While you’re at FDIC this week, take a look at some of the new rescue apparatus on display. Chances are many of the apparatus you see will have winches either built into the truck or stowed to be inserted into various anchor points found on the rig.
According to instructor Billy Leach, Jr., there are equally as many rescuers with limited knowledge of rigging and winching as there are winch-equipped rescue units. Attendees at today’s “Rigging & Winching for Rescuers” class learned specifically how to calculate the resistances and anchorability encountered when moving loads to ensure the equipment works within its Working Load Limit (WLL). “Without this knowledge, there is no certainty the load will be moved, possibly overloading the winching gear and causing catastrophic failure,” says Leach.
The classroom session was a comprehensive educational presentation focusing on rigging and winching operations. According to Leach, at the class’s completion, each attendee would be ready to apply the techniques instructed immediately upon returning to their agencies using tools they already possess.
Targeted attendees included all responders who may have the responsibility for attending rescue operations. Leach asserts that rescuers must understand relevant vehicle anatomy, resistances encountered, their equipment and its WLL. “This presentation allows you to reasonably calculate the load you will be moving or supporting,” he told the audience. The key result of these calculations is not only to move the load, but moving it safely.