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Pole Top Rescue Training
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  1. #1
    shadow Guest

    Question Pole Top Rescue Training

    Featured Sponsor

    When conducting hurtman rescue for seasoned linemen ( not new trainees). I am talking about linemen that have earned the crew leader status, how many use full fall arrest? And are your linemen qualified to free climb wood poles? let me know your thoughts....thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Virginia, USA

    Post Where is this question coming from?

    We conduct rescue training with the same tools and equipment you have on the job. For us in the USA that means free climb. I don't know about our Canadian and Aussie brothers. Thats why I asked where you are. If any US company does rescue practice different then the field they are kidding themselves. This only applies to full journeymen NOT apprentices. Although in the last 3 steps of our 10 step program the apprentices practice with the journeymen.

  3. #3
    Jabbo Guest


    No fall arrest and we actually push the guys to free climb, it puts a lot less stress on the pole. You get a couple of hundred pounds hoboing up a pole and just watch the hardware swinging. We don't have a stop watch on site either. I would rather them practice the skill than the speed. Adrenaline will take care of that if needed.


  4. #4
    shadow Guest

    Question Pole Top Rescue

    I am in North Carolina. I work with a membership organization that supports almost 80 municipalities in training. A qualified instructor went to one of our cities and conducted a hurt man rescue training exercise. Everything was going very smooth. A crew leader from this location climbed up to the rescue randy lost his grip and fell. He unfortunately injured his ankle to the point that he retired on disability. Almost 3 years later he filed a law suite against the support organization and the lineman instructor teaching the class. This injured linesman will admit that he has climbed hundreds of poles in his career, but he say's that he should have been provided fall protection, and a cushion at the base of the pole. His attorney's are banging on the OSHA Standard that "Employees undergoing training are not to be considered "qualified employees" for the purpose of this provision, and must be provide fall protection. However, OSHA also says that Qualified employees may "Free Climb wood poles if the employer can ensure,,,so on an so forth......

    I know and he knows that he is just gold digging. I would however like to know what everyone else in the U.S. is doing and what they think of this situation......if they win the case they will set a precedent..OSHA will only stand up and bow out there chest when they are citing you for a possible violation but when you need them they are hiding and won't comment one way or the other..... Give me your thoughts...Thanks Brothers.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Default Pole top rescue

    Last time I did this my time was faster than anyone eles in the co except one young squirel. At age 56 i was happy with that. think it was around 43 sec. from ground to injured man on the ground. Most of the young bucks beat me up the pole but when they got there took more time than me to get man down. We did have one foreman older than me that they let go up 5ft to do it but in a emergency i think he would be fine. No fall arrest free climbed. In a emergency We would all free climb so why not get used to it. I mostly free climbed when younger but used the hitch hike method after.
    Last edited by Bull Dog; 03-22-2007 at 05:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Ontario, Canada

    Default pole rescue

    I'm from Ontario, Canada. We are not aloud to free climb. We have a primary pole belt with a pole choker and a secondary belt for when u have unbelt the primary belt to climb around phone, secondary lines ect. Apprentices and journeymen wear for the most part the same equipment.

  7. #7
    42linehand Guest


    We free climb and so do our apprentices after they pass a climbing test. I agree that you should practice the same way that you would rescue someone in the field. In that situation you dont have time or resources to put a harness on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Frivalous lawsuit

    I think that when an employee has that much experience, and the company poicy does not use fall arrest for climbing, then he should not be able to sue using that as the reason.

    He may be better off using poor pole conditions or something like that. I know our poles get chewed up pretty bad. To the point that they are tough to climb.

    Once our apprentices are certified in pole climbing school, or a new hire Journeyman who has proven his qualifications and passed a pole climbing skills test; they do not need to be on a teather any longer.

    We do not free climb when we have reached the feet of the victom. We belt off below just in case they come concious and kick.

    Everybody is sue happy anymore. Sometimes I think there is merit and sometimes not. It's a case by case thing I guess.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default What's the rush?

    It's interesting that when training and practicing pole top rescue someone would actually put a stop watch to the process.
    What the hell is the matter with management that would permit/encourage this type of nonsense?
    You train to gain skills that you don't already possess, and you practice to maintain those skills. I have found that in most cases the last practice session was months or years ago.
    What is the purpose of timing and causing unnecessary stress which is often the root cause of a falling accident.
    All the winner gets is bragging rights. Whoop ti do!
    I was with a crew who conducted their previous session as a competition like that and the winner dropped the Rescue Randy three times. But he was the quickest.
    What's the OBJECTIVE?
    To learn the technic so well that if a brother is injured panic doesn't cause a blank. Take your time and learn the skill.
    That's also the basis of linemen free climbing when they otherwise don't. Talk about a high risk activity.
    In Ontario as someone already said they are required to wear full fall protection for training and practicing.
    IN A REAL CASE SITUATION YA DO WHAT YA GOTTA DO. If your going to belt and unbelt and belt again over every obstacle then that's called "BODY RECOVERY"--------- NOT RESCUE.
    Rushing is natural but doesn't have a place in training. What other type of training can you recall where time is a measuring stick. The Olympics?
    The Old Lineman

  10. #10
    shadow Guest

    Default pole top rescue

    Featured Sponsor

    I appreciatee the kind words and advice....we also do not time our rescue procedure....we practice the skills and techniques necessary to successfully rescue the victime...please....let me hear all your thoughts....I need your help brothers...thanks

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