Swinerton Renewable Energy (SRE) says its SOLV technicians, as well as local search-and-rescue teams, were recently certified for wind turbine rescues.
The training course was held at a wind/solar hybrid utility-scale site, SRE's recently completed Red Horse 2 Wind Farm near Willcox, Ariz. SOLV is the company's proprietary SCADA platform, which provides real-time performance monitoring.
According to SRE, many of the first responders in the rural area are run by volunteer fire departments that do not have the equipment or training to perform rescues on wind turbines; to do so puts their rescuers at risk and might endanger the injured party even further. As a result, SRE trained its SOLV employees to perform these rescues independent of outside sources.
The course was taught by Michael Darling, SRE's senior safety manager and a nationally certified turbine rescue trainer. In addition to training its own Red Horse SOLV team, SRE contacted the Cochise County and Pima County Sherriff's offices, and 12 members from their search-and-rescue teams took part.
A three-day, eight-hour a day course, the program involved a classroom session; hands-on warehouse training; and on-site, in-turbine training. Most of the training involved simulated rescues, including lessons on fall protection, rope management, and rappelling. These exercises included self-rescue, assisted rescues, fallen-line rescues and ladder rescues.