A SAD STORY

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                       A  SAD  STORY

 I am writing in response to your request for additional 

information for block #3 of the accident reporting form. I put
"poor planning" as the cause for my accident. Your letter said I
should explain more fully, and I trust the following will be
sufficient.

    I am an amateur radio operator and on the day of the 

accident I was working alone at the top of my 80 foot tower. When
I had completed my work I discovered I had, over the course of
several trips to the top of the tower, brought up about 300 pounds
of tools and hardware. Rather than carry the now un-needed tools
and materials down by hand, I decided to lower the items down from
the top of the tower in a small barrel by using a pulley which was
fortunately attached to the top of the tower.

    Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the top of 

the tower and loaded the tools and the materials into the barrel.
I went back down to the ground and untied the rope, holding it
tightly to insure a slow decent of the 300 pounds. You will note
in block #11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh only 155
pounds.

    Surprised at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I 

lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope.
Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate of speed up
the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met
the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and
broken collarbone.

    Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not 

stopping until the fingers on my right hand were two knuckles deep
into the pulley.

    Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of 

mind and was able to hold onto the rope inspite of the pain. At
approximately the same time, however, the barrel of tools hit the
ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the
weight, the barrel was approximately 20 pounds. I refer you again
to my weight in block #11. As you can imagine, I began a rapid
decent down the tower. In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met
the barrel on its way up. This accounts for the fractured ankles
and the lacerations on my legs and lower body.

    The encounter slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I 

fell onto the pile of tools and fortunately only 3 vertebrae were
cracked. I'm sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the
tools, in pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel 80
feet above me, I again lost my presence of mind. I let go of the
rope.

About the Author

Richard KB5JBV has been an Amateur radio operator since 1988. He has held positions with the America Radio Relay League including but not limited to Assistant Section Manager, Official Observer, Official Relay Station, Official Emergency Station, ARES Emergency Coordinator for Resonant Frequency: The Amateur Radio Podcast was created to help get information on amateur radio out to the new ham and the ham that wants to find out more about different aspects of the hobby they are thinking about getting into. So sit back have a drink and enjoy.

Richard KB5JBV has been an Amateur radio operator since 1988. He held positions with the America Radio Relay League including but not limited to Assistant Section Manager, Official Observer, Official Relay Station, Official Emergency Station, ARES Emergency Coordinator for Kaufman County Texas, Volunteer Examiner and Technical Specialist in the North Texas section.

Richard has also served as RACES assistant radio officer for the city of Mesquite, Tx. and among numerous other duties Including club president for the HAM Association of Mesquite Texas.

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