<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=3990718177617800&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Workers Saved by Firefighters’ Rope Rescue Skills

Friday, May 20, 2022

Firefighters perform rescues every day in many different situations. This incident shows while rescues like this may not happen every day, when they do, rope rescue skills are invaluable.

5/16/2022 – Lafayette, Louisiana Rope Rescue

Combining strength, skill, knowledge, and quick thinking, rope rescue is a dangerous task firefighters face. The art of rappelling and the selection of appropriate knots and anchors to ensure the safety of rescuers and their patients are skills that are vital to emergency responders.

st.georgeBoth_5.22Two construction workers were left hanging from their safety harnesses after the scaffolding holding the workers failed at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center. According to the Lafayette Fire Department, one person received major injuries, and another received minor injuries. 

Firefighters from the St. George Fire Department in Baton Rouge were covering Station 5 in Lafayette so their brother and sister firefighters could take the time to honor their fallen brother. Fortunately, the St. George Firefighters that were there happened to be trained in rope rescue – exactly what was needed to rescue the stranded workers.

Captain Neyland and Lieutenant Gateley brought them safely down to the ground where Captain Brown and Lieutenant Gonzales were ready to render patient care. While rescues like this may not happen every day, when they do, rope rescue skills are invaluable.st.george3_5.22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Photos courtesy of Lafayette Fire Department

 

 

Additional Resources

Roco Rescue Quick Drills

Roco Rescue Challenge is Back for 2022!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Challenge2019teamRev

After two years of pandemic restrictions, Roco Rescue is pleased to announce the return of Roco Rescue Challenge for 2022. For the first time since 2019, this flagship event is returning to the Roco Training Center (RTC) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 19th and 20th.

Kay Goodwyn, President of Roco Rescue, says, “After two years of all the disruptions caused by the pandemic, hosting Rescue Challenge again gives us a sense of normalcy returning. We are very excited to be interacting with rescue teams again at this level.”

The Roco Rescue Challenge has been an ongoing event since 1989. From inception, Rescue Challenge was meant to be far more than just a rescue “competition” that is all about trophies and bragging rights. Rescue Challenge respects the risks—and yes, challenges—that are posed by the confined space environment.

But Rescue Challenge is meant to be enjoyable, and trophy and bragging rights opportunities do abound as well. What Rescue Challenge does a masterful job of is combining realistic learning and new ideas and trends with a competitive edge. What many participants find is that Rescue Challenge builds a rock-solid foundation under their team, providing an acute awareness of their capabilities as well as limitations.

Roco Rescue Challenge is first and foremost about promoting safety and meeting regulatory compliance with regard to confined space rescue response. It is, therefore, very confined space centric by design. The event satisfies OSHA’s 1910.146 requirement for annual training and covers all six (6) types of confined spaces identified in the standard.

It is very common for teams to incorporate feedback from the early scenarios and noticeably improve their techniques before departing the event.

Because Rescue Challenge is a learning event, teams are encouraged to share among themselves what worked in their scenarios as well as what did not. This element of networking amongst teams from varying backgrounds and locales is one of those intangible benefits that most participants feel brings added value to attending.

But it is the team-building aspect of Rescue Challenge where most participants see the biggest growth and benefit. Rescue Challenge removes any homefield advantage and adds in challenging rescue scenarios that are timed. Anyone who has attended will tell you that it is an intense and highly pressurized environment. This is also by design; it is in these types of scenarios where teams best realize their strengths and weaknesses—and grow from both.

Roco-Challenge-2022-300x300After each scenario, the Roco instructors conduct an immediate debrief and provide guidance as to how the scenario could have been improved. It is very common for teams to incorporate feedback from the early scenarios and noticeably improve their techniques before departing the event. When you consider the six laws of learning (readiness, exercise, intensity, etc.), the Roco Rescue Challenge is easily ticking all of those boxes.

Underscoring that Rescue Challenge is a learning event is the training report delivered to each team at the conclusion. These detailed reports list the attendees and describe the types of confined spaces encountered and the skills demonstrated during the scenarios. This focus on training and team growth is one of the distinguishing aspects of Rescue Challenge that separates it from other purely competitive events.

Roco Rescue Challenge is first and foremost about promoting safety and meeting regulatory compliance with regard to confined space rescue response.

But some teams do arrive aspiring to bring home hardware for their efforts. And for those teams, Rescue Challenge has much more to offer. There are two award categories, the first being the Individual Performance Evaluation. This award is given to the team with the best time or highest score on a particular rescue skill or set of skills.

The second, and most coveted, award is for the Team Performance Evaluation, aptly called “The Yellow Brick Road.” This unsolvable rescue scenario rewards the team that follows that road the farthest with no safety violations. While teams are always good-natured going into the Team Performance Evaluation, once immersed in the event, everyone wants to win that trophy. It is precisely this level of excitement that makes the 2022 Roco Rescue Challenge such a unique event.

During the last two years of restricted activities, the rescue world has been hard hit along with the rest of us, and it’s been difficult for teams to train together. But with the restrictions alleviating, it is time for all of us to get back to doing what we do. At Roco, “We Do Rescue,” and at the top of our list is hosting Rescue Challenge again.

We never leave here without having learned something to make ourselves better for when we go back to the plant and lives are on the line.” — Christian B., Shell

Rescue Challenge is held at RTC — a state-of-the-art training center dedicated exclusively to rescue training. It features all six (6) types of confined spaces identified by OSHA and allows the creation of new and innovative rescue scenarios. The realism offered by RTC is one of the key features that attendees to Rescue Challenge comment on frequently.

But what people comment on the most is the sense of comradery they feel between themselves, the staff, and the other teams. Roco staffs the event with its most knowledgeable instructors who all have the singular mission of providing a safe and enjoyable learning event. The sense of togetherness everyone feels toward one another is truly incredible to experience at Rescue Challenge.

So, right when the weather is turning cool, join us on October 19-20, 2022, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for the return of the Roco Rescue Challenge. Spaces are limited, so enroll early to assure your team a spot. Rescue Challenge is open to all and encourages new teams to attend. Regardless of experience level, we know all participants will develop and grow as a team, bringing home immeasurable experience … and perhaps even a nice trophy too.

For more information about Roco Rescue Challenge, click here. To save your spot and register, click here.

Additional ResourcesChallenge 2018-Day 2 114

 

 

 

5 Tips for Working Safely at Heights

Sunday, May 1, 2022

This week, May 2-6, is OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. The reason for this emphasis is the continuing injuries and deaths resulting from workplace falls – especially in construction work. Fall protection was the #1 cited standard by Federal OSHA in 2021, and falls continue to make OSHA’s “Fatal Four” list year after year.

The statistics don’t lie. In 2019, there were 1,102 fatal injuries in the construction industry; according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 38 percent of these fatalities were fall-related. In 2020, employers spent over 16.5 billion dollars combined indirect costs as a result of falls according to Liberty Mutual’s Workplace Safety Index for the construction industry.

In doing our part for National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls, we’ve created a list of Top 5 safety tips to consider before starting work.

1) Implement the Hierarchy of Fall ControlsHierarchy of FallPro Poster

The most effective method to protect workers against falls is to eliminate the hazards! All too often we see employers and workers simply accepting a hazard without fully attempting to eliminate it first. Admittedly, elimination is not always possible or feasible. In this case, we should make every attempt to use passive fall protection — such as physical barriers, guardrails, or hole covers to prevent falls.  Even this may not always be a practical application in the real world. If we are unable to implement these two methods of control, then (and only then) should it be acceptable to move on to personal protective equipment (PPE) and active measures of control.

2) Develop Effective Training

If there are remaining hazards in the workplace, you must provide workers with the knowledge and skills to be aware of the hazard and their potential effects. Workers should be able to identify when they are at risk for falls and take appropriate and effective measures to protect themselves. Be sure to incorporate hands-on skills into your training with knowledge and competency assessments before allowing workers to work at height. There is no replacement for direct, hands-on learning for this type of skill set. Some examples of this may include appropriate set-up of ladders, harness inspection, maintaining 100% tie-off, and lifeline anchor selection.

3) Provide Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

As mentioned previously, elimination and passive fall protection should always be our primary and secondary goals for reducing fall-related incidents. When we are unable to implement these methods, we must then rely on PPE to protect workers from the remaining hazard. Ensure that your workers ready have access to adequate PPE for the job; remember, PPE is not a “one size fits all” application. Consider providing different styles of PPE so that workers can choose what is most comfortable or convenient for them.  Workers are a lot more likely to use PPE that they like and are comfortable using.  Also, ensure that workers know how to inspect their PPE and how to wear, use, maintain, and store it appropriately. 

4) Select Appropriate Anchor Points

Fall protection equipment is only as good as the anchor point that it’s tied off to. The ideal anchor point will be located directly above the worker. The further away a worker is from the anchor, the greater potential a worker has to swing into objects during a fall. Additionally, anchor points must be able to withstand at least a 5,000 lb. load per worker. On occasion, workers can be found tying off to electrical conduit, small diameter pipes, or other unacceptable anchor points. Ensure that your workers know and understand how to select appropriate anchor points. As a best practice, consider discussing what anchor points will be used for the job prior to starting work.

5) Accurately Calculate Fall Distances

What good is fall protection if you hit the lower level before it engages? Accurately calculating fall distances can be the difference between life and serious injury or death. The formula used for calculating this is as follows:

Required Distance = Lanyard Length + Deceleration Distance + Height of Worker + Safety Factor

Distance Image

Lanyard Length is exactly that, the length of the lanyard being used. Most lanyards are around 6-ft. in length; be sure to reference the manufacturer’s specifications to determine the exact length of the lanyard.

Deceleration Distance refers to the distance from when the worker falls, to when the fall arrest device activates, and to the final stopping point. Most shock-absorbing lanyards deploy to about 3.5-ft. in length when engaged. Remember that any slack between the anchor point and the worker’s dorsal ring must be added to this distance. For instance, if a worker has a 6-ft. lanyard and connects it 3-ft. above their dorsal ring, that will create an additional 3-ft. fall before the system activates. Additionally, a full-body harness will likely stretch an additional foot during a fall – be sure to include these additional distances in your calculations.

Height of Worker is also self-explanatory, the height of the average worker is about 6-ft.

Safety Factor is an additional amount of space added into the calculation to serve as a buffer. The generally accepted safety factor is 3-ft.

 

ChrisMcGlynn headshot McGlynn is the Director of Safety/VPP Coordinator for Roco Rescue. He is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals as well as a Certified Confined Space and Rope Rescue Technician, and a Nationally Registered Paramedic. As Director of Safety, Chris oversees all corporate safety initiatives, ensuring that employees at Roco have the tools and training that they need to do their work safely and effectively. He is also responsible for managing Roco's Safety Services Division, which provides trained safety professionals for turnarounds and other special projects. Finally, Chris serves as the VPP Coordinator for Roco, continuing Roco’s long-standing commitment to excellence in safety and health. Roco has been an OSHA VPP Star Worksite since 2013.

Follow Chris LinkedinIcon

 

Additional ResourcesFall Hazard Survey form

 

 

 

Q&A: 11mm Rope and NFPA Requirements

Friday, April 29, 2022

Q&A_4.22READER QUESTION: 
We’re hearing more about 11mm rope for rescue purposes – does this meet NFPA requirements? 

ROCO TECH PANEL ANSWER: 

That is a question we are getting quite often these days. The move from the traditional half-inch rescue rope (12.5mm) to 11mm is rapidly gaining momentum in the urban and industrial rescue world. While it is nothing new to rope access practitioners and back country rescuers, the skinny ropes can seem like a big jump for organizations doing their best to navigate the NFPA world.

At the end of 2017, the National Fire Protection Association released NFPA 1858, The Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services. For the first time, NFPA had an equipment guidance document focused on the end user rather than the manufacturer of rescue equipment.

Most recently, this standard along with two other standards (1670 and 1983) have been consolidated into one comprehensive standard, NFPA 2500: Standard for Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents and Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services, which became effective September 15, 2021.

Tech11-storeA quick look at NFPA 2500 reveals that the end user has significant leeway to determine rope and equipment size and strength. For example, Chapter 30 Selection (NFPA 1858), states in Section 2 Life Safety Rope that

“Specific performance criteria or specific features shall be defined based upon the intended application of the rope and equipment being purchased. If the organization has multiple intended applications for life safety rope, the purchase of multiple ropes shall be considered that best fit those applications.” (30.2.1)

Section 2 goes on to state, “Organizations shall specify and select rope with a minimum breaking strength (MBS) to provide an adequate factor of safety, as defined by the AHJ, for the intended application(s) to ensure adequate strength.” (30.2.5) 

The standard then adds, “Rope diameter shall be considered with prioritization to ensure compatibility with the other components used in the system and the ability to grip the rope.” (30.2.6)

NFPA allows the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) wide latitude to choose 11mm rope and equipment should it meet the needs of your organization. If you need further convincing, the Annex tells us that; Chapters 24 through 28 (of NFPA 2500), which divide life safety rope and equipment into two designations: general use and technical use. NFPA does not establish or endorse a particular safety factor or ratio.

And then goes on to say, “Rescue organizations can elect to use either technical use– or general use–labeled equipment based on the anticipated loads of the incident; training/skill level of responders; and the AHJ’s established acceptable safety factors. What safety factor(s) is deemed appropriate might vary based on the acceptable level of risk, severity of consequences of a potential failure, types of technical rescues, and the corresponding level of operational capability of the organization.” (A.‍30.1.2.1(6))

Most major rope manufacturers now offer 11mm kernmantle rescue ropes that are rated for NFPA general use. Add in compatible hardware like the excellent 11mm CMC Clutch by Harken or the Petzl Maestro Small, and you have multiple choices for skinny rope technical rescue that rivals the strength of any half-inch system with a much easier carry burden.

At the end of the day, whatever size rope and equipment you choose to use, it should;

  • meet a given standard (NFPA, ANSI, EN, CE)
  • be used within manufacturer’s recommendations
  • allow your team to complete the required task safely

This 11mm rope feels lighter, faster and rope companies are making it stronger, but is it right for you? Only you or your AHJ can decide.

 

Roco Receives Premier Vendor Award

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

award HC_4.22

We are extremely excited to share that Roco Rescue recently received Entergy's Premier Vendor Award in the Safety category.

This award is sponsored by Entergy to recognize and promote extraordinary vendor performance. In seeking and sharing best practices, the award-winning company must have a profound and direct impact on improving the safety and reliability of the utility industry. And, we were in competition with some very large corporations.

To be eligible for the award, service and material providers who have contracted with Entergy during the award year (2021) must have achieved high levels of performance, implemented transferable new practices, or significantly improved processes in the areas of safety, diverse/local spend, sustainability, customer centricity, and continuous improvement.

entergy award1Roco provides Entergy with many highly trained and skilled confined space rescue teams across Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Additionally, Roco’s Safety Services Division now provides Entergy with highly trained and motivated Certified Occupational Safety Specialists to add another level of depth to safety on large-scale outages and turnarounds. Our Safety Specialists have been involved in overall outage planning, safety consulting and observations throughout the outage, and overall support for anything that Entergy needed during their large projects. This year, Roco had the pleasure of providing oversite for two outages, including one major outage in Mississippi.

Safety_Services_2022

Additional Resources

 

 

 

1 2 3 4 5

RescueTalk™ (RocoRescue.com) has been created as a free resource for sharing insightful information, news, views and commentary for our students and others who are interested in technical rope rescue. Therefore, we make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information and are not liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Users and readers are 100% responsible for their own actions in every situation. Information presented on this website in no way replaces proper training!