Elizabethton Electric linemen complete pole top rescue training

The Elizabethton Electric linemen recently completed annual training on pole top rescue.

Pole-top rescue is an important safety procedure in the electrical industry and a vital skill for linemen to know. When a lineman has become unconscious or unresponsive and they are not able to climb down the pole on their own, a pole-top rescue will be necessary.

It just takes a mere fraction of a second for workers to become distracted and electrocuted, which would make it difficult for them to descend alone. Due to the hazards that are associated with a lineman work, a safely executed pole-top rescue could end up saving the victims life.

A pole-top rescue is a four step process that focuses on keeping both the rescuer and the victim as safe as possible during the rescue. These four steps are:

  1. Evaluate the situation
  2. Use personal protective equipment (PPE)
  3. Climb to rescue position
  4. Lower the victim to the 

    There are many factors that may cause the need for a pole-top rescue. It is important to know what the most common causes are in order to avoid or prevent injury and fatality. Some of the most common factors that necessitate a pole-top rescue are:

    • Electrical shock
    • Heart attack
    • Heat stroke
    • Physical injury
    • Equipment failure

There are just as many hazards that put the rescuers at risk as they do the victim. However, for the sake of this article, we will only be talking about the four most common hazards which are falls, loose objects, electrical hazards, and entanglements.

Falls From Height
Inexperienced linemen or equipment failure are typically to blame for falls that occur during a rescue. When equipment is not maintained appropriately, it will malfunction. Safety equipment must be fixed-up or replaced if it is broken, worn out, or damaged.

Linemen should always receive proper safety training when it comes to working at heights and with electrical equipment.

Loose Objects

Loose objects like clothing, tools, or other equipment can be dangerous to the rescuer as they attempt to reach the victim. If these objects have a charge, they can present a risk of shock. These objects could also catch on the rescuers clothes or equipment, making it challenging and dangerous for them to complete the rescue.

Live Electrical Hazards

Live lines are frequently the cause for a lineman to be rendered unconscious and unresponsive. They frequently lead to the failure of many rescue efforts as well. Always avoid coming into close proximity of live lines and energized equipment. Always be aware of where each electrical hazard is at your worksite.


The most prominent dangers when lowering the victim to the ground are snags and entanglements. Although it poses less of a threat to the rescuer, it may delay the victim in receiving the assistance they require. Be sure to always follow the necessary precautions when rescuing a victim.


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