"Please tell Ken Palmer we really appreciated him and all that you folks back east did for North Dakota, and that I personally heard many positive comments on his presentation skills and arborist knowledge. Ken is an asset to the arboriculture industry. The sharing of his knowledge with practicing arborists is helping advance the professionalism of this industry in leaps and bounds. I hope he has success and good fortune in all of his future endeavors. Take care."


NUCFAC a research project and awareness campaign about aerial rescue for emergency situations in trees.

Partners: US Forest Service, NUCFAC
  • To download the NUCFAC brochure, click here
  • To read the article titled "The Complexities of Aerial Rescue by Dr John Ball", click here

February 2007
Saving Tree Workers Lives: The Neglected Component of Urban Forest Management.

The information detailed in this downloadable brochure is the culmination of a 2-year grant awarded to ArborMaster and funded by the US Forest Service through a recommendation by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council.  The title of the research project was: Saving Tree Workers Lives: The Neglected Component of Urban Forest Management.

The project objective was to:

The objective of this project was to determine the mostly likely situations where aerial rescue would be necessary for tree workers and prepare protocol for the safest and most efficient means of conducting these types of rescues.

A brief summary of the project:

Tree worker equipment and climbing techniques have changed greatly during the past decade; however, our approach to aerial rescue has remained essentially the same.  The current procedures may be based upon unrealistic situations and may be placing rescuers at risk.  The objective of this project was to examine the types of accidents where aerial rescue is most needed and what procedures may be best suited to safely and efficiently rescue victims yet minimize risk to the rescuers.  The study found that aerial accidents could be placed into five different categories based upon the situation in which the accident occurred.  These are: aerial lift, electrical contact, incapacitated, palm/pole, and trapped/pinned.  Each of these categories requires different responses from rescuers in terms of first-aid and extraction/evacuation training and skills and may involve a non-medical or medical rescue.  If it is a medical rescue the need to extract and evacuate may take priority to medical needs due to the victim or environment considerations or the reverse may be true.  The key is to provide thorough training so tree workers have the knowledge and skills to perform any potential rescue rather than only the one currently practiced today. 

The basic findings of this study indicate that the current training for aerial rescue is inadequate to meet the needs of the types of accidents that are occurring in the field.  This project will increase the awareness among arborists and urban foresters regarding this deficiency and the need to expand training.

The primary recommendation is the need for all individuals engaged in tree work, both commercial and municipal, to become skilled in aerial rescue as one part of their emergency response training efforts.