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  1. #21
    Moderator ProgressiveRescue's Avatar
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    Great information. Do you know of any towers in Middlesex County NJ that can be trained on?
    Stay Safe,
    Mike Donahue
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You


  2. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Right off the top of my head, the 150 footer belonging to the fire district in Somerset?

  3. #23
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    Do you have contacts there? I'm looking to run a class.
    Thanks,
    Mike
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

  4. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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  5. #25
    Forum Member jdcalamia's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Let me know when you get that Tower class off the ground. I'm definitely interested in making the trip.
    John D. Calamia, BS, NREMTP, FP-C
    Firefighter/Flight Paramedic
    Broomall, PA

  6. #26
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    Will do John. It's tough to find towers to climb on around here but I will keep you posted.
    Stay Safe,
    Mike
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

  7. #27
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    As an Illinois Firefighter, I knew that a majority of our departments were untrained to deal with cell tower emergencies. These structures exist in every community and every response district so we're trying to get the word out. I train in rope access and industrial rescue and had contacts in the cellular industry, which proved to be the key. By going straight to the wireless contractor, fire departments can gain invaluable insider information. There are so many techniques, equipment, and hazards specific to tower rescue that it really is a course in itself.

    As far as belaying with the Petzl ID: It's an excellent belay device when used properly. ANY BELAY DEVICE CAN BE DEFEATED! That being said, it requires some technique and of course training. The nice thing about the ID is that by equipping every technician with an ID, each rescuer has the ability to:

    1. Descend using the ID
    2. Ascend using the ID
    3. Set up a progress capture change of direction
    4. Build an M.A. System with progress capture
    5. Perform a pick-off
    6. Belay a two-person load

    The versatility of this tool speeds up every facet of rope rescue operations. Tandem Prussiks will always be an excellent option as well. As far is which performs best when doing a tower control belay, I would use the tandem prussiks. The MPD is nice, but is heavy, large, and expensive. It also doesn't make for much of a descender. You can, and many progressive departments do, build a mirroring system using the ID.

    Finally, my fellow instructor from the tower industry informs me that step-bolts are not rated for taking falls. I'm not trying to tell anybody how to do it, but just be aware that they are not intended for fall arrest purposes.

    Let me know your thoughts guys

  8. #28
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    Collin, good call on the step bolts. The rigging set-up described on page one is an option if step bolts are all you've got. They have tried to rig up a soft system that will reduce the impact forces on the steps as much as possible. A shepherd's hook would be a better high point, but not a lot of people carry those on the rigs.

  9. #29
    Forum Member jdcalamia's Avatar
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    Being new to the world of tower rescue, what do you guys suggest if confronted with a tower that only has step bolts?
    John D. Calamia, BS, NREMTP, FP-C
    Firefighter/Flight Paramedic
    Broomall, PA

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    Some thoughts on tower rescue from a tower owners perspective.

    1. It is GREAT to see departments training on towers. To be blunt, it is about time!

    2. If a department needs to train on an actual tower in their general area, and you don't know of one that will allow you, contact me and I will get you one that is available. Anywhere in the US. If I don't own one there, I know someone who does. (In most cases)

    3. Another great industry resource is comtrain. www.comtrainusa.com

    4. Tower crews are SUPPOSED to be rescue and self rescue trained. Some are, some are not, some have been trained but little practice, and some are durn good at it. It will be obvious in the first 30 seconds of getting with them. They can be a valuable resource. Just a note - most tower crews make firefighters look like saints.

    5. It is a great part time gig for firefighters that have been trained on towers. Light repair, antenna install, hardline replacement, etc.

    6. I have been trying for years now to get statewide wireless associations to help pay for training and equipment of Fire Department tower rescue teams. No avail.

    7. AM broadcast towers. Not all towers are "cell" towers. AM Broadcast towers are HOT - ie energized when they are broadcasting. You can not just walk up to them and climb, as your body will become charcol broiled. FM and TV towers that are high power can toast you from the inside out when you get near their antennas. Any rescue team should have RF monitors so they can see when the power is approaching harmful limits. http://www.lbagroup.com/technology/s...rf-monitor.php is an example, I have nothing to do with these people.

    8. Shutting off power does not work. The electronics can be powered by a backup generator, or battery backup in the shelter. Just switching off the AC mains does nothing. PREPLAN! Those battery strings can be BIG.

    9. Shelters are not always bolted down to those pads.

    10. TIE OR DIE. 100% tie off. Always be safe.
    Excellent write up.

    I have a question re: radio comms near the towers. The amount of RF seems to present significant problems for some of our radio set-ups. "Swamps" everything. Maybe it is trying to use standard VHF/UHF radios that is the problem, but we've always considered comms as one of the challenges when working close to antenna farms (usually mixes of FM, AM, TV, cell, etc. towers).

    Any strategies the group can suggest?

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnRsq View Post
    Excellent write up.

    I have a question re: radio comms near the towers. The amount of RF seems to present significant problems for some of our radio set-ups. "Swamps" everything. Maybe it is trying to use standard VHF/UHF radios that is the problem, but we've always considered comms as one of the challenges when working close to antenna farms (usually mixes of FM, AM, TV, cell, etc. towers).

    Any strategies the group can suggest?
    Let me talk to the tower guys and see what they suggest

  12. #32
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    MtnRsq : Talking to my guy, the radio interference is entirely dependent on the tower you are operating on (type, use, frequencies, etc.) If you are on a tower that interferes with your department's radio frequencies, there are other options. A popular method is using "whoops." From what I understand, its a series of yelps with predetermined meanings. Ex: 2 "whoops" means "take up rope." There's also hand signals. One of the most valuable tools on a tower rescue is a good set of binoculars for IC, or Ops command.

  13. #33
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    Default Step Bolts

    Quote Originally Posted by jdcalamia View Post
    Being new to the world of tower rescue, what do you guys suggest if confronted with a tower that only has step bolts?
    Apparently there's a product called Step Peg Anchor Brackets available from Tuff-Tug

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