The latest viral youtube video shows a construction worker trapped on a balcony while the building burns. He hangs from one balcony and swings to another. That’s no easy feat. You can’t just jump straight down or you’d fall to your death.
Survival Lessons From The Video:
1. Are you physically fit? Even those of us in pretty good shape could have trouble with a jump like that! I pride myself on being in better shape than most, but I’m not sure I could have done that hang, swing, jump. The more physically fit you are, the better your chances of survival. No doubt this guy’s adrenaline was through the roof.
2. Can you hold your own body weight with your fingers? From a ledge and not just a bar? How’s your grip strength?
3. If you work up high or live above the second floor, do you have an emergency escape ladder or rope? Have you thought about how you’d escape a fire? Do you have an emergency fire escape hood?
4. Be careful when you weld. Don’t start a fire. The news say welding may have been the cause of the fire.
5. Is your workshop clean? Sawdust and today’s construction materials are very flammable. Get a Shop Vac. Don’t store extra foam insulation. I need to clear out some of that stuff myself. Fireblock, sheetrock, take steps to make your home less flammable.
6. Can you think under pressure? This guy clearly took his time to think through his options and decided he must act to get off the balcony.
7. Do you have the courage to make a risky move when you feel you absolutely must? How many people on the side of a mountain get to a safe place and are afraid to move from it. They hope help comes, even when they know it won’t. They freeze there. The courage to act under stress and risk is what separates great survivors, like this construction worker, from most of us.
I don’t know if he made the right decision or not. Would the ladder have reached him if he didn’t jump? Was it too big a risk? In retrospect, we never know. All we can do is take a survival situation as it comes and make our best decisions as we go or rely on previous training.