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  • Be Prepared for Life

    Sorry about the title, but I was just watching a press conference with the young man who lost an arm while working on a boiler in his basement. The young guy was no dummy, well spoken, but just unprepared for the task he undertook. I think he was largely to blame for his painful and life threatening situation. No one knew what he was doing, he had no cell phone on hand, he did not take proper precautions with the work he was attempting. Sadly, more people get hurt much worse and die as a result of similar behavior.

    I urge everyone here, even the seasoned "Pro's", to make folks aware of what you are doing if working alone. Carry a cell phone, strong, sharp folding knife and flashlight. We can't predict and avoid every obstacle life throws at us, but we can take some steps to insure better personal safety.

  • #2
    Re: Be Prepared for Life

    Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    Sorry about the title, but I was just watching a press conference with the young man who lost an arm while working on a boiler in his basement. The young guy was no dummy, well spoken, but just unprepared for the task he undertook. I think he was largely to blame for his painful and life threatening situation. No one knew what he was doing, he had no cell phone on hand, he did not take proper precautions with the work he was attempting. Sadly, more people get hurt much worse and die as a result of similar behavior.

    I urge everyone here, even the seasoned "Pro's", to make folks aware of what you are doing if working alone. Carry a cell phone, strong, sharp folding knife and flashlight. We can't predict and avoid every obstacle life throws at us, but we can take some steps to insure better personal safety.
    How did we all get by before cell phones?

    Haven't had one now for over a year, and don't miss it.

    James

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Be Prepared for Life

      Very wise advice Franki !!

      It never seizes to amaze me how people manage to get themselves into trouble, and sometimes not survive... only to find in the aftermath of such trials that NO ONE KNEW.

      That is one of the things that I have failed to impress on my son, and if it were not for God and Angels, I am sure he would have gotten himself into trouble by now. Fortunately, now that he is a father, his awareness has greatly increased and he is thus, much wiser!

      While we were both born with the same "wanderlust", I was impressed at a very early age as to the importance of being prepared and to letting people know the pathes that I would be taking in my adventures.

      I spent over a decade in Civil Air Patrol, where our prime responsibility was SAR operations. Here in NY I've spent a lot of time tramping across the terrain, looking for flight debris or just lost people. So many times, operations were hindered by some pilot simply not filing or not following a "flight plan".

      Such "flight plans" really need to be a way of living... letting someone know where you are, where you are going, what you will be doing. It has also taught be to play, "What IF"... and then be prepared. But we live in a world where "independance" is a matter of great pride; but, too often it is also a matter of foolishness too!

      Here's a few examples from my own personal memories:

      Around 1958 there was a massive search in the Windsor, NY area. A young guy in his late teens decided to go bird hunting. He told his parents he'd be south of Occunum Creek, which is where he usually hunted. He had asthma and after not returning in time for supper, they called for help. They searched the terrain for days and never found a trace of him. About a decade later, the new Rt17 4-lane was beomg constructed through that area. A few of the workers decided to take their lunch break under a big maple street just down the hill from the new highway. Sitting there in the shade, one of the guys spotted an old rusty pipe and when he picked it up, discovered it was a shotgun... and some skeletal remains. That was just about a 1/4 mile from where that lost hunter lived, but well north of Occanum Creek!

      In the early mid-60's, near the same area, two young college girls who lived in the Binghamton area died. They decided to come home early one winter night, traveling from the Albany area. They weren't expected until Saturday afternoon... they left Friday instead. Twelve miles east of Binghamton, they swirved off the icy road and went over an embankment, late on Friday evening. While neither suffered from life threatening injuries, they were trapped in the car where they died from exposure... their parents had no reason to be concerned until they didn't show up late the following day!

      In the early 70's (IIRC) an elderly couple traveling in a large RV, decided to take a shortcut... they got lost and their RV got stuck on a mountanous road in the Southwest. They weren't found until almost a year later, they had both starved to death.

      In the same region a pilot and his family failed to report that they were deviating from their flight plan in mid-journey. Their remains were found several months after an extensive air and ground search. One of them left a scribbled note, "Why hasn't anyone searched for us?" Well, they did... for three weeks they searched about 200 miles north of where they were found.

      And locally, a few years ago, a husband/father was found dead at home. His wife had taken the kids to a movie and shopping. He had stayed home where he attempted to cut out a tree stump with a circular saw... it kicked and serously cut his leg open. He bled to death!

      And of course we all remember the recent loss of Steve Fossett (http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_6822020) who decided to go "roaming" one day! He didn't bother to tell anyone where he was going... his body was never found, but a few bone fragments and part of his wallet were, a couple of years after his missing.

      Bottom line is that it's a great big world and, as the bumper stickers declare, "Sh!t Happens".... so life can be very hard, and for the stupid, life can be both very hard and very short.

      CWS

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Be Prepared for Life

        Originally posted by James P View Post
        How did we all get by before cell phones?

        Haven't had one now for over a year, and don't miss it.

        James
        Well, this thread is about a lot more than cell phones but I'll give it a try. We got along just fine, but the advancement of these technologies has had an upside. Folks who are driving and break down can get help quicker, you can notify police and the fire dept faster in case of emergency and you are not near a land line. Aside from the many useful communication features, cell phones with cameras can be used to document an accident, take pictures of objects or people for reference, or printed.

        I could live without my computer, cell phone and cable tv, but they do add to my life and in some cases come in real handy. I suggest even if you have not missed your cell phone, get a cheap one with some prepaid minutes and keep it handy in case of an emergency. While they may be an annoyance and interruption at times, if having one can save your life or the life of someone else, why not have one? Same goes for a good pocket knife and flashlight. I like to be able to light up the darkness either around the house or any time it gets dark and I don't want to fumble around. A good knife can easily save your life or the life of another person. I'm not just talking about self defense, what about cutting a jammed seatbelt?

        I just don't see the sense in being unprepared to the point of not having any of these things on hand, or taking other precautions instead of just wandering aimlessly.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Be Prepared for Life

          Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
          Well, this thread is about a lot more than cell phones but I'll give it a try. We got along just fine, but the advancement of these technologies has had an upside. Folks who are driving and break down can get help quicker, you can notify police and the fire dept faster in case of emergency and you are not near a land line. Aside from the many useful communication features, cell phones with cameras can be used to document an accident, take pictures of objects or people for reference, or printed.

          I could live without my computer, cell phone and cable tv, but they do add to my life and in some cases come in real handy. I suggest even if you have not missed your cell phone, get a cheap one with some prepaid minutes and keep it handy in case of an emergency. While they may be an annoyance and interruption at times, if having one can save your life or the life of someone else, why not have one? Same goes for a good pocket knife and flashlight. I like to be able to light up the darkness either around the house or any time it gets dark and I don't want to fumble around. A good knife can easily save your life or the life of another person. I'm not just talking about self defense, what about cutting a jammed seatbelt?

          I just don't see the sense in being unprepared to the point of not having any of these things on hand, or taking other precautions instead of just wandering aimlessly.
          Folks who are driving and texting are the ones you need to be prepared for.

          Hopefully they'll have enough sense to text 911 after they run me off the road.

          Never go anywhere without a truck full of tools including a oxy/acetylene torch and a pocket knife.

          James
          Last edited by James P; 06-15-2010, 08:03 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Be Prepared for Life

            Safety and common sense should always be used in the same sentence.
            Sadly though neither seem to be applied in real life....

            if it's stuck hit it with a hammer
            if it's loose duct tape it
            seems to be the common mantra now a days

            No one seems to step back and analyze the problem or recognize
            they are beyond their skill level. I suspect a lot of this is due to the many DIY programs and so called handy man shows.

            They are entertainment, a diversion, and no more!
            No matter how hard I work I have never been able to dry wall a room in 30 minutes! or tile a bathroom in 10 minutes after 3 minutes of commercials....Way too often they make tasks look over simplified and always skip over the details!

            Permits? we don't need no sticking permits we watched "sweat equity" on satellite TV and I can do that! I can build a room addition in a weekend!

            This past weekend I watched some backyard gardening competition between neighbors and one team struck the water main and they only laughed and complained it will put them behind schedule!!!

            Accidents do happen but the properly trained professionals have them less frequently then all the wanna-bees!!!


            Cactus Man

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Be Prepared for Life

              Originally posted by James P View Post
              Folks who are driving and texting are the ones you need to be prepared for.

              Hopefully they'll have enough sense to text 911 after they run me off the road.

              Never go anywhere without a truck full of tools including a oxy/acetylene torch and a pocket knife.

              James
              Just because there are morons using cell phones doesn't mean you should not have one for your own safety. Carry a strong sharp knife so you can remove their thumbs after they crash into your car!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Be Prepared for Life

                Originally posted by cactusman View Post
                Safety and common sense should always be used in the same sentence.
                Sadly though neither seem to be applied in real life....

                if it's stuck hit it with a hammer
                if it's loose duct tape it
                seems to be the common mantra now a days

                No one seems to step back and analyze the problem or recognize
                they are beyond their skill level. I suspect a lot of this is due to the many DIY programs and so called handy man shows.

                They are entertainment, a diversion, and no more!
                No matter how hard I work I have never been able to dry wall a room in 30 minutes! or tile a bathroom in 10 minutes after 3 minutes of commercials....Way too often they make tasks look over simplified and always skip over the details!

                Permits? we don't need no sticking permits we watched "sweat equity" on satellite TV and I can do that! I can build a room addition in a weekend!

                This past weekend I watched some backyard gardening competition between neighbors and one team struck the water main and they only laughed and complained it will put them behind schedule!!!

                Accidents do happen but the properly trained professionals have them less frequently then all the wanna-bees!!!


                Cactus Man
                Good post. I think my earliest recollection of this kind of tv was "Shade Tree Mechanic", man the jobs they could do in half an hour were amazing. I agree these shows often give folks with no skills enough confidence to get in trouble. I wonder how many people who never used a socket wrench, bought one and broke off a spark plug or two? This conversation reminds me of a thread we had a while back about folks being allowed to buy power tools with no training. Chainsaws alone must account for plenty of emergency room visits, then there are the folks cutting their toes off with a lawnmower or losing a few fingers to a snowblower.

                I bet you could pitch a tv show where contestants were given tools and tasks to perform on a mock up house. Have them sign a release and just sit back and watch the blood flow. I can see it now, razor sharp bx cable, a turbo tourch in the hands of a total novice. We know the Pros get hurt but the folks with no training would be entertaining to watch.

                I get concerned right after a damaging storm because I just know there will be both young and older people running to home depot to buy up them chainsaws and rush to cut up the fallen trees. You just can't make these tools idiot proof. People need training, or they need to leave it to someone qualified. I've talked people out of buying chainsaws at the store. A couple in their late seventies/early eighties for example. Heck, don't even bother trying to start the saw, just go straight to the E.R.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Be Prepared for Life

                  Crack me up.Just as everyone's discussing safety I'm watching Deadliest Catch make drama episode "The Darkend Seas" 2010.Time Bandit just had a freezing,ice collected on the boat.Next day thawing out.Heavy skull splitting chunks falling off the crane.Multiple pieces falling all around the deck crew.Captain says "Some of those could kill a guy".Not even hard hats for a few hours,knock the ice off the crane like they do on the other boats.Looked like they wanted someone to get hit for the show.
                  I guy got pegged,hard.Imagine that.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Be Prepared for Life

                    i just saw the interview this morning. the homeowner was within reach of a hacksaw, i guess it was already too late to cut the fan blade assembly, but after 12 hours of screaming, he lost his voice.

                    unfortunately accidents do happen and had someone been there to help him, maybe he would have ended up with a just a cut. but remember he was just the homeowner. not a service person.

                    would a service person not have gotten stuck? would the service person have a cell phone that worked in the basement? would the company been worried if he missed his next appointment or didn't call in? probably so.

                    on a side note, i got stuck in a building staircase on a friday 27 years ago and i was the last one on the job as everyone left early.

                    came down the stairs and when i hit the ground floor, the door was locked from the outside. go back upstairs and the door is also locked. so now i'm in a pitch black stairwell locked in fortunately i had my flashlight and some tools for setting finish. so i had to use my channelocks and screwdriver to remove the hinge pins from the fire rated door.

                    the reason why the door was locked from the outside was there was a top floor unit that was furnished and it got ripped off. so they installed double sided locks on the stairwell to prevent anyone from making off with stuff in the future. during the day, the doors are propped open as the building was still not finished.

                    i know that my parents would have started to worry had i not showed up that night. they would have called the office and tried to track me down. i'm sure i would have been rescued before the next morning

                    p.s. i reinstalled the door when i finished

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Be Prepared for Life

                      I got stuck on a broken escalator in a mall one time.
                      I was in the middle so I did not know if I should go up or down
                      What a dilemma!


                      Cactus Man

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Be Prepared for Life

                        Originally posted by cactusman View Post
                        I got stuck on a broken escalator in a mall one time.
                        I was in the middle so I did not know if I should go up or down
                        What a dilemma!


                        Cactus Man
                        In a situation like that, it's best to just stay put! Once emergency response shows up, you can tell them to take you up or down.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Be Prepared for Life

                          Cactusman,

                          Man, that must have been scary... I know that there are times when I get claustrophobic when trapped like that; hopefully you didn't have to wait too long to be rescued.

                          You didn't mention if you were going up or down... at least if you were trapped going down, you get a better view and you can always sit on the step while you're waiting to be rescued. Going up, the view is usually just boring or you have to stare at someone's butt while you're waiting. The only advantage is that there's a "kneeler" in front of you, so you can pray until help arrives!



                          CWS

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                          • #14
                            Re: Be Prepared for Life

                            I got snowed in at 10,000' for 9 days. Cell phone is useless there. It is very difficult to be found if nobody is missing you! I used every resource available to signal and until I was past due...no response.

                            Couldn't imagine having to cut my own arm off.

                            Never leave home without my leatherman on my side. I smoke and solder all the time; so I never leave without 2 lighters.

                            It comes right down to being calm and thinking rationally. Getting excited will limit the vision of your resources. If you just look around there are everyday items that can be the perfect tool in an emergency. Being prepared is more than just having the knife...it is also the mental control to use it. That sounds crazy, but when panic sets in, people do not act rationally. Perfect example is a large number of hypothermic victims are found naked. Why? Because they felt hot and could not rationalize the situation.

                            In my situation I had food, shelter, heat, and water. Nothing was going to seperate me from those 4 items until 1 or more was exhausted. Staying calm while having to dismember yourself is beyond imagination.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Be Prepared for Life

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