NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - While he's walking, Nik Wallenda is carrying a metal bar for balance. The bar itself weighs 45 pounds. He carries it as if he's lifting weights, or doing bicep curls.
While in practice at the Seneca Niagara Casino, Wallenda wore a harness connected to the pole. He said it was getting heavy while he was walking on the practice wire and the harness provided some extra support and comfort.
Of course, if the worst were to happen, a team of rescuers is standing by and ready to roll.
Niagara Falls Fire Battalion Chief Mark Fontanella said, "The Niagara River above Niagara Falls is very unforgiving. If you make a mistake it can cost you your life. It happens a few times every year."
Swift water rescue crews from State Parks Police and Niagara Falls Fire are not taking any chances with Wallenda's big walk and the huge crowds packing the river's edge, hoping for a glimpse at history.
Parks Police Lt. Patrick Moriarty said, "We're prepared for the Wallenda rescue if that did take place, but a side note to that is there are going to be a lot of people in the area and there may be another rescue that may have nothing to do with the Wallenda event."
In fact, Wallenda has his own rescue team. But local crews are prepared to assist with a zip rescue device if necessary. They will also have four local crews, three on top and one on the lower river, at the ready in case a terrible accident happens with a spectator.
Fontanella said, "This is just about taking care of the pieces of the puzzle and making sure on game day everyone is ready."
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