The Hef up close and personal

At this point I’ve been to a lot of really epic places with these men. De Hef now being one of them. The old railroad bridge is closed off for the public (for obvious reasons, falling off is really easy and really not good for you).

This structure is photogenic from every angle really, just on its own it would have been great. But combined with the drill the height rescuers were carrying out: amazing.

The scenario: mechanic fell and got stranded on ‘de val’. This is the moving part of the bridge. Just moving the bridge down is not an option ;)

There were a lot of steps to get up there I can tell you. I’m going to say half of the times you want to get a photo of this crew it involves a LOT of steps. Blessed be the elevators. BUT. This shot <3

And this view!

Can we talk about the second guy from the left? Because hanging over that fence just by itself isn’t enough right. I love this photo though. It’s such a big part of their job, to plan and communicate well.

They have special headsets too, because it would be sorta inconvenient to have to use one hand to hold your portable radio.

Somehow the moment when one of them lets GO of the ledge is the moment with the most tension in it for me. I obviously know they will be fine, they check, and get checked, and have a safety line as well as a main line. But just the human nature of letting go on such a height is impressive.

This is their team captain. You can spot him like this a LOT. Literally the eyes in the sky.

Here we go! The bridge is so cool to have all these different levels. There’s little stairs to little balconies all over the thing. For this shot I’m sitting down on the floor (well, grate) of one.

Mechanic Dummy has been saved. Imagine being in there though. Luckily the victim doesn’t descend on his own.

The bridge is such a cool feat of engineering, stemming from 1878. And here we are on top of it. Ok well, halfway down.

I was waiting for the prior shown captain to come down and get this shot. And I got this almost New York-ish photo from it.

In all honesty, this was a tough one for me. As long as I’m taking photos, all is well. I have something to literally focus on. But the grates, my brain just couldn’t wrap itself around them. I might have gone straight to sleep after this. Just shows how much training has gone into this job, before it becomes something not only normal for this team, but also to be able to rescue another human being while doing so.

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