Written By: Jeffrey Scott
You must have an emergency rescue plan included work plan. It is best if you always have someone on site who can safely perform a pick off rescue. If you are just gonna wait for the fire dept. to show up be aware:In the event that assisted rescue by means of suspension must be performed, it is vitally important that all parties involved (on site employees, facilities personnel and emergency medical personnel) have a clear awareness and understanding regarding orthostatic intolerance, suspension trauma and the site-specific situation at hand.
Below is a list of recommendations to reference during assisted rescue:A person who is unconscious while suspended from their PFAS (Personal Fall Arrest System) must be rescued immediately and safely as possible.A person who is conscious while suspended from their PFAS and cannot immediately perform self-rescue, instruct them to elevate their legs and contract their leg muscles periodically until help arrives.Be aware of signs and symptoms pertaining to orthostatic intolerance such as breathlessness, dizziness, faintness, hot flashes, increased heart rate, loss of vision, nausea, paleness, sweating, unusually low blood pressure and unusually low heart rate.Be aware of factors that may affect the degree of risk pertaining to suspension trauma such as blood loss, cardiovascular disease, dehydration, fatigue, hypothermia, inability to move legs, injuries during fall, pain, respiratory disease and shock.Once the person is rescued and lowered to the ground floor level, DO NOT allow them to lie flat, unless CPR is required, or stand up.For a semi-conscious or unconscious person who has already been placed in a horizontal position, follow standard first-aid guidelines. DO NOT raise the rescued employee back to the sitting or standing position.If the person is unconscious, keep their air passages open and follow standard procedures for ABC’s.
Administer only minimal fluid via IV administration in the absence of blood lose. After 20 – 40 minutes following the rescue and fluid administration, the rate of infusion can be increased to facilitate dieresis, as renal failure is a common complication.
Hypoglycemia should be corrected with an IV bolus of 25 grams of 50% dextrose-in-water.Monitor the ECG for electrical abnormalities, such as hyperkalemia, peaked T waves, prolonged QT intervals, widened QRS complexes etc.Monitor the blood pressure. Hypertension may indicate hyperkalemia and the onset of crush syndrome.Consider additional drugs such as IV biocarbonate, calcium chloride, albuterol or insulin.Transport the rescued person in a sitting position for at least 30 minutes post-release from the vertical motionless position.
SPRAT and/or IRATA certification
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Jeff is certified IRATA level 2 & SPRAT level 2. Belongs to the IWCA Board of Directors/ Education Committee Chair. Has over 20 years of window cleaning experience and high rise experience. And is a candidate for the SPRAT Board of Directors.