Western’s Desert Southwest helicopter line maintenance crew conducted tower rescue training Oct. 18 – 19 and again Nov. 3 to learn how to rescue an injured or endangered lineman on a tower using helicopter-assisted short haul procedures.
Short haul is relatively new technique for the U.S. that has been used for decades in Europe. Equipment and people are carried to and from towers dangled under a helicopter by a 50 to 100 foot line.
DSW is exploring how the technique could be used on their lines to improve safety, increase productivity and decrease the time and physical burden of climbing up and down several towers a day to conduct routine maintenance.
The initial training took two days: one in the classroom and another on an out-of-service line near Phoenix where linemen and pilots practiced saving “Rescue Randy,” the DSW maintenance dummy. The Nov. 3 hands-on training ensured the crew retained the knowledge they learned.
“In a remote setting, if we were to have an emergency, the new rescue techniques affords us the ability to perform a short-haul rescue and get the victim to urgent care a lot quicker and safely,” said Foreman II Richard “Bo” Mortensen.
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