Twenty-three professional tree climbers participated in the 7th annual Connecticut Tree Climbing Competition yesterday on the North Haven Town Green.
“We’ve taken over the green for the day,” said Don Parrott, an arborist with the Connecticut Tree Protective Association (CPTA), yesterday afternoon. The CTPA was the “driving force” behind the event, but the International Society of Arboriculture provided insurance coverage, he said.
Parrott said the competitors consisted mostly of employees of tree companies in the state.
“We’re trying to engage the public in what good tree workers do,” he said. “These are the people who trim their trees.”
There were six events: the secured footlock; throwline accuracy; belayed speed climb; work climb; aerial rescue (see video); and master’s challenge (the final event).
“We found the aerial rescue event is one that is keenly watched by the public,” said Parrott. And this year was no different as the North Haven Fire Department dropped by in the morning hours to watch the event.
There is a lot of communication needed with the judges during the aerial rescue event, said competitor Brian Carpenter. In the aerial event, a rescue dummy is set in a tree and climbers are timed until they bring the dummy to ground. But along the way climbers must relay information to the judges, such as the location of the tree because in a real-life situation an EMT would have to be called.
Carpenter said that he forgot to tell the judges this information. However, Carpenter finished his run to applause and would go on to win the overall competition among the men. Bear Scovill was the top woman.