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Re: [TowerTalk] Tower Falls, After the fall/save

To: 'Pat Barthelow' <>,'TowerTalk' <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Tower Falls, After the fall/save
From: Doug Renwick <>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2007 17:36:10 -0600
List-post: <>
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
full body
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
the ground 
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 
suspension harness.   

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
foothold to 
further climb down the tower.

If I developed the pass out problem due to harness constrictions, I
would be 
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
ground crew
and response chain worked without a hitch,  I guess they could arrive on
in about 5-10 minutes, and begin the aerial rescue.
Thank goodness.

All the Best, 73,
Pat Barthelow
Jamesburg Earth Station  Moon Bounce Team

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