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Team Elevated Safety Finish Joint 7th at GRIMPDAY 2019 in Belgium!

We are pleased to announce that team Elevated Safety finished in joint 7th place at the GRIMPDAY competition, which took place in Namur, Belgium, June 6-8.

The international search and rescue challenge saw 30 teams battle it out against each other in a series of search and rescue exercises in hazardous environments.

Team members from Harken Industrial and Elevated Safety formed their own team (Elevated Safety) along with assistance and support roles from CMC staff. We were the first and only team from the USA to ever compete. The group consisted of Joe Rogat, Nate Paulsberg, Dale Abbinanti, Ross Chapman and Sean Cogan, with Derrick Reinhart taking controller duties, plus Art Maciel as “the victim.”

Elevated Safety team member Ross Chapman sent us daily roundups during the event in between participating in the exercises. Below, he details some of the highlights from each day, but before we hand over to him, here’s a look at what GRIMPDAY involves.

Background to GRIMPDAY

GRIMPDAY is an international challenge that brings together search and rescue teams from around the world. The event this year was hosted in Namur, Belgium.

Rope access professionals taking part in the three-day event include firefighters, civil defense, military and police. The event started in 2006 by members of Namur’s regional fire department and is sponsored by Courant, Vertical Living.

Over to you Ross…

Roundup Day 1 - Thursday, June 6

Check-in and qualification round - CrossFit Meets Rope Access

Team Elevated Safety checked in at the Zone de Secours NAGE-Poste Namur. After completing the mandatory equipment inspection our evolution began. The first component was a mile walk from the fire station to the Citadel with our gear. On arrival at the Citadel, our team leader received a briefing and our clock started. The initial task was a half mile uphill run followed by a rope ladder climb. Once the team reached the top we ran through the tunnels of the Citadel to the base of a hill where there was 100’ of charged fire hose, which the team had to bring to the top. After that, the team continued to run through the fort and completed a series of rope ascents and rappels until finishing with a sprint to the finish.

Roundup Day 2 – Friday, June 7

Event 1 - The Tube

Rescue team starts on top, the victim is located 50’ below with a tube in between both of them. The team deploys the rescuer and a litter through the tube and they must bring the litter and the rescuer back up to the ledge. Time stops when the litter along with the patient and the rescuer as well as all team equipment have cleared the scene.

Day 2 Wrap Up

The first day of the Grimpday competition focused heavily on a variety of litter maneuvers and operations. The day culminated for Team Elevated Safety with an 80-meter rope ascent from the ground to the bridge deck that must be completed by all team members. Once on the bridge, the team then needed to haul up the victim in a litter with time stopping when the victim and all members of the team and equipment were on the deck.

Roundup Day 3 – Saturday, June 8

Day 3 of Grimpday started for Team ES with the most challenging scenario of the day featuring a simulated car that had fallen off a bridge. Teams had to have a member ascend to the bridge, perform a horizontal traverse and cross haul an additional rescuer and doctor to the vehicle and then assess and extricate the victim. This scenario was further complicated by high winds that created additional challenges. The remainder of the day consisted of more litter evolutions at a local school and inside of a dam. The day culminated in an epic party where Team Elevated Safety tied for 7th in the world with ISC Wales. Thanks to all for an unforgettable event.

Final Thoughts

Team Elevated Safety was extremely thankful and humbled to have the opportunity to compete at this year’s Grimpday in Belgium. To participate as the first American team and compete against the top rescue teams in the world was a once in a lifetime opportunity. A huge thank you to the people and companies who made the dream a reality: CMC, Harken Industrial, Truewerk and Sterling Rope. We had an incredible time, made great friends and can’t wait to do it again. A final thank you to Courant Vertical Living, as well as all the volunteers and the firefighters of Namur and Jambes, Belgium for putting on a truly exceptional event.

View the GRIMPDAY Images

Well done to all the teams that took part in the competition this year. Take a look back at some of our best team moments in the image gallery below.

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