Archive for June, 2013

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“This is my Father’s world,

and to my listening ears

all nature sings, and round me rings

the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world:

I rest me in the thought

of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;

his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,

the birds their carols raise,

the morning light, the lily white,

declare their maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world:

he shines in all that’s fair;

in the rustling grass I hear him pass;

he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world.

O let me ne’er forget

that though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:

why should my heart be sad?

The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!

God reigns; let the earth be glad.”

Text: Maltbie D. Babcock
Music: Trad. English melody; adapt. by Franklin L. Sheppard

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Mount Rainier

This is from the National Association for Search and Rescue’s Facebook page. Interesting and informative, and a great reminder for all of us working in Law Enforcement, EMS, Incident Management, Search and Rescue, or Fire.

“Nick Hall Serious Accident Report Released by NPS

On June 21st of last year, Park Ranger Nick Hall fell to his death during the rescue of critically injured climbers at 13,800 ‘ elevation on Mount Rainier. Nick, a 33-year-old former U.S. Marine sergeant, was in his fourth season with the National Park Service (NPS). He was following his passion for the outdoors, having worked in various jobs that developed his expertise as a ski patroller, medical technician, and mountaineering and river ranger. Those who knew Nick describe a quiet, competent leader with a strong, commanding presence. 

The Serious Accident Investigation Team has completed its investigation and determined Nick died because he was not anchored with fall protection during the rescue. He lost his balance and fell while unhooking a litter from beneath a hovering helicopter. Yet, the reason he died is far more complex. Nick was not wearing fall protection likely because of a common human tendency known as “normalization of risk” [also called “homeostasis of risk”] which is to become desensitized to the risk around us and subconsciously accept high levels of risk as being normal after continuously repeating the behavior without negative consequences.

In many recent NPS fatalities, we found the same failure in our system to prevent employees from accepting unnecessary risk. The lesson for us all is to make it a practice to carefully reevaluate the risks we accept as normal—or even mundane—and to build in a margin for error, create and follow our written procedures, and provide and use our training. Managers and supervisors need to be watchful of the tendency of employees to “normalize” risks and must implement robust management and supervisory controls to prevent this from occurring in all types of field operations. We also have to look out for one another and to get beyond the apprehension of correcting our peers when we see them engaging or preparing to engage in behaviors that may get them or others hurt.

When applied, the concepts in Operational Leadership should help to prevent these tragic accidents. We have trained 15,000 employees; now it’s time we implement what we have learned into our daily operations.

I encourage all of you to read and learn from the lessons included in the Factual SAIT Report and Corrective Action Plan.”

Be safe out there!

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