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Hero Firefighters Honored for Daring Washington Heights Rescue

By Nigel Chiwaya | May 30, 2013 12:46pm | Updated on May 30, 2013 12:47pm
  The firefighters were honored for saving two children stranded high on the rocks in Fort Tryon Park.
Firefighters Honored After Daring Rescue
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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Firefighters from Engine 93, Ladder 45, Rescue Company 3 and the 13th Battalion have been honored for saving children that were literally stranded between a rock and a hard place.

The kids, ages 6 and 7, were trapped on the rocks near the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park on May 5 after they slid down about 35 feet below the cliff's edge. They were trapped on a narrow ledge an additional 45 feet above the ground.

"They slid down to an area where they were not able to get down and not able to get themselves back up," said Rescue Company 3 Captain James Ellson, adding that it was difficult to spot the kids above the rocks.

A crew of 17 firefighters deployed high-angle ropes and firefighter Daniel Foley rappelled down to the children. The team was able to place harnesses on the kids and lift them to safety.

The kids, whose identities were not released, walked away with only minor scrapes.

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat's office honored the firefighters who responded to the call with a proclamation during Community Board 12's general meeting on Tuesday.

"We just thought that was an outstanding thing worthy of public commendation," said Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, Espaillat's community liaison. "These men and women do their jobs every day without fanfare and we often don't notice, so we thought we should call attention to that."