Tuesday 31 July 2012

Window Cleaners Become Vodka Salesmen

Overworked professionals get a surprise visit from a window washer who encourages them to get out of the office and into the bar. Click to enlarge.
Ultimat Vodka Hits Overachievers Where They Live—The Office: If you must be surprised by someone outside the window of your very tall office building, they might as well be offering drinks, like these guys. Working in a big city high rise means that at some point, you’ll likely have a surprise encounter with someone who appears to be hovering on the wrong side of your window. No, it’s not Tom Cruise filming the latest Mission: Impossible, but some brave soul who washes the windows of tall buildings. The shock of seeing a human being dangling at an incredible height just outside your window would be considerably lessened, however, if the guy happened to be handing out free booze. 

In a new web ad for Ultimat vodka, created by New York-based agency Amalgamated, real professional window washers in New York and Chicago agreed to get decked out in business suits to serve, basically, as vertically oriented bartenders. As they went along their routes up the sides of various buildings, instead of squeegees, they bore signs inviting office workers to come outside for free drinks. 

The spot, directed by Xander™ of production company East Pleasant cuts briefly to local news footage, but lingers on the psyched reactions, which include high fives and feigned guzzling. The idea for the campaign came from an insight about premium vodka consumers, and a desire to break free from the club-centric cliches. 

"Ultimat Vodka is an ultra-premium vodka. When we started working with them last year, we saw that every competitive vodka shows the same thing in their advertising: beautiful models, limos and nightclubs," says Amalgamated chairman and chief creative officer, Eric Silver. "But the ideal customers for ultra-premium vodkas are affluent people who work their asses off. How come every other vodka was talking to them like B&T kids going out on the town, rather than as successful white-collar types who work too hard?" Given the brand’s tag line of "Find Balance, Find Ultimat," the agency’s efforts, says Silver, have centered on "finding this white-collar audience where they are working and, more importantly, WHEN they are working too hard. 

We’ve advertised on financial websites, or in the elevators at places like Goldman Sachs…all after hours, when people should be out at the bar with their friends. The next logical step felt like intercepting people at their offices and inviting them to a party." As you might imagine, the logistical challenges of executing the idea were many. They included finding a building amenable to hosting the stunt (one with an operational window washing rig) and finding a real window washer who had on-camera presence. 

"We wanted buildings with investment banks and brokerages, so there are many privacy and financial regulatory issues to contend with," says Silver. "Then there was the logistics of the shoot. You’re always battling glare. And weather. We delayed the shoot twice because of rain only to shoot on a day when it was well over 100 degrees." And as for the office workers, most, though not all of them reacted in the expected manner. "In general, the reactions were very positive," says Silver. "Lots of high fives, big smiles, and notes written back to the window washer. Though, in New York, one of the employees of a company had extreme vertigo upon seeing our window washer and literally ran out of the office. And, in Chicago, a guy who was ex military thought he was being assassinated and reached for a gun that wasn’t there." 

The spot is part of a broader campaign that speaks to finding balance which has included other summer Friday initiatives including "The Ultimat Invitation," which sees brand representatives showing up at the corporate offices with a Build-Your-Own-Cocktail bar and "The Ultimat Groomers," whereby patrons of Truman’s Gentlemen’s Groomers can kick back with a drink whilst indulging in the manly pursuit of "a haircut… complimentary manicure and a 10-minute scalp massage finished with a chilled facial compress."

New Ultimat Vodka Video Goes Viral:  A new video from Ultimat vodka has generated more than 1.1 million views in the four days since it was posted on YouTube on July 26. The video, part of the brand’s “Find Balance, Find Ultimat” campaign, shows a window washer dressed as a businessman flashing signs at office workers from his perch outside their skyscraper windows. The signs include messages such as: “You people are hard to reach,” “Let’s drink to you getting out of here before 6,” “Cheers to less work and more play” and “When was the last time you got some fresh air? It’s awesome,” and of course: “Find balance, find Ultimat.”

The brand shot similar footage on a skyscraper in Chicago. Both shoots were done on a summer Friday afternoon, to dramatize the campaign’s theme and results of a Harris Interactive poll conducted for Ultimat that found 70% of respondents saying that Summer Friday benefits would improve their work/life balance (just 12% reported having such benefits). Ultimat hosted late-day cocktail parties for the workers in the skyscrapers where the ads were shot. The creative is from the Amalgamated agency, and was directed by Xander of the East Pleasant production company. Thirty-second and long-form versions were launched through social and paid media, including Hulu and Tremor, as well as YouTube.

In addition, the brand is running targeted ads on WSJ.com and other finance Web sites on weekend nights after 5 p.m., to “catch” professionals with deficient life/work balances. The ads have messages targeted/personalized to the user based on the content of the articles they are reading. They urge the reader to find balance, and provide a map to the nearest venue where they can order an Ultimat vodka. The brand is also running direct-to-consumer initiatives. These include Ultimat-hosted parties at corporate offices (such as Gilt Groupe’s) featuring a “build-your-own-cocktail” bar, with fresh ingredients provided. In addition, on Fridays in August, Ultimat will sponsor complimentary manicures and other spa services, as well as cocktails, for men patronizing New York City’s Truman’s Gentleman’s Groomers (described as a cross between a dream man-cave and modern-day barber shop).

Monday 30 July 2012

Window Cleaning News Revisited

John Lockwood knows who’s who and what’s what in the hood.
Keeping it real with some old friends: John Lockwood is a neighborhood character who I have known and photographed many times over the years. Anyone who has spent any time on Avenue A is familiar with John. He makes his living washing windows. He owns and runs his own company, Rose Window & Awning Cleaning. John is getting to be one of the last of the old school, independent, go-to street guys who knows who is who, and what is what, as far as the goings-on in the hood. That said, he is not a gossip, but if there is a need to know, good chance John can give an insider’s tip. John earns his money, is hard-working, honest and a stand-up guy. Remember this Harlem Window Cleaner who turned his life around?

Groupon under fire in Germany over bad deals: Groupon recently launched in Austria from America but in Germany the company has been panned. A German man and his family made the first complaint when he bought a Groupon voucher online for the "Great China" restaurant in Hamburg. The man named as Marc W., 21, paid 147.60 Euro instead of 200 for the voucher but as it turned out the restaurant does not except any vouchers. Since then Marc is trying to contact Groupon to get his money back but said he had had no reaction since then.
Another woman Katrin Wege (44), the owner of the "Blaue Blume", lost about 10,000 due a Groupon deal. The offer for her restaurant in Hamburg was supposed to be online for 24 hours but actually was available for 48 hours, she said. Some 700 vouchers were sold for 14,50 each with an original value of 30 Euro. Groupon keeps about half of the price for themselves with the rest going to the firm. Martin Harneit, pictured (33) who owns a window-cleaning service and was hoping for some advertising through Groupon also suffered, with a similar story to Katrin Wege. Groupon also sold more vouchers than he agreed on, and still owes him 800 Euro. Now, the small business of his is under threat of being bankrupt if they do not get the money back. Similar blogs here & here.

The Salary poll:  The results of the Sunday Province's poll on managerial and executive wages are in. More than 1,000 of you voted on whether 20 different Lower Mainland salaries were too high or too low. Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming response for nearly every job was "too high." Only highrise window washers, teachers and the manager of Stanley Park were seen as underpaid by the public, according to the online survey. One surprise was the mayor of Vancouver - the voting was split 50/50. $31,200 Highrise window washer -
 96% said UNDERPAID & said 4% OVERPAID 
"Are you kidding me? I make decent money but you couldn't pay me enough to do that job. Maybe not skilled labour, but how dangerous is that? Without these guys, the CEOs would not have a beautiful corner office view." - Brian Z., Agassi. Another blog on window cleaners salary here & here.

Don't moralise on tax, Gauke: Oh dear! David Gauke has made himself look a right wally by telling the British public that paying people cash-in-hand is 'morally wrong'. Last week exchequer secretary to the Treasury Gauke lambasted members of the British public who pay cash to tradesmen, cleaners, window cleaners and anyone else who may ask for cash payment. He trilled that cash-in-hand payments have left a £2 billion black hole in the economy and proceeded to judge the moral standing of those that pay cash – but what he failed to add is that paying someone cash is perfectly legal.
You can pay everyone in cash if you wish, it's up to the person you pay cash to, to declare their income, including the cash payments. It's not up to any customer to ensure the person or company they purchase an item or service from is paying the correct amount of tax.
What Gauke seemed to want to say, but couldn't, is that he thinks tradesmen and others who rely on cash are dodging tax and he doesn't like it. This is all a bit rich from the man who used to make a living out of helping the wealthy avoid tax. Gauke was a solicitor at Macfarlanes, a company which specialises in tax structuring – which translates as helping rich people pay less tax. Research last year showed tax avoidance costs the UK economy £69.9 billion a year, putting the £2 billion lost to cash-in-hand operations into perspective. Gauke looks like a fool. While he judges those who pay labourers and cleaners, people who are typically on low wages and may be struggling hard to pay bills and find enough work, his own governmental department, the Treasury, strikes deals to allow companies to escape millions of pounds of tax. Original blog here.

Bungling burglar jailed after being recognised by unique tattoo: A man’s distinctive neck tattoo helped police identify him as a bungling burglar who pretended to be a window cleaner and hooked a handbag inside a house with his broom. Neil Simpson (24), of Francis Gardens, Peterborough, had asked a woman if she wanted to have her windows cleaned on June 15. Later that day, the woman saw him feed a broom through her window and try to steal her handbag by hooking it with the stick. The would-be-burglar was caught in the act by the homeowner, and fled the property empty-handed. She called the police and told them of the distinctive tattoo on his neck, which was a large black symbol.
Simpson was then arrested for another matter the following day, and was immediately linked to the burglary when officers saw a large black tattoo on his neck. He pleaded guilty to burglary and six other break-ins across New England and Dogsthorpe at Peterborough Crown Court on Monday, July 23. Simpson has been sentenced to two years in prison. Detective Constable Tom Rowe said: “Simpson was a serial burglar and we are committed to ensure we catch those responsible for such offences. “I hope this sends out a strong message to others that we will bring offenders to justice.” Also see here: UK Window Cleaner Filmed Stealing Credit Card.

Sunday 29 July 2012

The New Wagtail Pivot Control Squeegee (PC)

The New Wagtail Pivot Control Squeegee (PC). Click to enlarge.
Presenting the new Wagtail Pivot Control (PC). The PC is a new Wagtail squeegee invention that improves productivity, accuracy and ergonomics. A brand new patent pending squeegee. Willie Erken, owner of Wagtail Tools is claiming a 15% speed gain over his already lightning fast squeegees and a dramatic improvement in performance and detailing. Click here to go to the official Wagtail blog.

The new Wagtail PC (Pivot Control) with overhead collet gives more pressure on the window at extreme edges. This smoother nylon collet delivers a faster, frictionless and better force vectors where it counts. The best analogy would be to describe aeroplane wings, when the pilot turns he activates the opposite wings flaps to the desired direction. This is how our traditional Wagtail squeegee works however with the overhead collet there is direct pressure on the side in which you turn i.e. the left side channel will exert more pressure when you twist the handle to the left. 

Click to enlarge.
 The amazing result is that we can now use 30" slimlines without streaks, there is an incredible improvement at the turning point and far better rubber life. Pivot control is really important so we have introduced a pivot range from very small (first time users and high work) to gradually wider pivots. 

The Wagtail Squeegee Network excited members were given the first glimpse of the new squeegee & will get the first chance at using these amazing squeegees, just follow the instructions on the Wagtail facebook page to receive 50% off your order. And remember... it’s not clean till its Wagtail clean!

The new "Erkonomic" pole tip.
Introducing the Erkenomic pole tip. This latest tool from the ever growing Wagtail factory delivers advantages no other pole tip can give. The Erkenomic pole tip is a compound angle that gives a mechanical advantage when turning a squeegee reducing stress on the body when cleaning at a height. Opening up a world of possibilities, the pole tip can reach further, deeper ledges than not ever though reachable.

Saturday 28 July 2012

Las Vegas Rescue Workers Talk

Members of the Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Technical Rescue Team watch as Public Information Officer Tim Szymanski speaks during a press conference following the team’s rescue of four window washers that got stranded outside the 35th floor of the Vdara Hotel.
High-risk rescue at Vdara makes for an ‘excellent day on the job’ - Paramedic Ray Spigner dangled over the side of the Vdara Hotel some 550 feet in the air early Wednesday afternoon. News helicopters circled around him and the 100-degree summer heat emanated from the windows. His life rested in the hands of an 800-foot rope and his fellow firefighters on the Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Technical Rescue Team working the equipment to lower him. Below him, four window washers waited, stranded outside the 35th floor in a window washer’s basket. Their fate and safety rested in his hands.

The first of three members that would help lower the stranded to safety, Spigner was tasked with assessing their health and safety before taking the first man to safety. He couldn’t have had more fun. “It’s fun. It’s what we train for,” Spigner said. “We train every day for stuff like this, so there’s no worries. You trust your equipment, people and training.” The Technical Rescue Team specializes in rescuing people in high-risk emergencies like flash floods, car crashes and structural collapses, among others. On Wednesday, the 12 firefighters on shift were charged with a rare and exciting task — lowering four stranded window washers on the side of Vdara to safety.

The team received a call for help from the Clark County Fire Department at 11:53 a.m. When they arrived on scene, they devised their plan. They decided to lower the stranded washers onto a third-floor rooftop because it was closer than the hotel’s roof. Fire Captain John Hurley said it was a standard rope rescue. Hurley said they may not receive many calls like this, but they are trained for it. Two months a year, they practice rescues off the side of a training building and other local hotels and casinos. “These are low-volume, high-risk calls,” Hurley said. “They don’t come in often; that’s why we train frequently for them.”

Spigner went first. When he reached the men, he said they were calm, a little thirsty, but not in any immediate danger. After delivering some water, he attached a harness to the first person and together they were lowered down. Paramedic Scott Freel followed next. He said the window washers' calmness made the rescue easier. “That’s what made it less stressful,” Freel said. “These guys were all in good health, they weren’t scared, used to heights. My guy literally jumped off the thing on the way down.” Freel said the height, heat and people gawking at the rescuers with their cellphones through the hotel windows barely registered on his radar. He was too focused on his task at hand, and searching for something to grab onto in case things go crazy, to notice.

After nearly three hours, paramedic Andrew Osborn was tasked with taking the last man. That’s when they ran into their first and only snag — the man had to use the bathroom. “I asked him if he needed water,” Osborn said. “He said no, he needed the bathroom.” Still, Osborn and the rescue squad could not have hoped for a better day. “Excellent day on the job,” Osborn said. “It’s the day you live for.”

Investigation continues into window washers crane jam: Nevada safety regulators are investigating why a crane holding four window washers malfunctioned Wednesday, leaving the men stranded 35 stories high outside of the Vdara Hotel at CityCenter, a state official said Thursday. Steve Coffield, chief administrative officer with the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said his organization is investigating why a mechanism that raises and lowers the washer box malfunctioned. Coffield had no additional comment, citing an ongoing investigation.
The window washers called 911 shortly before noon. The last worker was rescued by 3 p.m. Rescuers with the Las Vegas and Clark County fire departments stationed themselves on the Vdara's roof, more than 50 floors high. From there, one firefighter at a time rappelled from the roof to the workers and brought them down to safety. The first firefighter to reach the workers gave them water. The window washers and firefighters communicated through cellphones. None of the window washers were injured.

Friday 27 July 2012

More Scaffold Incidents For Window Cleaners USA Wide

Four men injured when scaffold's cables become tangled outside 10th floor of Federal Building in Cleveland, Ohio — Four men were injured Thursday while working on a scaffold outside the 10th floor of the A.J. Celebrezze Federal Building. The men were on the scaffold at about 6:45 p.m. when winds picked up and heavy rain poured down. The men tried to lower the scaffold, but the cables got tangled, said Cleveland Fire Department spokesman Larry Gray. The wind battered the scaffold, banging the men against the building. The scaffold careened, so one end reached the eighth floor with the other on the 10th. A passerby called 9-1-1. Firefighters broke out a window on the 10th floor of the 32-story tower and pulled three men in. A fourth man was also on the scaffold, but somehow made it to the ground before the fire department arrived, Gray said. He suffered lacerations on his head. The men complained of head and back pains. They were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center, where their conditions are unknown. Two of the men were taken by the fire department rescue squad and the other two by EMS.

Window washers caught on scaffold during storm: It was a close call for four workers in Cleveland caught on a scaffold 10 stories above East 9th Street cleaning windows at the Federal Building.  Reports of heavy rain and strong winds tangled cables of the scaffold as they were trying to get down from the 32-story building. One end fell two stories injuring the workers.  Rescuers alerted by a passerby’s 911 call smashed a window and helped the men inside.  They were treated at MetroHealth Center.


Workers fall off three story building in Boca Raton: Two men are at Delray Medical Center after the scaffold they were on fell three stories. Boca Raton Fire Rescue says the men were pressure cleaning windows at a building in the 4,000 block of Conference Way South. Rescue crews arrived just before 9 a.m. Thursday. Authorities say they were 35-to-40 feet above the ground when a piece of scaffolding hit them causing them to fall. One of the men was knocked unconscious; the other suffered a head injury.

Previously: Two window washers were rushed to the hospital after falling three floors from a building in Boca Raton. Boca Raton Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene at 4800 Conference Way South where two men, both in their 30s, fell approximately 35 to 40 feet to the ground. A piece of scaffolding hit them causing them to fall, according to fire rescue officials. One man was unconscious when crews arrived, and the other suffered a head injury. Both were taken to Delray Medical Center as trauma patients.

Not to be confused with this news release....
Boca Raton Police respond to the scene Thursday where three painters fell from bucket trucks Thursday in an office park south of Yamato Road, West of I-95.
Three painters fall from bucket trucks at Boca Raton office park: Carol Nosek watched the paramedics cut the clothes from a fallen painter. "We looked out the window and saw them on the lawn," said Nosek, who works with Medical Connections, a company in the Boca Raton office park where authorities said three painters fell three stories from bucket trucks onto a lawn Thursday. One painter was taken by Boca Raton Fire Rescue to an area hospital while his colleagues, wearing blue and white coveralls, remained at 4800 Conference Way South after the incident that happened around 9 a.m. 

With so many scaffold accidents, this story was reported yesterday as a window cleaning accident.

Witnesses were never sure of the severity of the men's injuries as paramedics swarmed to the scene. "They cut off his shirt and pants," Nosek said. "He wasn't moving, and we didn't know if was alive or not." Bill Stecklow of Hartzell Construction said the men worked for a company called Color Construction, subcontractors at the building that is in a technology center west of I-95 and south of Yamato Road. "There was something on the ledge that they reached for and they fell," Stecklow said. All three workers were wearing harnesses but it was unclear if they were connected to a bucket, he said. A city inspector arrived after the incident, Stecklow said. Boca Raton Police were at the semi-circular building where two orange and yellow bucket trucks were surrounded by yellow "do not cross" tape in the parking lot. The incident did provide a whiff of anxiety for workers who witnessed the aftermath of the fall. Within minutes, a normal work day seemed to morph into a spectacle of flashing lights and yellow police tape. "We saw an unmarked police car," Nosek said, "and then everyone was there." The men apparently survived the fall, but their conditions were not known.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Las Vegas Window Washer Rescue Details

Hanging in there: Four window washers were stranded outside the 35th floor of the Vdara Hotel at CityCenter in Las Vegas for several hours on Wednesday after their work platform appeared to be slipping. Click to enlarge.
Window Workers Rescued Outside Vdara Hotel: Las Vegas and Clark County firefighters rescued four workers trapped on the outside of the Vdara Hotel at CityCenter Wednesday afternoon. Two of the workers were washing windows and the other two were replacing broken and damaged windows. The workers were trapped on the west side of Vdara on the 35th floor. The workers called 9-1-1 after becoming concerned when their platform equipment didn't operate as planned. The fire department received a call about noon and developed a plan to rescue the workers by sending one member of the high-angle rescue team at a time from the roof of the hotel to the basket where the workers were, county spokeswoman Stacey Welling said. The workers were placed in a harness and lowered one at a time to the roof of a third floor landing area. The rescue took two hours with the final worker being brought down at 3 p.m. There were no reports of injuries. MGM Resorts owns Vdara. Company spokeswoman Yvette Monet said the situation will be reviewed by hotel safety officials as part of the company's standard policy.

Firefighters rescue four trapped Vdara window washers: Four men who became trapped while washing windows outside of the 35th floor of the Vdara Hotel at CityCenter on Wednesday afternoon were safely rescued by firefighters who rappelled from the roof to the workers and brought them down one by one. The unidentified window washers, three in their 40s and one in his 20s, called 911 shortly before noon after the mechanism that raises and lowers the washer box they were in malfunctioned. The last window washer was safely strapped into a harness and, while connected to a firefighter by a rope, was brought down to the third level of the Vdara shortly before 3 p.m. Medical personnel awaited the workers, who were all reportedly in good health.
Although the high-rise drama might have seemed like heroics to onlookers, Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said the group of firefighters from his agency train every day for such a mission. The firefighters compose the Technical Rescue Team that specializes in swift-water rescues, high-angle rescues, such as the one performed Wednesday, and cave-in rescues, Szymanski said. "We've got the best team," Szymanski said, noting the unit is the only one in Southern Nevada. "They already know what to do because they've been practicing constantly." In all, 24 firefighters, including Clark County personnel, were on the roof of the Vdara, which is more than 50 stories high, Clark County Battalion Chief Eric Poleski said. The four men stuck outside the Vdara were on the west side of the building, unseen by the legion of tourists on the Strip. Yvette Monet, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts International, said in a statement that officials are investigating why the crane that held the window washers malfunctioned. "We appreciate the excellent efforts of the Fire Department personnel," she said. "The matter will be reviewed by hotel safety officials as part of the company's standard policy." Poleski said rescuers had cellphone contact with the window washers from the beginning.
The first firefighter who rappelled down to the workers at 1:15 p.m. brought them water. So, although the summer heat was intense, the workers stayed hydrated throughout the three-hour ordeal, Poleski said. Poleski said the rescue was methodical because all of the window washers were in good health, and rescuers knew that. While standing on Frank Sinatra Drive between the Bellagio and Aria as the last window washer was rescued, Poleski said no step was skipped in the rescue process. "This equipment is set up, double-checked and triple-checked before anybody goes over the edge," he said. "It might seem like this is taking a long time. ... Right now, because everyone is doing well, we're being very methodical and very careful and doing things on a very step-by-step basis." Poleski said the rescue mission, although unorthodox, went off without a hitch. "Its not in human nature to lower yourself off the side of a building," he said, adding, "I feel really good about it."

Dramatic rescue shows dangers of window washing job: Las Vegas is known for putting on some spectacular shows. Today, the show was high above on the 35th floor of the V Dara hotel on the strip. Window washers were stuck, and there was no way to get down, forcing a dramatic high rise rescue. 35 stories up in the air, stuck for several hours in 106 degree weather, but they had no choice but to wait after their platform stalled. And they thought it was slipping. Firefighters had to be called in to perform the rescue. There really was no other choice because the window washers could not get the platform to work. They spent 3 hours rigging ropes and descending from the roof of the 46 story hotel to get the men in a harness, and lowered them to a landing below. One by one they were brought down. In the end the firefighters were able to get everyone down safely. They were all checked out for dehydration because of the heat, but they were all okay. This situation has to be what every window washer in the world wants to avoid in their career. FOX 10's Troy Hayden talked with Kenneth Piposar of Abseilon USA, who trains firefighters to do vertical rescues.

Fire Department completes rescue of workers at Vdara: A heroic rescue took place today at the Vdara and News 3 has obtained video shot by a viewer who said he was praying the rescue would end successfully. News 3's Denise Rosch is among the many who watched the whole thing play out. MGM Resorts issued this state regarding Tuesday's rescue: "Clark County rescue teams completed a successful rescue of four workers who were in a crane lift basket at Vdara's 35th floor. No one was injured. We appreciate the excellent efforts of the fire department personnel. The matter will be reviewed by hotel safety officials as part of the company's standard policy."
Four window washers were rescued by firefighters Wednesday after they were stranded for several hours outside the 35th floor of a Las Vegas Strip high-rise hotel. Clark County and Las Vegas firefighters spent three hours rigging ropes and descending from the roof of the 46-story Vdara Hotel to harness and lower the workers one at a time to a landing area below. Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said firefighters were summoned about noon after the men reported that their work platform appeared to be slipping. No injuries were reported.

The Vdara is one of several glassy CityCenter complex hotels built by MGM Resorts International and Dubai World. The surrounding 67-acre development opened in December 2009, with the Aria, Veer and Mandarin Oriental hotels, a casino and the upscale Crystals shopping and restaurant complex. The flawed Harmon hotel and condominium tower never opened. Hotel spokeswoman Yvette Monet said the workers' platform apparently stalled due to a mechanical malfunction. The first firefighter to reach the men brought bottled water, officials said. The National Weather Service reported temperatures at 104 degrees and winds a moderate 10 mph at nearby McCarran International Airport at the time.
Television viewers watched the rescue live on local television. Las Vegas fire spokesman Tim Szymanski said the city's high-angle rescue team trains regularly for similar situations. In March 2009, firefighters rescued two window washers who suffered minor injuries when a cable holding their platform snapped during gusty winds outside the Wynn Resorts-owned Encore Las Vegas. Both men were wearing safety harnesses, and were pulled to safety through a 15th- floor window, while the platform slammed against windows facing the Vegas Strip and rained broken glass onto a swimming pool area below.

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue speaks to Action News about Vdara rescue (Las Vegas, NV) - Those aren't the only men who are speaking to Action News. We're also hearing from the heroes of the day. Those who risked their lives to save the stranded workers. Dropping down off the side of a 57 floor building is not what most would call a regular day on the job. "When you go over the edge, I mean, you look down, and it's high, but it's fun. That's what we're there for. It's what we train for," says City of Las Vegas firefighter/paramedic Scott Freel. These are all men on the heavy rescue team for the City of Las Vegas. Wednesday they were lowered to a window washing basket to save 4 men stuck on the 35th floor. "The problem wasn't with the actual out rigger it was more with the mechanical situation on the lift itself," says Captain John Hurley.
Quickly the team set up and started the rescue. "On this particular roof we had to bring anchors out of the stairwell and bring two of those out one for the main, and one for the belay," says Captain Aaron Downing. "They all seemed like they were in fine shape. They were just hot and thirsty. So we gave them some water. We attached a pick off harness to them and then lowered it down," says another fire fighter/paramedic Ray Spigner. All four men were treated and released without injuries. A successful operation thanks to the "Heavy;" their truck that has pretty much everything the team needs to save anyone in Southern Nevada from any disaster or emergency. At this height the rescuers say they barely notice the people inside Vdara taking phone video. Happy for a job well done, these guys look back at the day with satisfaction. This heavy rescue team is one of three platoons ready to assist throughout Southern Nevada. They worked with Clark County Fire and Rescue on this operation.

This accident today turned out to be serious injuries for painters.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

More World Window Cleaning Pictures

Workers clean the windows of a newly built office building in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. Click to enlarge.
A window cleaner washes the window of the athletes' hotel in Istanbul. Click to enlarge.
Sailors clean windows for the watchstanders inside the Flag Bridge of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) looking for surface and air contacts during a transit through the Strait of Hormuz. Click to enlarge.
Employees clean the windows of the main building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Click to enlarge.
Window cleaners stand on a platform hanging from the front of the CCTV (China Central Television) building on a sunny day in central Beijing. Click to enlarge.
A worker cleans the windows of a hotel building in downtown Sofia. Click to enlarge.
A cleaner washes the glass windows of a building in Brasilia. Click to enlarge.
A worker cleans the windows of an apartment block on a haze day in central Beijing. Click to enlarge.
Cleaners watch an Air China plane land as they sit atop the roof of the Beijing Capital International Airport's train station. Click to enlarge.
A worker cleans the windows of an office building in Tokyo. Click to enlarge.
Workers clean windows at a building in downtown Buenos Aires. Click to enlarge.
A worker cleans the windows of a hotel in central Mexico City. Click to enlarge.
People watch as a window cleaner works outside the 14th floor at the Shard in London. Click to enlarge.
Workers clean the windows of a building in Quito. Click to enlarge.
Kevin was forced to sell his original window-cleaning company at a loss in 2003 to devote himself to Huntley and Carr’s forthcoming trial and the subsequent Bichard Inquiry into Britain’s child-protection procedures. The parents of Holly Wells speak out a decade after she was murdered. The family survived on Nicola’s salary as a legal secretary, by re-mortgaging their house and by accepting a £6,000 charity hand-out to pay their bills. For a man with a work ethic as powerful as Kevin’s it was a  difficult time. Says Kevin: ‘I got going again, I bought some rounds off other window cleaners, I did a lot of door-knocking and leafleting, but we went from being comfortable to being financially stretched for a while. You don’t think about it for days, weeks, months, but then there comes a time when you realise you have to put food on the table.
The cost of repairing broken window blinds at London’s iconic City Hall, which houses the offices of Mayor Boris Johnson, is set to top £730,000. The glass-clad building on the South Bank of the Thames – which was designed by architect  Norman Foster and is one of the capital’s landmarks – has suffered from defective blinds for years, hampering efforts to clean its windows. The bulk of the costs of the repairs are being met under an insurance policy. But the Greater London Authority (GLA) must contribute almost £100,000 in taxpayers’ money – under an excess clause in the policy and for work that it does not cover.
Window washers from Citywide Building Services, Inc. clean the glass on the Omni Dallas Hotel on July 16, 2012. Click to enlarge.
A window that generates electricity simply through its very existence has long been the dream of many working on photovoltaic research. Now, thanks to researchers at University of California, Los Angeles, we are one step closer. Using a new polymer solar cell prototype, they’ve been able to craft a cell that converts infrared light into electrical energy with a conversion efficiency of four percent at 66 percent transparency. In other words, you can see through it and it still generates current. Imagine for a moment if Google Glass or some device developed from it utilized this kind of technology? You’d have a self-charging heads-up display.
Divergent Dances for Windows and Walls: Aerial artistry. As they checked out the Bata’s two-tiered roof, Prendergast, an engineer, noticed a diagram on the back of a locked hatch that confirmed the existence of several secure window-washer points, thus saving the cost of installing a special gantry. Divergent Dances for Windows and Walls is presented July 24-28 July at the Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor St. W.. Toronto.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin talks on the phone as he wears Google's new Internet-connected glasses in San Francisco, Google is making prototypes of the device, known as Project Glass, available to test.
A window washer repels a downtown building while cleaning the windows, in Atlanta. Click to enlarge.
Guy from Fish Window Cleaning Co. using a 30-foot pole to wash windows on the Fifth Ave. firehouse. Ann Arbor.
A worker cleans the window of an office building in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. Click to enlarge.
As Treasury minister David Gauke delighted crowds on Newsnight with his sermon on the “morals” of paying cash-in-hand, I just paid Perry, my window cleaner, £4 this morning without so much as a request to see his receipts for chamois leather.
Urban-friendly Target to open Wednesday in downtown Seattle. Window washer Scott Lund gets the windows ready for the opening of CityTarget. Unlike regular Targets, it uses window mannequins to showcase apparel and will play background music.
A man cleaning a window at an entrance of the headquarters of Japan's top advertising agency Dentsu. The company announced on July 12 a plan to buy British-based media group Aegis for 3.16 billion pounds (4.89 billion), in Tokyo. A high yen, long seen as debilitating Japan's exporters, has pushed Japan Inc to buy up foreign firms and mines at a record pace as businesses look to overseas markets for growth potential.

Flying, by Sachigusa Yasuda: Afraid of heights? Then don't spend too long on this page. This is not a gentle bird's-eye panorama of Manhattan, or even the much-imitated "tourist up the Empire State Building" snapshot. This is New York as you won't have seen it before: a dizzying vista that makes you feel less like you're flying and more like you're about to plummet to the ground. It's the viewpoint of Spider-Man, a fearless window cleaner or, more unsettlingly, someone contemplating suicide.

Sachigusa Yasuda – Tokyo-born but now based in New York – has stitched together hundreds of images taken from the tops of skyscrapers. In the name of art, she hung out of top-floor windows and climbed on to roofs in cities across the world, from Singapore and Seoul to Hamburg.

The result is a montage of multiple viewpoints – exaggerated, unreal urban perspectives anchored from a single point – that would be impossible to take in with any single camera, let alone the naked eye. Her distorted skylines combine a vertiginous drop down to the ground, which hits you smack between the eyes, with a sweeping panorama of miles of surrounding land, so vast that it takes in even the Earth's curvature. It's this that gives her work its uneasy, nausea-inducing quality: you feel as if you might either tumble to the ground or soar off to the horizon.

The photographs may be disorienting, but they are also peaceful. The lofty perspective suggests the quiet that comes with being so high up, above the wail of sirens. This intense urbanness will make you either book a flight to New York, or run for the hills.

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