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AC-ET, Prolyte & Backstage Academy Rigging School A Big Success

A.C. Entertainment Technologies' Rigging Division's first two-day Rigging School of 2011 was completely sold out and a great success.
The Rigging School - a training partnership between A.C. Rigging, leading trussing and staging manufacturer Prolyte and the Wakefield-based Backstage Academy - was hosted at the LS-LIVE Studio in Wakefield.
Fourteen pupils attended the course, representing a variety of different industry sectors. They included freelancers, rental company staff and venue riggers.
Independent rigging expert Eric Porter led the course, which covered a comprehensive range of topics including regulations and risk assessment, standards and guidance, PPE systems for working at height, ropes and knots, inspection and records, lifting principles, basic science, angled loads, truss assembly and slinging/floating, bridle work (theoretical & practical), bridle analysis (load calculations), chain hoists and rigging/de-rigging.
The truss theory content of the course was delivered by Marc Hendriks from Prolyte and made "fascinating listening" according to Eric Porter, adding that it made him think further on a number of issues.
A section also covered examples of common bad practices, as these aspects are equally as important to recognise and deal with as employing the correct working practices. Rescue plans were also on the agenda, allowing attendees to be fully prepared for dealing with realistic situations should they occur.
Adam Beaumont, Head of A.C. Rigging, said: "Demand was very high, so we managed to accommodate two extra people on the course, which normally offers 12 places. The feedback we have received has been excellent, and it's clear that everyone gained a great deal of knowledge. We expect a high demand again for the next Rigging School in June."
The style and format of the course followed that os AC-ET's 2010 Rigging Schools, although this was the first time the course has been run in conjunction with the Backstage Academy, which offers a variety of industry-based training initiatives.
"Working with an organisation like Backstage Academy really gives the Rigging School additional kudos," confirmed Adam, who added that Eric Porter's position as a committee member for PLASA's National Rigging Certificate (NRC) further raises the profile and recognition of the excellent standards presented by the Rigging School."
Working in partnership with Prolyte also enables AC-ET to contain the costs, making the Rigging School an affordable and viable proposition for everyone including freelancers and independents.
Adam continued: "Training is a vital aspect of our work at A.C. Rigging. We supply many specialist products, so it's important to invest the time and effort in ensuring that the knowledge is out there and available on how to use them properly."
The Rigging Schools are also a good opportunity to show the newest technology available in this industry field. The latest Prolyte trussing products and CM Entertainment Lodestar chain hoists were in action for the event, including the LS D8 and D8+ versions, all of which are available from AC-ET. Also demonstrated were the advantages of using Load Cell monitoring on an active rig, along with the latest rescue systems.
Eric Porter commented: "The excellent feedback confirms it went well from the attendees' point of view, I always enjoy running training courses, and as I'm not doing it every week, it stays fresh and i encourage as much dialogue as I can to make it as relevant as possible to the trainees and their experiences. Having Adam Beaumont available is great because a change in the presenter can bring new and different angles to specific products and applications."
Whilst hard to single out specific topics, with different groups having differing areas of interest, the thing Eric is "most proud of" is the flow of the course, which covers a lot of territory, but doesn't get "bogged down" on one thing for too long. Instead, it tries to continually refer new topics back to previously mentioned subjects.
Freelance Lighting Technician/Designer and Rigger Dave Hughes signed up to consolidate his skills and knowledge. He commented: "I was amazed with how much we crammed into two days and I learnt a lot about the engineering and calculation side of rigging, especially about truss from Marc at Prolyte. It was a great revision of skills and Eric shared many tips on achieving an efficient workflow. The area of fall prevention and arrest was particularly interesting and provoked much discussion. Huge thanks to the Backstage Academy - a really good course and a great new facility!"
The next AC-ET, Prolyte & Backstage Academy Rigging School takes place on June 8/9.
To register your interest in attending and request further information when available, please email: or call: +44 (0)113 255 7666.
The cost is £349 (plus VAT) per person, which includes lunch, overnight accommodation, a certificate of attendance and an evening meal with other delegates.
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