Nathan is the owner of All Things Vertical, LLC, which is an all service tree company based in Conifer, CO. He is an ISA Certified Arborist, Certified Climber Specialist and a certified rope technician by the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians. He has worked in arboriculture for twelve years in private industry, municipal arboriculture, and his own company since 2017. He has been involved in technical rope rescue and training since 2013, when he joined Alpine Rescue Team. Alpine is one of the oldest mountain SAR teams in Colorado and is based out of Evergreen, Colorado. He is also an instructor for VRS/PMI teaching industrial rope access, tower climber/rescuer, and other at height disciplines since 2016. He is passionate about teaching and making the world of arboriculture a safer place to work at height.


Mike Railsback is a full-time Firefighter for the city of Thornton. He is a senior member of the departments technical rescue team and a primary instructor for the team. Mike is also the Training Manager for the North Area Technical Rescue Team, organizing and conducting training for rescue technicians from 10 fire departments (approx. 130 members) in the metro area north of Denver. He is also the lead for the teams rope rescue committee.

Mike serves as a Rescue Squad Officer for Colorado Task Force 1, FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team responding to incidents and natural disasters nationwide. He maintains a high level of training in multiple technical rescue disciplines including Structural Collapse, Confined Space, Trench Collapse, Heavy Vehicle Extrication, Swiftwater, Surface water, and Ice Rescue with a primary focus on Rope Rescue.

Mike is rope access certified (Sprat level 2) and also certified in Cave Rescue through the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC). He has been an Emergency Medical Technician since 1997. Mike is also a State JPR committee member, developing an NFPA rope rescue certification for the state of Colorado.

Prior to PMI/VRS and his fire service career, Mike spent several years in the construction industry as well as 4 years in the U.S. Army serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, kayaking, fly-fishing, photography and traveling with his wife Renee.

Mike rope training - Headshot


Jeff Bowles is a Lead Instructor for Vertical Rescue Solutions. He has been a lead instructor in Industrial and Recreational vertical environments for 20+ years. Jeff holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Development from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Therapy with a minor in Psychology from East Carolina University. He brings many years of experience in educational pedagogy and effective training in high-risk environments.

Jeff is a Level II Rope Access Technician and has been a certified Wilderness First Responder for 20+ years. He is an active member on multiple standards committees for ANSI Z359, SPRAT®, ASTM, NFPA and Cordage Institute. He is the Risk, Safety and Industry Relations Manager for Pigeon Mountain Industries and a technical writer that develops language for product user instructions as well as marketing materials. He is constantly assessing how PMI serves multiple industries while maintaining the highest safety standards possible.

When he’s not working, Jeff enjoys mountain biking, mountaineering, rock climbing, skiing, hiking, live music, traveling and exploring with his girlfriend Kelly, their son Jake and daughter Emma, and their dogs Lakota and Bear.

VRS Instructors


Loui McCurley is CEO of PMI and founder of our Vertical Rescue Solutions training arm. Loui’s foray into rescue began in 1985, when she joined Alpine Rescue Team in Colorado; today she serves as a Technical Specialist with Alpine. In 1998 Loui traveled to scores of countries across the globe to study technical rescue abroad. Upon returning to the USA Loui co-founded Alpine Center for Rescue Studies, a non-profit research and testing lab, and became a regular presenter at the International Technical Rescue Symposium. During this time she began consulting to PMI on various projects, eventually coming on board full time in 1992 in a technical capacity. In 1996 she instigated the formation of the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians.

Over the years, Loui has also served as a structural firefighter, a wildland firefighter, a rope access technician, a safety consultant, and an expert witness. Today Loui’s primary role is as CEO of PMI, so she doesn’t get to teach as often as she’d like, but she is passionately interested in bridging the gap between regulatory compliance and real-world safety practices. A frequent presenter and conferences and symposia, Loui is a published author with chapters in High Angle Rescue Techniques, and Wilderness Medicine, as well as two titles of her own: Working Safely at Height: A Guide To Professional Rope Access (Wiley, 2016) and Falls From Height: A Guide To Rescue Planning (Wiley, 2012).

VRS Instructors


Bob McCurley brings a background in physics and engineering combined with technical rescue skills from both mountain rescue and industrial rescue to the work of Vertical Rescue Solutions. After serving in the Air Force, Bob received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies. He has spent much of his career in aerospace and defense, and has a great deal of experience in training and adult-education. Bob has been actively engaged in safety and rescue for work at height since 2001. He has experience as a firefighter and is a certified rope access technician.

Bob presently volunteers in mountain rescue with the Alpine Rescue Team in Evergreen, Colorado. He has received training in and now instructs in the areas of industrial fall protection, tower climbing and rescue techniques, PPE inspection, and work and rescue at height. Bob’s background includes training received at England’s National Access and Rescue Center (NARC) in Kendall. He is certified in CPR for the Healthcare Provider and First Responder, and maintains Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) certification from the National Ski Patrol. He continues to have an interest in the technical aspect of rescue gear, conducting testing and consulting in design for various components.

VRS Instructors


Craig Stalowy is originally from the Chicagoland area. He started his professional career in the fire service in 2004. He became a paramedic in 2006 and has been heavily involved in technical rescue ever since. In 2009, he moved to Colorado to pursue the good life and now works as a full time firefighter paramedic near Denver.
Craig’s passion for rope work brought him to VRS in 2015 to complete his first SPRAT course. Since then he has worked as a rope access technician and now teaches SPRAT, Industrial Fall Protection, and Competent Tower Climber/Rescuer. Craig is also certified as a FEMA Structural Collapse Technician, Confined Space Specialist, and Rope Rescue Technician.
When he’s not working, Craig can be found fly fishing and camping throughout Colorado as well as training for his next Ironman and other endurance races.

VRS Instructors


Martin Barnett is SPRAT® Level 3 certified and is medically trained as a First Responder. He is also National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC) and American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) trained. At VRS™, he teaches rope access, industrial fall protection, tower climbing/rescue, PPE inspection, artificial high directionals and several types of rescue techniques.

Prior to joining the VRS™ training team, Martin worked in Antarctica and in manufacturing where precision, attention to detail and safety were paramount. He is a former firefighter and has been volunteering for the past five years in mountain rescue with Alpine Rescue Team in Colorado.

Martin has led mountaineering expeditions including the highest mountain in all seven continents. He has summited many other technical peaks all over the world and his last expedition was walking across Antarctica to the South Pole. When he is not participating in rope access or rigging, he also enjoys mountain biking and rock and ice climbing.

VRS Instructors


Tom Wood is one of VRS’s most senior instructors, teaching with us for over 10 years. He is also a 20+ year veteran of the Alpine Rescue Team in Evergreen, Colorado, and is a U.S. Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) Terrestrial Rescue delegate to the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR). He is also a National Commission for Cave Rescue (NCRC) level 2 trained cave rescuer, and an approved National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) Practical Examiner for TTT1 and TTT2.

Tom is a Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT®) Level 3 Supervisor, and is a member of their Board of Directors. He actively participates in the safety and education committee for the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE).

Tom comes from a commercial and residential construction background, and he learned firsthand the importance of jobsite safety and compliance while serving as the safety manager for two different roofing companies. A 1990 graduate of Kent State University’s Photojournalism program, Tom served as a Combat Photographer for the United States Marine Corps Reserves for six years. He is a freelance writer on the side, who has authored a memoir, Trading Steel for Stone, and contributed to several rescue and industrial safety books and publications. His extracurricular activities include mountaineering, writing, ice climbing, rock climbing, caving and trail running. He lives in Conifer, Colorado with his wife and three children.

VRS Instructors