[TowerTalk] Tower Falls, After the fall/save
aa6eg at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 26 17:20:35 EDT 2007
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. unplanned
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
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 thoroughly
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 ground
and about 15 ft horizontally spaced from any structure. See Picture:
On a regular tower, it might be that you are hanging in a position/location,
or are injured where you cant grapple wth 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 site
in about 5-10 minutes, and begin the aerial rescue.
All the Best, 73,
Pat Barthelow aa6eg at hotmail.com
Jamesburg Earth Station Moon Bounce Team
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