Good points Pat. A full body harness will probably add a few minutes to
your life, but will it save your life? Unless you have immediate
assistance it may not save your life. Could be classed as a false sense
of security. But then it would be better to have a chance of saving
your life rather than no chance at all.
The best advice is to not get into a situation where you need to
activate the full body harness.
At my QTH I would estimate that it would take at least 30 minutes before
a response team would arrive. Maybe too late.
If most of us agree that a full body harness attached securely
to the tower at all times, is good protection, then how does
the rescue play out? Depending on the harness, and your suspension
your problems may just be beginning.
I have (somewhere) an after-action report of a training class for first
responders for recovery of a victim who is suspended by his certified
harness somewhere above the ground. The class began with hoisting
the volunteer "victim" a little off the ground and discussing the
nuts and bolts of recovery. During the initial chatter, an unexpected.
event happened. The volunteer "victim" became a VICTIM and passed out.
The pressure of the leg straps had cut off circulation at his legs, (It
was later learned)
and he passed out. They lowered the "victim" the one foot or so,to
where he regained consciousness. It was stunning to the class, and a
real lesson. They then realized that a suspended person can become
a medical emergency, depending on positioning, adjustment of the
So a suspended, saved person may still a
medical emergency, needing quick response.
Even at best, if you are hanging at the 70 ft level
things may still be dicey for a rescue unless you have planned,
walked through the rescue cycle of the event.
Talk to your nearest first responders, fire stations, ambulances
etc to see what their capabilities are for recovering you
suspended at 70 ft, or whatever height.
If your cell phone works at 70 ft and if you can reach it, after
your fall, just call 911 to start the process. Or yell to your
briefed family/ground crew to do the right thing and start the process.
In the case of Jamesburg where I play, for example, a worst case fall
off the ladder
below and leading to the hatch to the dish surface and feeds, could
result in me
hanging by the shock arrestor in my full harness, about 65ft above
and about 15 ft horizontally spaced from any structure. See Picture:
On a regular tower, it might be that you are hanging in a
or are injured where you cant grapple with the structure to get a
further climb down the tower.
If I developed the pass out problem due to harness constrictions, I
a dead body by the time they recovered me.
Turns out the local Carmel Valley/Cachagua Fire Station is 1/8 mile
away and had trained at the
Jamesburg Dish, and was equipped with the know how and
hardware to recover a suspended victim at 70 ft or so. If emergency
and response chain worked without a hitch, I guess they could arrive on
in about 5-10 minutes, and begin the aerial rescue.
All the Best, 73,
Pat Barthelow email@example.com
Jamesburg Earth Station Moon Bounce Team
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