Vertical Rescue and Packing Pandemonium

Vertical Rescue

The end to this week has been great, Wednesday was safety at heights, glaringly obvious stuff to anyone who’s ever used anything more than a ladder but good to know the standards in place and the expected level of risk assessment required before carrying out any form of activity above a normal working level. Thursday and Friday were the fun days where we got to play on the antennae tower at the back of AAD’s offices in Kingston, some awesome weather made it a great day to get out too, there were no complaints from anyone at all!

We’d started with a morning covering off the usual theory around tower rescue of both conscious and unconscious casualties, what tools are available to us and what guidelines we’re expected to work within – I think the worst bit for me was watching a you tube clip of some guys free climbing a tower with pretty much zero safety, have a look yourself if you like but I must have lost a litre of sweat during this….If the guys had been plugged in 100% of the way I would have been fine but knowing that each move is pretty critical in extending the duration of your existence this sort of stuff makes me a bit twitchy!

Other than that we were outside and actively encouraged to get up and down the tower as often as we could. We could only really fit a couple of guys up at a time so we seemed to slip into a natural rotation of one guy climbs, the second guy follows and rescues him. We experimented with heaps of methods using different techniques, equipment and experience that we all had, some worked well, some not so well but basically we all remained safe and tried to remain on two separated systems just to eliminate the slim chance of any structural risk or gear failure….

Myself and Rob will need to have a look at the towers we have on site at Davis station when we arrive and review what rescue systems work for us, basically we will be rescuing each other if there is a problem so we need to be sure we’ve rehearsed any scenarios enough times to be slick off the draw should the other get stuck or injured……Obviously we don’t plan to get injured but we’re just being proactive, plus I’m sure that scheduling a nice sunny day climbing transmission towers is an occupational safety requirement 🙂

Here’s some shots of the latter part of the week:

Packing Pandemonium

As this week has drawn to a close we’re all getting that looming feeling that very soon it’s all going to happen, as of today (Sat the 14th) there are only two Fridays left as a team where we’ll be free to socialise with each other before we are split up and the first voyage (V1) heads off to Davis station with myself, Rob and all the Davis staff….

Onboard the Aurora Australis we’re only allowed to carry on 30kgs of personal kit for the journey, everything not required for the journey has to be delivered to the warehouse by next week’s cut off date so the stores guys can consign the equipment to the hold and have customs and excise clear it as fit for travel. Currently I have three piles of ‘stuff’ going on in my room, one pile of ‘carry on’ kit which for me consists of mostly cameras and my laptop with a small bag of clothes, the second pile is ‘stuff’ that is not needed to go down South which will be shipped home to Brisbane in a few weeks time, the third pile of course is what I’ m taking with me for the next twelve months yet cannot be accessed until I see it again at Davis station roughly some time in November.

You really need to get this bit right because you’re not going to get a chance to see some of your personal belongings for a while!! Ellie and the boys have sent me some Christmas presents to take with me, I’ll see if I last before opening them 🙂

Next week myself and Rob from Casey station have a few days of leadership workshops whilst other Rob and Shane (Rob 3) get to have fun doing boating training…..We’re all on Search & Rescue (SAR) training at the end of the week so that should be another interesting few days….The week after that is five days of fire training for the entire Davis wintering team…We’re looking forward to that one too….

Lots to do, last minute bits to buy, paperwork to check etc….

Busy, busy, busy!!

Cheers, Stu



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