BROOKSVILLE — Area fire rescue personnel got a chance to practice the skills of the lifesaving trade at an industrial plant in Hernando County.

Firefighters-emergency medical personnel from Pasco Fire Rescue, Hernando Fire Rescue and Tampa Fire Rescue gathered Nov. 8 at the CEMEX USA Brooksville South Cement Plant, according to a news release from CEMEX.

While there they practiced conducting high-angle rescues and operating at heights. In the exercise, the firefighters rescued a mannequin who was standing in for an injured worker who was perched 200 feet above ground. Firefighters climbed up a silo to where the mannequin was located, loaded it into a rescue basket, then ziplined down a rope to an adjacent silo to complete the rescue.

Firefighters also received additional practice on rappelling down the sides of buildings by climbing down the side of one of the silos, which holds clinker, a material used in the manufacture of Portland cement.

“CEMEX has been a part of Hernando County for decades, and we are proud to support our local first responders by providing them a training ground where they can practice unique rescues,” said the plant manager of the CEMEX USA Brooksville South Cement Plant, Alberto Calleros. “This training strengthens the abilities of the firefighters as they serve our communities in extraordinary scenarios.”

CEMEX has an ongoing relationship with firefighters and first responders in Hernando County. Brooksville South Cement Plant had the firefighters on site for an elevator rescue training drill earlier this year.

“CEMEX has always been a great community partner with Hernando County Fire Rescue, and they are also tremendous advocates for public safety in general,” said Hernando County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Kevin Carroll.

In January, Hernando County first responders are scheduled to visit the plant again to hold classes alerting CEMEX employees of the risks of working in confined spaces as part of CEMEX’s annual Safety Week.