VIDEO: Hanging mannequin prompts 911 calls

Exercise part of search-and-rescue simulation in East Palo Alto

A man purported to be hanging by the neck from the Howrey law offices next to the Four Seasons Hotel in East Palo Alto Saturday turned out to be a dummy.

Dozens of people telephoned 911 on Saturday morning to report the hanging man, according to Menlo Park Firefighter Neiley Hunt. But the "victim" turned out to be a fire department mannequin sporting a flame tattoo on its right arm.

The mannequin was part of a week-long annual search-and-rescue simulation by the Urban Search and Rescue California Task Force 3, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) task force sponsored by the Menlo Park Fire Department.

The drill practiced rope rescuing -- lowering team members down the building's facade to save the mannequin -- which represented a window washer who had fallen from his scaffolding.

Among those participating in the drill was Angus, a border collie that was lowered down the rope with his handler, Peter Gross, a San Francisco firefighter. The dog-lowering exercise was to get Angus used to ropes in case of having to be lowered into a building with collapsed floors, to seek victims or bodies.

Firefighters from as far away as Santa Clara and San Francisco took part in the training exercise.


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