Guidelines Specific to
Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department
The Forsyth County, Georgia, Parks and Recreation Department subscribes to the
Recommended Guidelines for Programmed Recreational Tree Climbs
with the following changes, additions, and/or deletions.
The following guidelines are specific to the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation
Departmentand apply to those climbs conducted by Forsyth County Parks and recreation that qualify
as program climbs.
· All program climbs shall be administered by instructors and facilitators who have received training as
facilitators and/or instructors from a recognized trainer or training entity as well as having been trained in
basic recreational tree climbing. Such training shall consist of a formal course in facilitation administered
by qualified instructors accepted within the recreational tree climbing community. All program climbs will
be overseen by an instructor or designated lead facilitator. There will be no more than three facilitators
operating under the guidance of any one instructor or lead facilitator and there shall be no more than six
climbers climbing under the guidance of any one facilitator
· All Instructors, lead facilitators, and facilitators shall be familiar with, and have on hand, any documents
that are required from participants, such as waivers and release forms.
· All Instructors, lead facilitators, and facilitators shall be familiar with guidelines and policies specific to
the location of the climb and the hosdt/partner agency.
· All Instructors, lead facilitators, and facilitators shall be familiar with the tree to be climbed and the
equipment to be used for the climb
· All equipment used in life-support applications shall be equipment manufacured for the purpose of vertical
rope-assisted climbing by reputable, well-known manufacturers and shall be used in accordance with
· The harness to be used shall be of the type manufactured by New Tribe, or when necessary, that type
manufactured for use by professional arborists.
· Carabiners shall be of the Triact variety, either aluminum or steel.
· Helmets manufactured for the purpose of adventure programming and meeting standards for head protection
will be used.
Conducting the climb
· The tree, and the area surrounding the tree, shall have been inspected for hazards before being rigged and
the beginning of the climb. All hazards will have been removed from the tree prior to the beginning of programmed
climbing. This includes deadwood, hanging dead limbs, wasp and bee nests, etc.
· The tree shall be rigged by facilitators and instructors only. All rigging, including knots, shall be inspected
prior to the climb by the designated lead facilitator.
· At least one setting shall be created and exist for rescue and facilitation purposes only. At least one facilitator
shall always be rigged and ready to climb, in the event that an emergency aloft should occur. If
there is an instructor or a facilitator aloft in the tree this will negate the need for a rigged and ready
climber on the ground.
· All climbers and, if appropriate, all parents and guardians of climbers, shall receive proper orientation and
introduction to safety procedures prior to climbing. Climbing techniques and safety protocols shall be
demonstrated. The orientation shall be carried out by the lead facilitator/instructor or under the direction of
the lead facilitator/instructor.
· Parents or guardians of underage participants shall remain in the vicinity of the climb and be available if
needed. Underage shall be defined as sixteen years of age or less.
· All climbing shall occur on rope. Free climbing, or off rope climbing, is not permitted.
· The facilitator-to-climber ratio, as established by the administering agency, and referred to under the
heading personnel, above, shall be adhered to.
· All climbers shall be fitted into harnesses and helmets by facilitators and inspected to be sure they have
been properly fitted and secured to the climber.
· All climbers shall be attached to climbing ropes by facilitators and inspected to ensure proper attachment.
· Everyone, including climbers, facilitators, instructors, parents, and others will wear head protection while
within the dripline of the tree.
· All climbing by participants will be double rope technique climbing. Only instructors and facilitators will
be allowed to utilize single rope techniques.
· All loose items shall be secured to the climber before the climber leaves the ground.
· Only ropes manufactured and/or sold for the purpose of tree climbing are to be used, and must be
inspected before and after every climb.
· All other life-support equipment shall be inspected before and after each climb, and such equipment that
does not pass inspection shall be dealt with in accordance with manufacturers instructions and recommendations.
· Once climbers are on rope and off the ground, ascent and descent procedures should be re-stated and
the climber questioned by the facilitator to mke sure that procedurees are understood.
· As climbers advance, facilitators will place safety knots in climbers ropes at appropriate intervals. Each
time a safety knot reaches the ground, another safety knot shall be placed on the rope at the facilitators
potential problems that could develop. Such problems include weather, personality issues, outside distractions,
and parents who may coach their children in an inappropriate manner.
· All climbing shall be conducted with regard for the policy of Challenge By Choice.
· Onlookers , bystanders, and parents/guardians are not to interfe in any way with facilitators efforts to
conduct a safe and successful climb. Those disregarding this will be asked to leave the area and, if necessary,
escorted from the area.
· All descents shall be belayed by facilitators with a hand on the climbers rope.
· Participants shall be relieved of their gear following a climb by facilitators.
· Facilitators will make sure that all gear has been returned.
Emergency action plan
· Instructors and facilitators shall have an emergency action plan discussed, ready, and in place before the
start of the activity.
For climbing within the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department the Emergency
Action Plan shall be:
All climbing will cease immediately
The lead facilitator shall take immediate charge.
Someone shall be dispatched immediately to call emergency services.
One facilitator shall be assigned to crowd control.
Other facilitators shall begin bringing all other climbers to the ground
Dispatch someone to guide the emergenct service personnel to the area.
If immediately necessary, a rescue shall be performed to bring the victim to the
ground and first aid applied.
Victim shall be stabilized until emergency personnel arrive.
Follow up with forms, paperwork, and an after-action review.
· All instructors and facilitators will be aware of address and location of the climb in order to pass the
information along to EMS personnel.
2300 Keith Bridge Road
Cumming, GA 30040
3475 Spot Road
No phone service at location
· All instructors and facilitators will be aware of location of nearest EMS facility
All emergencies shall be reported to the Forsyth County 911 center
· All instructors and facilitators administering a programmed climb shall have First Aid/CPR certification
via Red Cross or appropriate agency.
· All instructors and facilitators shall have received instruction in rescue techniques applicable for the type
of climb to be administered and be familiar with all rescue gear provided at the climbing site.
· An appropriate-sized first aid kit shall be available at every climb. The first aid kit will be inspected and
re-stocked following all climbs.
· A telephone (or cell phone) shall be accessible with a list of appropriate emergency numbers available.
Telephone numbers for Forsyth County Parks And Recreation Areas
First option: Call 911!
Forsyth County: 770-781-2180
· De-rigging the tree shall be performed by facilitator personnel
· All gear shall be inspected for damage before being stored.
· An after-action review, or debriefing, shall occur in which all issues concerning the climb shall be discussed.
· Accident report forms and after-action report forms shall be filled out after the climb as needed.
In addition to the recommendations above:
· Facilitators shall have received training in adaptive climbing systems from a recognized trainer or training
· Medical personnel familiar with the climbers' conditions and needs shall be present, when deemed necessary
and based upon climbers physical condition., to oversee the climb and to make recommendations
concerning connections between climbers and the support system.
· Adult climbers, willing to accept responsibility for themselves and having signed documents to that
effect, shall be permitted to climb without presence of medical personnel, pending approval of lead facilitator.
· The lead facilitator shall have the authority to refuse service to any climber when deemed necessary in
situations involving adaptive climbing and adaptive climbing systems.