A climber nearly rappels off the end of his rope. A crew performing a mountain rescue experiences a mainline failure, but the backup holds. A cascade of ice and rock hurtles down a couloir, just missing a climbing party…
Unlike accidents resulting in injuries, near misses like these are not consistently reported, and so the lessons they offer are often lost. That's why brothers Chris and Cory Jackson created the Alpine Near Miss Survey (AMNS), a digital tool designed to encourage a culture of reporting and, ultimately, help improve safety in alpine activaties and climbing. It's also the reason the Petzl Foundation, Petzl's non-profit arm dedicated to giving back to the communities that have made Petzl so successful, is happy to support the AMNS.
The AMNS's web-based form and iPhone app allow climbers, guides, and search and rescue professionals to report incidents that could have gone bad, but did not. Industries ranging from aviation to firefighting use near-miss reporting already, with valuable results and improved safety systems and procedures. The ANMS seeks to bring this type of reporting to the climbing world.
"I'm excited to see this project get off the ground," said Cory Jackson. "Near-miss reporting can be so beneficial to the industries that embrace it, and my brother Chris and I have focused on making it as easy as possible for our climbing and rescue community to adopt."
The information the AMNS gathers will be used to support a presentation at the International Technical Rescue Symposium in November, 2013, and also to support continuing research into the causes of and solutions to accidents in the alpine setting.
An independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit project headquartered in Ouray, Colorado, the AMNS project is a perfect fit for the Petzl Foundation, falling neatly within two of the three key pillars of its mission: promoting safety awareness and supporting fundamental research. The Petzl Foundation is assisting the Alpine Near Miss Survey with a grant to help launch this project, as well as collaborating with the Jacksons in order to help spread their message to the climbing community
"The Petzl Foundation is pleased to join Rigging for Rescue in supporting the Alpine Near-Miss Survey," said Roody Rasmussen, Petzl America Senior Vice President and head of the Petzl Foundation in North America. "We share a fundamental belief that a comprehensive knowledge of the frequency of accidents, their circumstances and risk factors is the a basis for effective accident prevention. The more we know about accidents, the better we can target training and information that will help prevent them."
The Petzl Foundation encourages climbers, alpinists, and search and rescue professionals to participate in this project by utilizing the reporting tools developed by the Alpine Near-Miss Survey; they are easy to use, allow real-time reporting, and will create an incredible learning tool. Please share your stories and make the alpine world a safer place to work and play.
- Alpine Near-Miss Survey website
- Alpine Near-Miss Survey Mobile Reporting App
- More on the Petzl Foundation