Firefighters’ test of climbing device to be shown on TV | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Firefighters’ test of climbing device to be shown on TV

Becky Bosshart

Chad Lundquist / Nevada Appeal/ Carson City Fire Department Training Capt. Jim Quilici scales the side of a training tower Wednesday with the help of a PowerQuick personal lifting system. The Discovery Channel filmed the exercise.

CARSON CITY – A company here that makes climbing devices will be featured on a Discovery Channel show about new technology early next year.

Several Carson City firefighters ascended the five-story fire training tower at the Carson City Airport on Wednesday afternoon using the PowerQuick Personal Lifting Device. One of those firefighters was Training Capt. Jim Quilici. He’s not only testing out a product. He’s also making his cable television debut.

Wearing rescue gear, a climbing harness and a red hard hat, Quilici squeezed the “trigger” of the PowerQuick lifter and was motored up the 11Ú2-inch-thick rope anchored to the top of the tower.

This was called a horizontal lift because the rope was tied to the back of a fire engine parked about 100 feet from the tower.

The Discovery Channel camera crew, which is based out of Australia, clustered at the bottom, watching the ascension. Every so often the show producer would give a direction in his heavy “down-under” accent.

As Quilici ascended at an angle, his shadow cast over the front of the tower. He reached the top with no effort. The aluminum and plastic device sounded like an electric saw. The PowerQuick is made by Quoin International Inc. in an 8,000-square-foot office near the airport.

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“It seems slower, but it has more torque,” Quilici yelled down. He had recently completed a vertical ascension with a lighter, 300-pound PowerQuick lifter. The 500-pound machine, which retails for $8,600, is made to carry two people, which is why the fire department is considering it for search and rescue.

The show, called “Beyond Tomorrow,” will air in Australia in February. Producer Ross Gallen said the Discovery Channel will run it soon afterward in America. In Australia the show has a 1.5 million viewers.

“We cover new technology on the show, so it could be a new medical device or a new car design,” he said.

The crew has filmed around the world for seven weeks straight. The last thing they filmed was a luxury $2 million bus made in Springfield, Ore. Next they’re heading to Las Vegas to film a self-playing violin.

Quilici’s experience with the climbing device:

“It’s awesome. There’s no work whatsoever.”