Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arboricultural Association.

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The Big Rescue Event

Author:  Chris Wyatt
Last Updated:  25/06/2018

Friday 14 September 2018
Home Farm, Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV35 9HJ

The Big Rescue Event

The Big Rescue Event 2018 – ‘What is this?’ I hear you ask. Come along on 14 September, refresh your rescue skills and find out more!

Having spent 20 years this year being involved in the arboriculture industry, from student through contract climbing to running my own company, and now instructing and assessing for City & Guilds NPTC, I have covered quite a broad spectrum of the industry and have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of people from all walks of life. My main focus now is on what I call the safety side of the industry.

Having read in the press the very sad news of climbers being injured – and tragically even killed – I started to come up with an idea.

What if ground staff had a better understanding of and ability to perform rescues?

Now, rescues have always been a large part of the tree climbing courses I have either assessed or trained on, but how often are these skills actually practised or refreshed. In some parts of the industry they are a requirement, especially in some of the larger utility contractors, but how often would ‘John Smith Tree Contracting’ undertake a refresher or practice?

I often see demos being performed at the trade events or APF, and also in the climbing competitions, and that’s the only real time I have seen this happen.

I recently delivered a refresher course to three really nice lads. Whilst the cold wind and sleet conditions were not ideal, we pushed through and finished the day. Then they told me that the refresher I delivered was not only the most thorough but also the most informative they’d experienced. This really made me think to myself, if that’s was thorough, what have these guys been doing before on refreshers? I could have shown them a lot more. However, the main thing, I believe, is that they have attended some sort of update.

Refresh rescue skills – and help raise money for charity too

My idea is to try to bring the need for regular practice or updates on aerial tree rescue into the limelight. This can either be at work on site with team leaders/managers calling a rescue when the team doesn’t know it’s going to happen or through training providers.

I have contacted contractors in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire to touch base and to share with them the idea of a large event where qualified climbers are updated on rescue techniques. The event will finish with tree and accident scenarios, which climbers will need to assess and deal with safely and efficiently.

So, on Friday 14 September climbers who attend will be put in groups of 10 and supervised by some of my very generous assessor colleagues who are donating their time for free.

We are also aiming to raise money for the Air Ambulance charity via a raffle supported by industry kit suppliers, who have been very generous to the event.

Ready to get involved? If you would like to be part of this event or can help in any way contact chriswyatt.cts@gmail.com.

Article taken from Issue 181 of the ARB Magazine.