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Emergency Response and Aerial Rescue

March 28 @ 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Instructor: Phil Kelley and Brian French CEUs: 6.5

This workshop is designed to educate tree climbers on the most likely scenarios where they may have to respond to an emergency. Emphasis is on emergency preparedness, readiness and accident prevention. The importance of self-rescue strategies and understanding the ‘working alone’ definition reinforces the importance of emergency readiness.

Participants are educated in the truths about tree work accidents and fatalities, information based on arborist statistics and industry reviews provides the basis for the specific rescue techniques trained and practiced. Participants are educated in key terms and definitions relating to rope parts, knots, hitches and specialized equipment. Physics concepts such as reaction force and potential energy associated with various rope rescue systems and configurations complete this comprehensive workshop.

This workshop involves hands on rescue opportunities and practice.

Rescue, Readiness, and Reality

  • Challenges of High Angle Rescue,
  • Tree Climbing Systems - terms and definitions,
  • Responsibility and Due Diligence,
  • Legislation regarding Emergency Protocols,
  • Work Plan,
  • JSA (Job Site Assessment),
  • ERP and the Importance of Procedures and Protocols.

First Aid and CPR Review

  • C,R,N and Casualty Assessment, Primary and Secondary Survey,
  • 911 on Phone Protocols, EMS (Emergency Management Systems) Support, Assistance and Co-operation.

Risk assessment and scene management

  • Tree and Site Hazards,
  • Suspension Trauma,
  • Stress Management,
  • Electrical Hazards.

Extent and severity injury evaluation

  • Look, Listen and Feel,
  • Stabilize, Comfort and Support.

Self Rescue and working in isolation

  • Self Rescue Techniques and Methods,
  • Working Alone Defined and Evaluated.

Climber Extrication

  • Scenario Evaluation, Triage,
  • Prepare Rescue Equipment,
  • Self Rescue,
  • Ground Worker Assisted Rescue Systems,
  • Single (Stationary) Rope Systems, Basal and Canopy Anchors,
  • Spare Pole Systems and Challenges,
  • Spar Pole Triage and Victim Packaging.

Rescuer Ascent and work positioning

  • Rope Placement and Installation,
  • Rescue Techniques and Strategies,
  • Climbing Systems, Weight Transfer, Angles of Incidence and Loading,
  • Pick Offs,
  • Single (Stationary) Rope Systems and Friction Management.


Philip Kelley is a lead climber and instructor. He has 25 years in the industry and is a Past President of the Georgia Arborist Association and has been a Certified Arborist since 2000. He is a judge for the ISA North American Tree Climbing Championship and ISA Aerial Rescue International Tree Climbing Championship. He has taught for North American Training Solutions since 2009.  He is a contract climber and owner of Samara Tree Preservation and Training since 2014.

Philip is an ISA Certified Arborist, Certified Instructor for Tree Worker/Climber specialist, Aerial Rescue Technician, Line clearance tree trimmer, Electrical Hazard Awareness, Aerial Lift Specialist, Hazard Tree Assessment, Tree Dynamics and Integrated Risk Assessor, Advanced Chainsaw Safety Cutting & Felling Techniques.  He was a part of the NATS Instructor Intensive Training in 2009, 2015, Chainsaw Train the Trainer in 2014, and Vitality Summit in 2016.

Brian French founded Portland-based Arboriculture International LLC in 2013. He is a climbing ISA Certified Arborist and Qualified Tree Risk Assessor. Serving as coordinator for the Oregon Champion Tree Registry and the Chair of the Portland Heritage Tree Program, he focuses on the preservation of significant, old trees and their associated flora and fauna. As an Audubon Society of Portland volunteer, Brian facilitated various ongoing wildlife habitat projects including salmon habitat restoration, snag development, red tree vole surveys, and developing urban wildlife guidelines.


Allied Professionals are members of allied organizations. See our list of qualifying organizations.


Washington Park Arboretum
2300 Arboretum Drive E
Seattle, WA 98112 United States
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