest a standardized title for this report to highlight the rescue team work…like “Rock and a Hard Place” or something.

posted by: codjol on April 15, 2014  12:27pm

It is well know within the climbing community that there is an ordinance against rock climbing on East Rock - we, as climbers who value the partnership with state and local authorities, respect this rule and work hard to inform our community.  Lest we risk jeopardizing access to other climbing areas in New Haven and the state. It always saddens me to hear that someone, again, has attempted to climb this.  It seems easy from the bottom, but you quickly run out of easy steps and are left stranded.  It’s always easier to go up than come down. 
Many thanks go to our talented and well-trained firefighters for their ability to work in this very specific environment.  And I’m happy to hear this situation was resolved without injury.

posted by: aw10 on April 15, 2014  1:22pm

This idiot is not a “climber” any more than George Zimmerman was a police officer when he pointed his gun at Treyvon Martin. I’d appreciate it if the reporter could at least qualify him as an “inexperienced” or “novice” or “untrained climber.” Otherwise the public may get the idea that this is what typical rock climbing is, and maybe they’ll try sometime too? No, this is abherrant, no actual climber would be so dangerous and stupid.