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Gondola rescue training
On Saturday 29 July during the annual maintenance shutdown of the Arthurs Seat Eagle, CFA conducted specialised rescue training in conjunction with Arthurs Seat Eagle staff.
Written by Operations Officer Daryl Owen
The training session involved the accessing and retrieval of occupants of the gondolas should a fault occur rendering the lift unable to operate.
Although the Eagle is a state of the art Gondola style facility with multiple backup systems and regular maintenance, making the probability of requiring the mid span evacuation of occupants very unlikely, the operators and emergency services take the proactive approach to ensuring occupant safety.
Emergency services work closely with the lift operators and share a similar rescue system for this lift. Emergency services have to respond to a wide range of rescues involving a wide range of scenarios from cliffs, cranes, buildings, amusement structures and other styles of chairlifts. This requires our equipment and systems of work to be adaptable.
Firefighters already trained in some areas of high angle rescue practiced accessing a cableway mid span, tower access, and accessing a gondola to override the door locks to retrieve the occupants all whilst maintaining safety of the occupants and firefighters.
As this facility is an all-weather and all abilities lift, with firefighters working through the simulated retrieval of children, infants (in a specialised paediatric carrier in service with Air Ambulance, MFB, SES and CFA) and mobility impaired patrons from the gondolas. This is to ensure we have the capability to retrieve all occupants.
The weather on the day had a severe weather warning issued for strong and damaging winds. The training proceeded and safety officers monitored the conditions. These weather conditions provided for excellent learning and experience in responding to emergencies in strong winds whilst working at heights.
CFA collaborates closely with partner emergency services and unfortunately due to the operational workload from the wind event, both MFB and VicPol were unable to attend this session.
CFA would like to thank the Arthurs Seat Eagle management and staff for their partnership in ensuring community safety and the ability to practise rescue systems at this facility.