WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE: Rope Access Rescue VS Backcountry High Angle Rescue Techniques

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Presenter: Tom Wood | Webinar | 
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? This presentation will answer these questions and many others by comparing and contrasting the techniques and gear employed by rope access technicians versus those of the backcountry rescuer when doing a one-on-one pickoff-type rescue of a suspended rope access worker.

Fall Protection, Rope Access and Regulatory Compliance in the USA

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Presenter: Loui McCurley | Webinar | 
Although fall prevention and protection has been repeatedly addressed by OSHA, which has suggested methods such as elimination or substitution of work, use of engineering controls, administrative controls, and the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to control hazards, falls continue to be a leading cause of death and injury in the workplace.

In developing a Managed Fall Protection Program, one thing is clear: Adequate preparation, systems thinking, and adhering to appropriate safety practices are more likely to have a positive influence on safety at height than complex, rigid work systems and adherance to “product standards”.

This presentation, given by Loui McCurley, will explore integration of Rope Access into the employers Managed Fall Protection Program, and the potential benefits of versatility and capability that can be realized by the employer as a result. We will discover how Professional Rope Access fits in as a work method combining trained technicians with a proven system of work and equipment to achieve complete system of work, and how it is recognized by US and International standards, including ANSI, ISO, and others.

Ready for Rescue? A Primer on Preparation

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Presenter: Loui McCurley | Webinar | 
Thousands of people are working at height every day. Anyone participating in activity at height has a potential to fall. Does your workplace Emergency Action Plan include preparation for rescue from your most challenging locations? Incidents that are a reasonably foreseeable possibility should warrant a realistic response plan. Employers, safety managers, and workers will all benefit from this presentation, which will address the key aspects of developing a rescue/response plan, selecting appropriate rescue equipment, and training designated employees accordingly.

Suspension Trauma Revisited

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Presenter: Roger Mortimer | Webinar | 
This free webinar, presented by Roger Mortimer, MD, will further elaborate on the following Abstract: Suspension Trauma, alternatively called harness hang syndrome, harness induced pathology, or orthostatic intolerance has been described since the early 1970s. The syndrome is really more than one phenomenon, shock from blood pooling in the legs while passively suspended and muscle damage from poor circulation in the legs. The harness itself has been blamed for causing this but is really incidental. Previous literature has suggested that once rescued a person should not be laid down after rescue. This is contrary to standard care. Most authorities now concede that there was never any evidence for this recommendation. This recommendation has been withdrawn by occupational health authorities in England, Australia, and the USA. Once rescued from suspension a person should be laid flat just as one would treat any other trauma patient. The harness can be removed or left on as is helpful for final evacuation. Aggressive intravenous fluid therapy is appropriate to prevent kidney damage.

The Search for Bob Norton – Venezuela YV2480

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Presenter: Bob Edwards | Webinar | 
This PMI webinar will provide an overview of the efforts of The Norton Search Team as they search for Bryant Alabama’s missing missionary pilot Bob Norton. Bob, his wife Neiba and 5 others went missing in the jungles of Venezuela on Feb 16, 2009 while on an emergency medical flight in a Cessna 182. A team of volunteer pilots, engineers and search technicians have pulled together here in the U.S. to assist with the search effort. Working closely with Venezuela’s Civil Protection and the Indigenous Indians, The Norton Search Team have provided satellite image analysis, containment analysis, flight simulations and is now working with Tennessee Technological University to design and develop a 8′ wingspan RC plane with autonomous flight controls, cameras and sensors. Their plan is to use this plane in an attempt to find the crash site. Additional information can be viewed on their website: www.findingbobnorton.org .

Remote Connection/Line Capture. Expanded Opportunities…(Skills Required)

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Presenter: Michael Croslin | Webinar | 

This PMI webinar is an update and review of the applications and general guidelines for line capture/Reach device in swiftwater rescue. Presented by Michael Croslin, owner of Crossline Solutions, he will also demonstrate and discuss the development of the Integrated Reach protection system and its expanded performance applications in moving water. This webinar will encourage an open collaborative discussion of the challenges in disseminating and encouraging curriculum updates and training protocols that promote clear and safe guidelines for effective adoption and responsible use of this exciting new approach in swiftwater rescue. Topics will include the new Integrated Reach Belt/Throwbag/Tagline system, The Reach Device, Entrapments, Pins, Sieves, Hydraulics, Catcher Mitt Eddies and new approaches to extrication. Additional topics that will be covered are: developing new downriver protection strategies, establishing cross river lines, stream crossings, gear retrieval and establishing remote connection to wrapped boats in extreme environments and Creeker or extreme kayaker or boater strategies using the Reach system. Specific examples and results of field testing by extreme boaters will also be discussed. Additionally, Michael will relate feedback from many early adopters that have developed new techniques and strategies based on remote connection/line capture. New collaborative ideas will be encouraged and welcomed, specifically, how this new technology is being used worldwide to improve rescuer and boater safety and to speed deployment of rope based systems in the river setting.

To Knot or Not to Knot?

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Presenter: Loui McCurley | Webinar | 
Any knot tied in a rope will reduce the strength of the rope at that point – but how much? Should knots really be used in life safety applications such as fall protection, rescue, and rope access? This presentation will discuss a variety of knots and their efficiency, and will explore the question of whether it is appropriate to use knots in life safety ropes. Other alternatives, such as splicing, swaged eyes, and sewn terminations will also be explored.

Down on the Farm: Grain Bin Rescue Basics Using the TerrAdaptor™ Tripod

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Presenter: Tom Wood | Webinar | 
Join VRS™ by PMI Program Manager Tom Wood for this one hour webinar addressing the challenges of accessing and rescuing someone trapped in a grain storage bin.

Rural rescuers are witnessing an alarming trend on commercial farms; a dramatic increase in the number of grain bin entrapments. Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that nearly half of all grain bin entrapments result in fatalities. In 2010, nearly thirty people lost their lives in grain bins.

As a result, OSHA issued a formal warning to grain handling and storage facility owners on February 1, 2011, stating “If any employee dies in a grain storage facility, in addition to any civil penalties proposed, OSHA will consider referring the incident to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution pursuant to the criminal provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.”

Some of the latest techniques and PMI equipment (such as the TerrAdaptor™ used as a portable high directional anchor) for Grain Bin Rescue will be discussed, as well as the many objective dangers facing rescuers attempting to access and rescue a trapped worker.

Heavy Climbers

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Presenter: Chuck Weber | Webinar | 

We’ve all seen those UIAA test numbers attached to new climbing ropes or in catalogs. But did you know that those IMPACT FORCE and NUMBER OF FALLS HELD figures are based on using an 80-kg test mass dropped on the rope in the laboratory? In this webinar we’ll briefly go over all the basic UIAA testing details.

But, if you weigh more than that 80 kg (176#) test weight, where does that leave you? When you take that hard fall, could you be subjecting yourself and your gear to possibly unsafe loads? Serious questions indeed, but they’re not directly addressed by the UIAA testing results. To better understand this possible safety issue, PMI conducted a series of 39 special drop tests in our UIAA replicate Drop Tower and we’ll share those results with you in this webinar as well.