TD News, Number 1, 2009 - Internet Web Site: '' Send an e-mail request for username and password to: ''

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Rappel Tower Designs for the Forest Service

In 2005, MTDC began to develop standard plans and specifications for towers used to train firefighters who rappel from helicopters. The tower needed to meet all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, be easily reconfigured to simulate a variety of different helicopter cabins, and be suitable for expansion when units schedule joint training.

The tech tip "Standard Forest Service Designs for Rappel Towers" (0857-2354-MTDC) provides drawings of a standard design rappel tower with a helicopter cabin simulator that meets appropriate safety regulations. Also included are documents and references on maintaining, inspecting, and using rappel towers, as well as information on estimated construction costs.

For more information on designing rappel towers, contact Scott Groenier, project leader (phone: 406-329-4719, email:

Photo and drawing of a two-flight rappel tower.

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