Jim Mullin - W8KKK SK
This past week on Monday afternoon, Jim was taking down a 100' self supporting tower and the associated antennas with it. He had been up the tower two times in the placing of his gin pole, and the removal of the antennas. These trips were around rest breaks and lunch.
It appears as if he was on his third trip up to re-position his gin pole to start taking apart and down the tower sections. His ground assistant had just finished taking some pictures of the tower and was putting his camera back in his car. As he turned away from the car he heard Jim hit the ground. He did not make any sound on his way down.
It looks like his safety belt parted at one of the seams, and "Just let go." As of Saturday, his tool pouch and what was left of his belt were still on the tower at about the 98' level.
There was a very nice Service for him On Saturday, the 11th of July at a small Church in Madison Ohio. Even though I had known Jim for 30 plus years, I learned some other "sides" of him. He was a very generous person even though his wallet was very sparse. He repaired a lot of computers and ham radios for "Next to nothing" for those he knew could not afford having their equipment repaired elsewhere. He also worked very hard at spreading the Gospel of his Lord, and was very good at it.
Jim was 2 months shy of 70 years old.
Rest In Peace, ol' friend! We'll all see you at the big ham fest "upstairs".
concord twp oh
First, my deepest condolences to his family.
Secondly, at 70 years old he should have had someone younger do the work. We all feel invincable after doing this type of thing over the years.
I had an experience similar 2 years ago. I was 10 ft off the ground, fell and destroyed my right shoulder and I was 58. I can only think back to the accident and what it did to my family and I. I climbed towers for a living and never got injured on the job. You tend to get complacent and that's when accidents occur.
Inspecting your Fall Protection Equipment is first and foremost.
Again, my sympathy to the family.
Last edited by N2EVD; 07-13-2009 at 05:07 PM.
Reason: Other thoughts came to mind.
Two Lives Too Many
Had same accident (type) on field day in a Michigan location. Appears (from what friends have told me) that legs buckled. Sad happining, just proves we have to take all precautions possible.
Too bad that it took lives
to remind us of the importance.
The service for Jim was very nice. I thought it was a wonderful turnout for a great man.
This one really hit home for me. I only knew him for a few years but I liked talking to him. He was a walking encyclopedia of two way radio. We used to bounce radio/antenna ideas off one another when he came into AES to see me. I just found out at the service that he was a walking Bible. He knew it backwards and forwards ready to witness to anyone in need.
I also learned that he used to do rock climbing with his sons many years ago. It seems to me this is where he got his "I can do anything mentality".
Rest in peace, Jim. You will be missed.
73 de Matt Welch W8DEC
Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator
ARRL - The National Association for Amateur Radio™
440-585-7388 - Work
Guy this is truly a sad story. I did tower work for many older hams around for sometime, then I stopped while I was ahead. Today I only work on mine. If it's a minor job I climb. If the job is more major I rent a 65 foot lift. Yes it cost money around $600.00 but it's safe. Going to rent one in the next few weeks in order to re-build my main tower that was damaged in storms last summer. I'm also going to add 10ft to one of my other towers. The lift is the only way to go.
Spreading The Gospel
.....He also worked very hard at spreading the Gospel of his Lord, and was very good at it.....
God called Jim to Heaven on His own personal time table. Jim's soul left his body before it even hit the ground!
Jim is now in a much better place then the rest of us. You just never know when your time is up so it's imperative to be right with God through Jesus Christ. http://www.kn4lf.com/kn4lf77.htm .
We have now lost two selfless ham's to tower climbing accidents in recent weeks. I saw a video on You Tube recently. It was a ham (I think) and he scrambled up a tower that appeared to be approximately 60 feet tall.
He had no climbing belt and one foot slipped as he neared the top. He is some one to stupid to stay alive.
very sad, condolences to the family, please alway's check your safety gear....
There is no such thing as a "safety belt" in tower work.
There are positioning belts that must be combined with an OSHA approved fall arrest harness with attached, dual shock absorbing lanyards.
If you're not using this combination you are risking your life.
I agree, mostly.
Originally Posted by KB3X
The danger lies in thinking that a saftey belt is a primary device instead of your backup. If you start treating your backup as a primary device, what's the backup when the belt fails?
I talked to Jim a lot on Echolink and will miss him. He was a kind and helpful man that went out of his way for people.