A man hangs limp on a ladder while just a few yards away another is being pulled from a narrow enclosure under a generator, his back strapped to a board and his neck in a brace. Such scenes are commonplace at the Siemens Wind Service Training Center in Orlando, Florida, where wind turbine technicians come from throughout the Americas for rigorous and realistic safety and technical training.
“Even though you work with the equipment every day in the field, you don’t use it in a rescue scenario every day,” says Alex Freund, a technician based in Marshalltown, Iowa. “So it’s nice to be refreshed on how to properly use it and to make sure you understand every nuance.”
Freund and his fellow trainees were practicing rescue techniques for working at heights while nearby another group was standing within the cramped confines of a wind turbine nacelle, where they had just pulled a colleague with a simulated injury from the hub several feet below.