Skip to main content

High Angle Rescue Training on the Dawson Creek Campus to focus on practical scenarios

On , In College News

It’s that type of challenging environment that requires fast and accurate critical thinking, said Northern Lights College (NLC) Wind Turbine Maintenance Instructor Rick Hall. As part of the certification as a maintenance worker for wind turbines, learners must successfully complete a course in wind turbine rescue.

“Wind Turbine technicians work at great heights – sometimes in excess of 100 meters. In doing so they must have an excellent knowledge of safe working practices, safety equipment and rescue techniques, both self-rescue and rescue of others,” said Hall. “The remote locations of most wind turbines mean that in the event of an accident or emergency the technicians must be their own first responders.”

At a two-day training session last month, Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) Fire & Safety Division instructors Eric Grootendorst (Vancouver Fire Rescue) and Grant Cusworth (Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service) were on the Dawson Creek Campus to deliver a course on Wind Turbine Rescue. The training provided by the instructors, who are members of specialized rescue teams in their respective departments, focused on the type and location of equipment in wind turbines. Students then practiced rescue techniques and operations in the real environment of a wind turbine training prop.

“When it comes to rescue training, there is no substitute for giving people the experience of running through scenarios in a safe learning environment,” said Kevin Perkin, Technical Rescue Coordinator in JIBC’s Fire & Safety Division. “The more realistic the scenario the better, and the wind turbine training prop was critical in this respect. This course was a great opportunity to partner with Northern Lights College to provide the hands-on training needed for wind turbine technicians.”

Moving forward, NLC and JIBC have a Memorandum of Understanding in place to establish joint training opportunities. The training tower on the Dawson Creek Campus and well site and oil rig on the Fort St. John Campus will provide the simulated learning environments to create practical rescue scenarios for learners.

After the successful completion of the course for wind turbine technicians, NLC and JIBC are in discussions to jointly deliver a new Technical High Angle Rope Rescue (THARR) course. Under consideration is a course where students would learn how to access victims stranded in a high-angle environment, using rope based rescue systems. Through the use of these various rope recovery systems, students would learn how to retrieve victim(s) that are caught in these situations and relocate them to a safe location. The course would combine the four-day Rescuer Basic Skills (which is a prerequisite for the THARR operations level course) and the four-day THARR operations.

The proposed high-angle rescues courses would be offered in addition to related safety courses NLC offers on a regular basis including: Confined Space Entry, Industrial Fall Protection, First Aid, etc. For more information on safety courses visit the Workforce Training Schedule of Courses.