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Alan Sheehan is a practicing professional Mechanical Engineer with an honours degree majoring in design and stress / strength analysis. At the time of writing he had over 25 years engineering experience, about 20 years experience as a volunteer in emergency services, with experience in vertical caving, canyoning, remote area search and rescue including vertical rescue in the rugged Kanangra Walls area of New South Wales (NSW).
Alan has been a Vertical Rescue Trainer for the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), a Rope Rescue Instructor for the Fallright International Training Academy, and a Senior Vertical Rescue Instructor for the NSW State Rescue Board. He has judged international high angle rescue competitions in South Africa in 1999 and 2001, and organised the Vertical Rescue Challenge Australia in 2000 and 2002. Alan has also designed and organised major Confined Space Rescue exercises (including vertical rescue) involving both industry and local emergency services.
Alan has been involved in the revision and development of the National Vertical Rescue Training Package, and also the development of the NSW SES Vertical Rescue Training Resource Kit. His passion is to apply his knowledge of engineering and physics to dispell myths and old wives' tales that develop in Vertical Rescue, and has developed some new methods and techniques for both rescue and for training.
In 2003 Alan was award the NSW Premier's Emergency Service Award and also the Centenary Medal for his contributions to Vertical Rescue.
Al's Vertical Rescue Notes / Alan Sheehan B.E. / revised May 16, 2005.