911 response for California rescue

Discussion in 'Safety - General Safety Issues' started by Tracy Dowling, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. Tracy Dowling

    Tracy Dowling Friend of the Community

    I listened to your 911 tape and read the article. Whoa! What a scene. So it appears that it's almost a 1/2 hour for the rescue trucks to arrive. Then you have another hour for the firefighter to climb the guy wire. Add another 1/2 hour to lower the jumper and you've got two hours. It took them 5 hours to get him to the ground. What happened during the other 3 hours???? I don't want to Monday morning quarterback, and respect our professional firefighters, but it seems like there was some serious confusion!!!! Looking at it from a climbers perspective, If I'm hurt on a tower I hope that the rescue time is a lot quicker than that.
  2. Tim Tribble

    Tim Tribble Friend of the Community

    >Whoa! What a scene.

    Yes it was. I was there.

    >So it appears that it's almost a 1/2 hour for the rescue trucks to arrive.

    You are partially correct. The cellular 911 call was routed to the next county because the cell site that the call connected to was in the next county. They immediately sent out a response. The problem is the caller was not very clear as to where he was. If he had clearly stated which tower at the Walnut Grove tower site he was on the arrival of the firefighters would have been there a lot quicker.

    >Then you have another hour for the firefighter to climb the guy wire.

    Yes, moving 1 foot at each cycle of the ascender and having some 100 feet to cover yes, it takes a lot of time. It is very difficult and physically exerting.

    >Add another 1/2 hour to lower the jumper and you've got two hours.

    That time was spent rigging the equipment to safely lower the person to the ground.

    >It took them 5 hours to get him to the ground. What happened during the other 3 hours????

    It's called planning. This particular type of rescue has never happened here before and from what I have seen in the aftermath it doesn't happen with any frequency. (This was a first in the 30+ years for this site) The firefighters had to assess the condition of the person, exactly how he was entangled, how best, read here safely, remove the person without harm to him or the firefighter who had to rescue him. They had to assemble the equipment. Then review the plan that was chosen to make sure that nothing was left to chance.

    >I don't want to Monday morning quarterback, and respect our professional firefighters, but it seems like there was some serious confusion!!!!

    The only confusion was trying to get the person to give his correct location. After he was found everything followed a carefully scripted plan.

    >Looking at it from a climbers perspective, If I'm hurt on a tower I hope that the rescue time is a lot quicker than that.

    That being the case, have you spoken to your local Fire Department about sponsoring training with them. Allowing them access to the tower with you to address any concerns and questions they may have? Have you ever participated with your local Fire Department in training rescues from a tower? I already know the answer because it is the same answer in this situation in Walnut Grove, NO.

    Now, let's not forget the most important part of all this.
    1. This person was trespassing.
    2. This person performed an illegal act, BASE jumping.
    3. This entire incident was his own fault and he placed not only his life but the lives of the Firefighters, Sheriff Deputies, and EMS personnel who responded in danger.
  3. John Sandford

    John Sandford Frequent Poster

    I?ve had climber safety training, but I don?t believe I would be qualified to work with my local fire department to be able to assist them with any training program. I do know of many individuals and companies in our industry that have sponsored such training and have allowed their towers to be used.

    I trust that we?re at a point today of meeting an ambitious goal to have firefighters in all departments and battalions trained in high angle rescue. A tower is no longer a unique enjoyment for a few communities; they?re part of our landscape in every city and suburban town. Hundreds of thousands make up the US?s communications infrastructure and people?s lives are at risk daily as they build and maintain them.

    Firefighters, police and other rescue organizations have their own towers and in many cases have their own personnel maintain them. Therefore, it would seem logical to have a rescue program in place in case of an accident. Sadly, September 11 has required America?s fire departments to review and implement new rescue procedures as well as equipment requirements. I pray that these worthwhile investments will never be needed, but I?m glad they?re in place.

    Although many tower companies have qualified rescue procedures, equipment and capable personnel on site to provide for an expedient rescue, many don?t and will rely upon 911 respondents. The Walnut Grove jumper wasn?t injured, but if a climber received a concussion or other serious injury in an accident and had to wait five hours to be transported to the nearest trauma facility, there?s a good chance the workplace accident news report would have been accompanied by an obituary.

    There?s an echoing resentment by some law enforcement, firefighter and tower climber personnel about the man who foolishly decided to go sky dancing off a 2,000-foot tower.

    Mr. Tribble writes:
    ?Now, let's not forget the most important part of all this.
    1. This person was trespassing.
    2. This person performed an illegal act, BASE jumping.
    3. This entire incident was his own fault and he placed not only his life but the lives of the Firefighters, Sheriff Deputies, and EMS personnel who responded in danger.?

    Although I can appreciate his frustration, it?s not relevant to the ?most important part of all of this,? in my opinion, which is the need to have fire departments trained in high angle rescue.

    Last week firefighters bravely rescued a distraught teenager who climbed a tower to commit suicide by jumping off it and then changed his mind. In the past, firefighters have had to rescue tower climbers who did not use their safety equipment. Coast Guard personnel risk life and limb rescuing boaters who ignore weather warnings. Every day firefighters work feverishly to extract drunken drivers entrapped in their cars.

    Most emergencies are a result of a foolish action, all of them endangering the lives of rescue personnel; some just stretch the Darwinian Award Categories such as Mr. Agnos? natal day jump. But nowhere in any firefighters? creed will you find guidance to honor a willingness to seek out those in need ? providing that they can clearly identify that they were not a contributing party to the incident.

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