Video | Though many rural or wilderness first responders may not realize it, industrial rope access is likely going on in their back yard. The popularity of rope access as a means to access hard-to-reach and remote at-height work sites like dams, bridges, highway rock scaling projects and ridge-top cell towers has exploded in recent years. There are now thousands of Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) certified rope techs working in the U.S., and often their job sites are miles outside the jurisdictions of the urban municipal departments who train for industrial high angle rescue.
Though these rope access techs are trained to rescue themselves in the event of an accident or emergency, what happens if they are unable to do so? Could your rural or wilderness SAR agency safely and efficiently perform what used to be thought of as an industrial rescue? Just what is rope access anyway, and how do rope access technicians perform high angle rescues?