When a Climber Falls, Who Cries?

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When a climber falls, who hears the cries? First the coworkers, the people on the scene who work with this person every day, then the foreman or boss who has to inform the family. Then the family. While the company suffers, it does not compare to the family’s pain and loss. The family is left with the loss of a loved one. The family is going to grieve for their loss. The family is left with more than the loss of a loved one, the grief of injury or death. They are also dealing with the financial devastation.

There is help out there for these families that comes from donations from within the industry. Let us never forget the fallen. One more is too many, but it happens. So who will help? The Hubble Foundation.

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This group is there to help climbers that have accidents on the tower. There may be lawsuits, insurance delays, no income, and so dog-tags_clearbackgrondmuch finger-pointing to go around. The Hubble Foundation works hard to find out who needs the help and how to reach them. Specifically Dr. Bridgette Hester. She lost her husband, Jonce Hubble, when a tower came down after a truck backed into a guy while he was trying to come down. Now he is dead, and she didn’t have anyone outside of friends and family to support her.

You see, there is an ugly truth that tower climbers die on the job. Many due to poor training, some due to stupidity, and others in freak accidents. They die on the tower and in cars. We lost 7 this year, 2015, in-car accidents, so far. We lost more in tower related accidents. So many more have been hurt and will never climb again. Who helps these people? Read on

The Hubble Foundation! Do you know about the Hubble Foundation? It is named after Jonce Hubble who died when a tower collapsed and he was on it. He was coming down at the end of the day when a crane truck backed into a guy wire. This caused the wire to break and the tower collapse with Jonce Hubble and Barry Sloan trying to get down. They did not fall, the tower collapsed on top of them. This day changed Dr Bridgette Hester’s life forever. It motivated her to create the Hubble Foundation, www.hubblefoundation.org, and she has been helping tower climbers out ever since. From offering them meals, to providing financial support and scholarship money for their families after a tower worker died, she has been the working endlessly to help this part of the industry get over the horrible truth that people die in this job, usually for a little money. Most stay with it because they love it. Some die doing it. All I ask, if you could, go to www.hubblefoundation.org and give what you can. I interviewed Dr Hester which can be found here.

Quick facts:

  • Founded in 2012
  • IRS 501c3 organization
  • Conduct academic research to improve safety
  • Advocate safety with OSHA, FCC, and other organizations
  • Assist workers and their families for work related accidents.
  • Raised close to $200K since 2012
  • Provided Christmas donation for 37 children of injured and fallen climbers in 2014
  • The video is found here.

The Hubble Foundation has many supporters and is well-known inside the tower industry. Check out the newsletter, 2015 2nd Quarter newsletter, and it shows you what they are up to. They keep a good record of who they have helped and Dr. Hester is very approachable and easy to talk to. I am proud to say she is also a good friend who wrote a book about the accident and what she experienced. It is called “Godwink: On the Wings of Butterflies” and I only recommend reading it if you have a strong will. The first chapter will make you realize what the family goes through when they get “the call” and let me tell you something, my wife is happy she never had to go through that. My wife said, after starting to read the book that she had no idea how dangerous the job really was.

I have a great deal of respect for Dr Hester for all that she has done for this industry. She has done so much by herself that others would seem impossible. It really is amazing how far she got it with the help of the working class people in this industry building it up to provide the Hubble Foundation with the means to support so many family with financial aid, scholarships, and continued support throughout the years. She has been instrumental in helping these families rebuild.

The Hubble Foundation relies on donations from groups, like the Wireless Associations from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Georgia, and California as well as people like you and me. Anyone who can help out does. I have given, so should anyone in this industry. She also relies on companies, like Rope + Rescue, to donate 1% of 17 specific items sold. She relies on individual donations as much as groups. Per Dr Hester”We have yet to have a LARGE telecom company step up and support what we do.  We have been grassroots since we started and our base following are the climbers themselves, the smaller companies, the families of the fallen, and several wireless associations (whom we adore), that have been with us from the beginning.”

Where the Hubble Foundation could use help is to respond quickly to these emergencies. If you could let all the coworkers know that they can reach out to Hubble for help so that the response time improves, that would be better for all.

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Give to the Hubble Foundation because if you don’t help these families, who will? Who supports Hubble? The wireless workers and the tower climbers, that’s who! With no support from the carriers or NATE, so it’s up to you! What if it were you? Would you want help? Who would help you if you were hurt? Who would help your family, your spouse, your children if something happened to you? Do you see the people who are hurt?



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