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NYS Trooper dies in Catskills high angle rope rescue training
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photonicgirl


Nov 26, 2013, 7:58 AM
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NYS Trooper dies in Catskills high angle rope rescue training
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There's not much being said about this tragic accident....I really wonder what happened. Thought this accident deserved to be listed on our forum even though not technically "rock climbing." To me it is obviously due to some type of operator mistake, or gear failure, but there's no information so far. These guys are pretty on with high angle rope rescue and the gear is double backup bomber. I've trained with the NYS DEC in the Catskills before, and they also know their stuff. What the heck happened? If anyone finds out, please post. Thanks, Jules

https://www.nyspnews.com/...cfm?article_id=34243

New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico is saddened to announce the death of Trooper Ross M. Riley assigned to Field Command, Emergency Management in Albany.

On November 20, 2013, Trooper Riley, a member of the Special Operations Response Team – West, based in Collins Center, New York, succumbed to injuries sustained during a fall while participating in training drills at Letchworth State Park in Wyoming County.

During high angle rescue training, Trooper Riley fell from a ledge approximately 30 feet into Wolf Creek. He was transported and died at Wyoming County Community Hospital.

Trooper Riley was a 17 year veteran of the New York State Police.

Trooper Riley worked in Troops A, E and F and became of a member of SORT, then named the Mobile Response Team, in March of 2000. He received a commendation for his service as a member of the Mobile Response Team at Ground Zero following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Trooper Riley, a veteran of the Persian Gulf Conflict, served as a U.S. Marine from 1987 until he was honorably discharged in 1992.

During his military service he was awarded a number of commendations including Good Conduct Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and National Defense Medal.

He is survived by his wife, New York State Police Station Commander Heidi Riley, SP Olean and their three daughters, 10-year-old Abaigeal, 8-year-old Katherine and 3-year-old Jillian. He was 44 years old.


gblauer
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Nov 26, 2013, 11:31 AM
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Re: [photonicgirl] NYS Trooper dies in Catskills high angle rope rescue training [In reply to]
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condolences to his loved ones. He left a family with very young children, very sad.


curt


Nov 26, 2013, 5:10 PM
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Re: [photonicgirl] NYS Trooper dies in Catskills high angle rope rescue training [In reply to]
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That's really sad to hear. A few more details appeared earlier today:

buffalonews wrote:
...Riley, an Olean area resident, fell to his death after he and two members of the State Police Special Operations Response Team-West, out of Collins Center, were lowered down 70 feet to a ledge where a mannequin had been placed to simulate a rescue.

Once the mannequin was secured in a basket to be hoisted up, Riley somehow became untethered from his safety line and fell backward, landing more than 30 feet below at the bottom of the gorge near Wolf Creek. He suffered a massive head injury and was rushed to Wyoming County Community Hospital, where he later died...

http://www.buffalonews.com/...ers-funeral-20131126

Curt


photonicgirl


Nov 26, 2013, 5:56 PM
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Re: [curt] NYS Trooper dies in Catskills high angle rope rescue training [In reply to]
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Thanks for posting...I figured something like this happened.


majid_sabet


Nov 26, 2013, 10:46 PM
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Re: [photonicgirl] NYS Trooper dies in Catskills high angle rope rescue training [In reply to]
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very sad news for the entire rescue community.

Not knowing the detail of what happened here I am guessing something went very wrong during pickup and yet, things do not make any sense.

On a typical rescue, a rescuer is lowered with two rope with basket to injured climber.one of the rope is set as safety and should come with extended length of rope from master attachment point or master ring. This end of rope is attached via fig 8 to injured climber's harness and there should be another daisy or cord attach from climber's harness to master ring therefore two direct links are attached to two rope system at master point. No matter what happens,even if entire basket falls apart, both rescuer and climber should be secured with two ropes. If this is done correctly I can't see how it can go wrong unless this incident happened during edge to basket transition. This is where rescuer disconnected climbers off wall and reconnects him/her to his main line to be hauled up or lowered. Many accidents happened during this time where somehow rescuer accidentally cut or disconnects the climber link off anchor thinking he or she was connected to main line where they were not. Recently a rescuer in Europe cut the cord of climber thinking he was connected to helicopter cable where he was not.

If you happened to find more detail about this incident, please forward to me via PM or email or post it here.


photonicgirl


Nov 27, 2013, 4:14 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] NYS Trooper dies in Catskills high angle rope rescue training [In reply to]
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Like you said, it's possible that somehow he didn't get reconnected during the transition. After being safely lowed 70 feet, is there a reason he wouldn't remain anchored into the wall? Or stay on the line until an anchor could be built? I wish there was more info...and I hope that whoever was responsible for the disconnect can live with this great loss.


onceahardman


Dec 15, 2013, 6:18 PM
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Re: [photonicgirl] NYS Trooper dies in Catskills high angle rope rescue training [In reply to]
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Condolences, of course.

Just for accuracy, Letchworth State Park is about 4 hours fron the Catskills, south of Rochester, east of Buffalo. High, rotten shale cliffs, not at all suited for rock climbing.


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