Dangling 140 meters high in the air – even henry salwender was scared out of his mind. “At least the first time”, the agile industrial climber admits with a laugh. But that was years ago. Meanwhile, he doesn’t do wind turbine repair and cleaning anymore. As a so-called rotor blade service mechanic, he was on the road throughout germany from 2012 to 2014. In the meantime, he has set up his own company in coburg: sonderzweck – arbeitsschutz& safety. When it comes to rescue operations and safety training in wind turbines, he is only there as a trainer.
Safe on the high shelf
His real concern is occupational safety. Saving people and helping them to avoid accidents is close to the 52-year-old’s heart. As a rescue paramedic with the BRK in bad rodach, that’s his daily bread. As an industrial climber, he is particularly interested in ensuring greater safety in high-bay warehouses, in stage construction and in event technology. He is already offering training courses on protective equipment against falls from a height.
He has settled in the old porcelain factory in cortendorf. He has rented a part of the disused industrial plant where he can store his equipment and where a shaft offers the possibility for hollow training.
“The employers” liability insurance association tightens the thumbscrews in operations”, he says, pointing out that occupational safety has been treated far too lightly up to now.
Climbing into shafts, scrambling up chimneys or replacing advertising signs in lofty heights, henry salwender comes when he is called upon. But his goal is to train industrial climbers. In the mountain rescue service, for example, where he was already active, he did not feel at ease. "Alpine climbing involves far too much risk", he says, reaching into his crude box where he pulls out carabiners, ropes and safety hooks to demonstrate how a double or triple commercial belay works.
Of course, it"s a question of weight. He realizes that when climbing in the mountains, you can neither put on nor carry such equipment, but he needs the certainty that nothing can happen if you think of everything. Henry has loved climbing since he was a child. Then he learned construction and worked there for 30 years. "I held on with my fists and worked with my hands", he says with a laugh.
Adventurer with heart
Salwender has an adventurer’s heart. Always trying out something new, testing limits, leaving the old behind him. He has worked as a stuntman and double on alarm fur cobra 11 and was a lowenbaby bandit in africa. But the turnaround came in 2010. He was once again looking for something different. Only this time it should be something that combines his talents: as a high climber and emergency paramedic, he has found his calling. "Here I can live myself and help others do the same", says henry salwender, expert in all kinds of ascents and descents.