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Pole Top Rescue
The best utility crews in the state compete in this simulated pole top rescue exercise.

The Pole Top Competition became part of the Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference in 1973 to teach people about proper rescue techniques.

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Teams of linemen from the electrical utility industry compete for honors in rescuing a victim from a utility pole in a mock industrial accident. Three judges are chosen by members of the conference’s electrical utilities panel.

The preliminary competition is held the day prior to the conference, with the top four teams competing at the conference.  Just before the final competition, teams are given a “problem” or situation that makes the rescue more difficult and requires the teams to think about the safest and most effective way to rescue the victim.


On the Pole:

bulletPrecautionary measures must be taken at all times by both the groundman and linemen to protect themselves from potential injury they could incur while performing their required functions in the rescue of the victim.
bulletTiming will start with the word "GO" and stop when CPR is started.
bulletThe lineman or hot apprentice must remain belted off at all times during the rescue. It is permissible to un-belt only when it is necessary to go around an obstruction.
bulletTools, materials, or hot sticks shall not be thrown or dropped under any circumstances.
bulletAll regulatory safety rules must be observed when working or when moving primary or secondary conductors, hardware, or equipment. This includes a victim energized at line voltage. Illegal contact may result in team disqualification.
bulletOnce the victim as been cleared, the lineman will check the level of consciousness of the victim, prior to rigging. The mannequin must be secured with three half hitches.
On the Ground:
bulletThe groundman will check for breathing, administer two (2) breaths, and perform five (5) cycles of CPR. No pulse check is required.
bulletThe lineman will climb down the pole, treat for shock, and monitor the delivery of his partner’s CPR.
bulletAfter the groundman has completed five (5) cycles of CPR, the lineman will check for breathing for five (5) seconds. Finding no breathing, he will give two (2) breaths, and resume CPR. The groundman will monitor the victim during this process. Upon completion of five (5) cycles of CPR, the lineman will end by giving two (2) breaths.

NOTE: Rescue breathing barriers are optional. Teams choosing to use a barrier must furnish their own and be proficient in the use of the type of barrier selected.

The poletop committee will furnish the handline, hotsticks, and a Bashlin 57 cutaway scare strap for the preliminaries and finals. Teams will be required to use the handline and hot sticks furnished.


Rankings and awards are presented at the Conference luncheon.