Going the ‘extended distance’
Written by: Steve Leon
Rope Access Team member Corey Dickson, near the top of the dam, and Hoover Dam Police Chief Mary Hinson begin their descent down the face of Hoover Dam. LCR photos by Billy L. RileyOn May 27, members of the Hoover Dam Police Department, Hoover Dam Fire Brigade and Rope Access Team participated in an activity that is not recommended for persons who are faint of heart, less than physically fit and perhaps, fearful of heights. Demonstrating proficiency in high-angle technical training, which includes properly donning safety equipment, setting anchors, managing ropes and rappelling extended distances, is an integral part of duties for the nine employees who participated. The 600-foot face of Hoover Dam is a perfect venue to challenge the employees and provide an opportunity to educate the public about the significance of the Bureau of Reclamation and Hoover Dam.
Once Rope Team Leader Corey Dickson and Lt. Kevin Lister had provided a safety briefing and completed safety checks, one by one, the nine employees swung their bodies over the ledge onto the face of the dam and rappelled 600 feet down to the central section roof of the Hoover Dam Power House. Prior to participating in this activity, all nine employees previously completed required training. This training activity is necessary to maintain skills, which are considered “perishable” by team leaders, and which may be needed in emergencies such as for high-angle search and rescue, confined space rescue and tactical rappel.
Those participating in this training included Elizabeth Higgins, Nathaniel Seria, Joseph Grabish, Joseph Stubitz, Jared Parry, Andrew Trader, Jared Parry, Corey Dickinson and Hoover Dam Police Chief Mary Hinson.
“This isn’t the first time this training has been offered, but it is a rare opportunity for the Hoover Dam Fire Brigade to be allowed to participate in extended distance rope rappelling along the face of the dam,” said Parry.
The Fire Brigade trains monthly. Some of their recent training includes fire and rescue, search and rescue, emergency extraction, and rope and confined space rescue. While the participants did not earn any certifications from this activity, “They did garner extremely important experience and training,” said Safety & Occupational Health Specialist Billy Riley, who provided administrative support for this training.
Published on June 14, 2016