Friday, May 21, 2010

SDOT Aerial Rescue practices in Delridge Community Center Park

The Seattle Department of Transportation Aerial Rescue team was practicing in the Delridge Community Center Park today. (Sorry for the fuzzy picture!) One of the rescue team, Zeke (not pictured), told me that they have an agreement with the Parks & Recreation Department to practice in parks.

Zeke told me briefly about their process. When they are called out to a rescue, they first try to make contact with the person in the tree and find out if they are responsive and if so whether they need help. One person will be designated to call EMS who then reports back that they are on their way. Before beginning a climb they try to determine potential hazards such as bee hives!

These careful steps, along with the rule that no one climbs alone, is clearly part of a organization that leaves as little to chance as possible.


Anonymous said...
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Michael Oxman said...

Trees have an essential role of enhancing our community with an interconnected umbrella of limbs that covers the ground with a living climate control utility.

The fire department, paramedics, Search & Rescue, SWAT, forest rangers, and mountaineers have specialized rescue methods that do not work well in trees.

Arborists have developed techniques using equipment designed for tree canopy rope access.

These methods apply in the myriad configurations of tree types and branching patterns. Emergency scenarios allow appropriate response to disabled climbers who may have encountered difficulty while suspended. Rapid deployment of rescuers trained to maneuver safely in trees is essential, and requires frequent training. Parks policy does allow tree climbing, but prohibits leaving objects or equipment hanging from trees unattended.

Arboreally yours,
Michael Oxman