The cohort consist of , from left to right:, Kat Davidson (Glendale), Chris Morgan (YGS), Joe Porter (Glendale), Jake Harmieson (Arborcure) and Sam Whiffin (AC)
We launched them straight into their City and Guilds Awards in Climbing Trees and Performing Aerial Rescue. Some had climbed a little bit before, but mostly this was new territory, and an awful lot of skills to build in 5 days.
These are absolutely vital skills that all Arborists should learn, even to work on the ground for an Employer, as there should always be someone with you when you are climbing, who is capable of performing an aerial rescue in an emergency.
A quick response when someone is injured or stuck, can really save lives. This training means that our Apprentices, once they have completed the week and their assessment, will be able to work on a wider range of jobs for their companies, and will have a much broader skill base.
Here we see Chris organising a pole rescue with Kat, and Jake is the casualty being lowered. These exercises rely on good communication, a lot of trust in their equipment and each other, a head for heights and a high level of climbing skill from the participants.
Each individual is required to rescue a colleague from at least 5m above the ground, by a variety of methods.
The method being demonstrated on the left, involves three people, and is called, strangely enough a ‘three person rescue’ or a ‘belayed rescue’.
In this picture, Chris, the rescuer, has climbed above his casualty, secured a false anchor point above him to lower him from. This is simply because, in a pole rescue, there clearly are no branches to work with!!
Kat on the ground, has set up a fail to safe belay system, to safely get the casualty to the ground. This involves two knots which are arranged in such a way that if for some reason, the rope is released accidentally, the casualty does not fall to the ground- very reassuring!
Another method they have to perform, is to come down with the casualty in what is known as a ‘two person rescue’. This is appropriate if, for instance, the casualty is unconscious or requires other support during descent.
In these exercises, once the casualty is safe and on the ground, the rescuer stays on the pole, and someone else takes a turn at being rescuer, and lowering until everone has done each part, and everone is happy and extremely familiar with all parts of the rescue procedure.
It can be quite confusing and there are a lot of ropes, knots, pieces of kit and people to manage, and it is all down to the rescuer to take control, and lead the rescue.
Here on the left, Sam, is descending to Chris, in order to attach himself to him, and safely bring him down, from an awkward place within the crown of a chestnut.
This requires some careful manoevering in the crown, and some technical techniques such as walkimg out on limbs above the casualty and redirecting the climbing line through forks by dropping through them, as Sam is doing here. This gets the rescuer vertically above the casualty, and makes the rescue much safer and easier to execute.
Other techniques are used to get the climber into a good position to retrieve a casualty. Here Joe is performing an aerial transfer around 40ft up, between two upright stems of a tree, in order to get himself in a position to descend to a casualty. This is really quite hard on the arms and stomach!
Some of this cohorts assessments are at the end of next week, work permitting, and the rest in early October. From the outstanding performance they have shown this week, they should have no difficulties in passing these units, as they have all learnt quickly, worked out of their comfort zones, and put in 110% effort over the last five days and they have really earned a good result.
Next time we see them will be after their test so:
Good Luck Everyone!!