Teen plucked from CPRI cliff after tumbling down steep embankment

CPRI (File photo - London Free Press)

CPRI (File photo – London Free Press)

London firefighters plucked a teenager from a steep embankment in a dramatic cliffside rescue behind CPRI in west London Thursday morning.

Only a large tree about halfway down the 15-metre cliff stopped the teen from tumbling all the way into the river, said District Fire Chief Shawn Fitzgerald.

“The slope was quite vertical,” Fitzgerald said, and that also made it impossible for the girl to climb back up the cliff by herself.

One of the first firefighters on scene, a technical rescue specialist, was able to rappel down to secure her with a rope.

Meanwhile, a water/ice rescue team was ready in case she fell into the river, Fitzgerald said.

After about 40 minutes, the girl was hauled up in a specialized cradle called a Stokes basket. She said she had a sore neck but was otherwise uninjured; paramedics treated her on scene and took her to hospital.

Fitzgerald said 34 firefighters were on scene at the height of the rescue: 22 in technical rescue and 12 from the water/ice rescue team.

He said the girl, a resident of CPRI (the Child and Parent Resource Institute), appeared happy to be rescued.

Fitzgerald said it was the second time in the past year and a half he had been at the same place for a similar rescue. “Different person, same circumstances,” he said.

There is a fence in places along the top of the embankment but there are gaps and holes in the fencing.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services said the ministry treats the incident ‘”very seriously.”

The family is aware of the incident, the spokesperson said in an email response to questions.

The spokesperson said CPRI is not a secure treatment facility, allowing children and youth to explore the grounds. The perimeter of the grounds is not fenced, the spokesperson said.

Source: London Free Press | Teen plucked from CPRI cliff after tumbling down steep embankment