BRYAN, Texas — The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, TEEX, opened a new facility to help train rope access technicians on the Texas A&M RELLIS Campus.
“This facility here is the first of its kind here at TEEX,” said Matthew Winebarger, TEEX lead instructor, tower technician/rope access.
Winebarger says the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians' facility is only one of two of its kind.
“The primary use for industrial purposes is petrochemical, wind turbine, and window washers believe it or not,” said Winebarger. “It’s a very small community. Right now, I believe we’re looking at like thirty to forty thousand SPRAT technicians in the country.”
Matt Young is one of four current students in the rope access training.
“I’ve been in this class since Monday,” said Young. “I’m in the week-long pilot version of this class. We’re at Wednesday now so we’re halfway through the training...then Friday is all evaluations.”
Young says while the course may only be a week long, he’s receiving hours of hands-on rope training.
“Normally, whenever we’re doing our training, you’re only on rope for a handful of minutes, 10 to 15 minutes, probably tops depending on the complexity of the operation and here, we’re spending hours and hours on rope,” said Young. “It’s a fun and different experience.”
For Young, this rope access training was an opportunity for him to sharpen his professional toolbox.
“This training is a great way to either increase your knowledge, build a really solid foundation for a baseline for a career, or refine some of the knowledge you might already have as a rope technician,” he said. “This training opens a lot of doors; professionally speaking...interested in pursuing rope access as a career.”
Anyone interested in rope training through TEEX is encouraged to sign up and learn more here.