Safety-Focused: MMA Faculty and Staff Complete Annual Vertical Ropes Training

Safety-Focused: MMA Faculty and Staff Complete Annual Vertical Ropes Training

During the week of June 3, 2024, Military Academy (MMA) conducted its annual recertification for vertical ropes training for faculty and staff. Although the certification is valid for two years, MMA chooses to hold annual recertification sessions to ensure that all staff members remain up-to-date on the latest vertical ropes training techniques. This year’s training included a thorough refresher on rope management, knot-tying, proper rappelling and belaying techniques. Participants also received instructions on administrative and safety requirements, such as tracking the hours that rappel ropes are used and inspecting equipment for serviceability.

Training Highlights

Each participant who completes this training is certified to serve as an officer in charge (OIC) or safety officer during rappel and rock wall training sessions on the back campus tower. This year, 17 faculty and staff members attended the training, representing the JROTC, academics and commandant staff departments.  

MMA faculty and staff conducted its annual recertification for vertical ropes training.

MMA faculty and staff train on the rappelling tower during MMA's annual vertical ropes training.

Expert Instruction by CMC

This year, the training was conducted by California Mountain Climbers (CMC), headquartered in Goleta, CA. Leading the course was Doug McElmury, a highly qualified and experienced instructor who has led MMA's training for three of the past four years. McElmury brings 39 years of technical rescue experience, starting as a volunteer firefighter and rising to fire chief in Pleasant Prairie, WI. Currently, as assistant rescue school director for CMC Rescue, he travels nationwide to teach rope rescue and confined space rescue, sharing his expertise through podcasts and instructional videos.

Doug Elmery instructs faculty and staff during MMA's annual vertical ropes training. 

Ongoing Training and Utilization 

During the academic year, MMA cadets utilize the rappel tower for their training sessions, while in the summer, campers also get the opportunity to experience the challenge of the rappel tower under the supervision of trained staff.

MMA's dedication to safety and skill enhancement is demonstrated through its annual recertification, which ensures that staff are always prepared to provide the highest level of training and supervision to cadets and campers alike.

View more photos here.

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