Mid way through the 2018 season, there was a shift in the industrial rigging arena. I saw this coming years ago, but quite wasn’t sure as to how the blending of Harken into the rope access and rescue space would happen; this was 2010. It was to come through the open-door of Elevated Safety. Now with Harken Industrial, we have a new face in the “space”. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Harken is poised to take the industrial rigging world by storm. I will also go on record (as a predication)… we’ll be seeing mountain rescue and SAR teams gravitating to Harken gear. Why?
- The abuse that maritime gear goes through is brutal and cleaning must be easy…
- The lightweight of the gear itself.
- The engineering has shown itself over decades of use.
Anyway, we’ll be covering more of Harken later, but for now… I want to introduce (again for those who missed our Tower Rescue Technician course release)… Elevated Safety. A great partnership was brewing with ES and Harken. Rumors were swirling and finally the word was made official. Harken purchased Elevated Safety.
Many of you may not quite get the gist of this acquisition, but it is huge. Harken is unlike any other company in our industry and Elevated Safety is unlike an other training and service provider.
Who is Elevated Safety and what are you all about?
…Here are excerpts from a great interview with Nate and Ross…
Elevated Safety is a rope access training and equipment company. We’re based out of Chicago. All of our instructors are career firefighters who are assigned to technical rescue teams for the Metropolitan Chicago area. We kind of started in rope access and doing rope access jobs and then training, and we’ve kind of branched off into confined space work, level three rope access supervision, difficult access teams for kind of unique structures, unique projects.
Yeah, most of our guys are all firemen. We’re firemen kind of owned and operates but we also, we have a few guys now that are not, that are level, especially our level three guys that we use for inspections and other jobs as well as teaching here as well. They’re high level riggers. Kind of branching out. The cool thing about our company I think in general overall is that Elevated Safety, every person that works for us and even the ownership all have full time jobs doing other stuff. What that means is that all the jobs we do, everything we do, the training we do is all stuff that we enjoy doing, we’re passionate about so we can kind of choose to be picky about what we do. All those things that we do do again, they’re all things that we’re somewhat passionate about, some that we’re really into.
We started off training firefighters in NFPA 1670 courses like rope rescue operations, rope rescue technician. That’s where all of our instructors for the most part, most of our instructors came from. Our initial thoughts, why we were drawn to rope access initially was we wanted to be better at that so we came to get SPRAT training and we were exposed to this whole different setup of equipment that we felt made our job safer, more efficient, more effective, less manpower intensive.
When we talk about the cross pollination stuff, I think it kind of that conversation kind of leads into what we did at the last couple of days, but tower rescue. The traditional fire service high angle rescue is the window washer stranded on the side of the building. In that scenario 25 firemen can show up, load up an elevator with 500 pounds of gear, take it all to the roof, kind of figure it out as they go and go make their pick off using a bar rack and an old school pick off strap, which is fine. Kind of what we’ve seen for the most part is when those rescues happen typically the fire department’s going in, breaking a window, a bringing the guy in that way.
What we’ve kind of tried to bring is that really your true rescue that you’re going to have is going to be on more of an unusual structure like a cell tower, like a tower crane, something along those lines. A wind turbine, something where you don’t have the ability to load all this equipment and all this personnel in there and figure it out. If you do have that and you’re trained in rope access you’re gonna be much better prepared for that rescue anyways, even if it is the traditional window washer on the side of a building. If it’s not going to be ready because you are a highly trained person with kind of cutting edge equipment, ultra light, ready to go, and basically self sufficient that we can make rescues with one or two guys instead of 25.
In my opinion, the biggest success that we’ve had has been the people that we have. I mean, and it hasn’t, it’s kind of like you would say happened organically, I guess. Him and I met in a SPRAT level one class, seven, eight years ago. There was never some grand vision that we were going to run a company together. That was never part of the plan. We just met in this class, got along well, we kind of kept in contact because of work at neighboring fire departments, and when the opportunity to become owners of Elevated Safety presented itself it just kinda seemed like a natural choice. It wasn’t something that we really spent a whole lot of time talking about. We were both into it. I don’t know that we had done the appropriate research that you would want to do to find a business partner.
We just both knew that we liked rope access, we knew that we liked working together, and we figured we’d just kind of wing it and give it a shot. In my opinion, that’s been our greatest success has been the fact that we work extremely well together and we’ve been fortunate that we have extremely highly motivated, high level guys who work for us. Those guys have just kind of, we haven’t gone out and actively searched for them. They’ve kind of come to us and those are the people we like to employ are people who are self motivated, who are the guys who are always the last ones to leave class. They’re the ones who are always working the hardest and we’ve been very fortunate, I think, that we’ve just hit a home run with personnel.
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Peace on your Days…