Challenges of Living With “The New Normal” In The Rope Access and Rope Rescue World

Like everyone on the planet, all of us at Elevated Safety have been watching this pandemic unfold at our doorstep with one eye on the news and the other on our dwindling toilet paper supply. We have had friends and family test positive for COVID-19, and sadly, watched some perish. We’ve had to postpone rope rescue and rope access trainings, cancel jobs and reschedule conferences and tradeshows. We’ve had to lend moral support to friends and families that have lost their jobs. Or their companies. The rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus has impacted every aspect of our lives. And with the majority of our staff being first responders, we’ve had front row seats and seen first-hand just how different our world now looks since this all began.

So the big question on our minds (and everyone else’s) is this: “Where do we go from here?”

Staying Safe

Since online Zoom meetings in your bathrobe, and Goto Meeting conference calls with whiskey in your coffee mug are no substitute for hands on training and work at height; we need to apply our trade in person — with boots on the ground, helmets on our heads, and Clutches on our ropes. Nobody needs to tell us that our work is considered essential-we’ve known that for years. And essential workers who trust their lives to their ropes and equipment, such as SPRAT certified rope access technicians, need to stay sharp. We are chomping at the bit to help new students receive quality training, as well as assisting existing technicians to get re-certified in 2020.

Safety is in our name and in our blood. Whether we are dangling 900 feet above the streets of Philly replacing light fixtures on One Liberty Tower,  providing confined space rescue training to firefighters in Chicago, rigging re-anchors under the 12th Street Bridge over the Ohio River in Kentucky with our bridge inspector friends at AECOM,  writing safety and rescue plans for the via ferrata routes in the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park in Colorado, or delivering access and fall protection training to some of the biggest names in the insurance industry. We keep the health, safety and well-being of our staff and clients first in our minds at all times.

Here at Elevated Safety, we understand that there’s no longer such a thing as “Business as usual!” for any of us. As we begin to navigate a new world where exposure to the COVID-19 virus remains a public health concern for the foreseeable future, we will be doing so while meeting and exceeding the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as those of the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). We will be closely monitoring the health of our staff and students as we conduct classes, and providing everyone with the safest environment possible. We fully expect to hit some roadblocks along the way. But with the help and support of our students, customers, clients and friends, rest assured we’ll be doing our best to exceed expectations in the safest way possible.

So until we meet again, stay safe, stay sane and may your carabiner never cross-load!