History of THARRP

In 1991, at the request of the construction industry, the Greater Vancouver Regional District (G.V.R.D.) Fire Chiefs struck a committee to create a proposal for a high angle rope rescue training program for Fire Departments. The construction industry is obligated by Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) regulation to provide high angle rescue capability to workers. The scope of the program proposal was broadened to include other industries that may also require high angle rescue.

A Letter of Understanding between the G.V.R.D. Fire Chiefs, WCB, B.C. Construction Industry Health and Safety Council, Construction Labour Relations Association, and the B.C. Council of Construction Associations was signed in 1993. The Letter expresses the Terms of Agreement regarding high angle rope rescue by G.V.R.D. Fire Departments, and the funding of training and equipment to Fire Departments. Subsequently, a Resolution of the Governors of the WCB was signed June 6, 1994 approving funding for a technical rescue train-the-trainer program and provision of manuals and specialized equipment to B.C. Fire Departments.

The High Angle Rope Rescue Steering Committee, subsequently referred to as the Rope Rescue Steering Committee, was created November 1994. The membership is comprised of:
  • BC Professional Fire Fighters' Association representative (1 full member)
  • BC Fire Chiefs' Association representative (1 full member)
  • Industry funders' representative (1 full member)
  • Industry Labour representative (1 full member)
  • WCB (1 full member - tie breaking vote only) (chair)
  • WCB (1 advisory member - non-voting) (alternate chair)
  • Construction Safety Association of BC (CSABC) (2 full members - non-voting) (CSABC Chair and Program Coordinator/Recording Secretary)
Minimum equipment packages (four-person team) were determined by the Rope Rescue Steering Committee. An Industrial/High Angle Rope Rescue © Manual was produced through the Justice Institute of B.C. with input from the GVRD Fire Chiefs' Technical Rescue Committee, WCB, ROCO Canada, and the Rope Rescue Steering Committee.

A five-course, train-the-trainer program was determined to allow appropriate instructional and practice time to provide the instructor-candidates with the necessary skills.

In 2005 a review of the Program was undertaken by an independent consultant. Upon recommendation, the Rope Rescue Steering Committee transferred coordination and administration of the funded program to the Construction Safety Association of BC (CSABC). A consultant was contracted by CSABC to manage the Program.

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