Scholarship Helps Veteran Crane Operator Get Certified

As a winner of the 2009 Crane Hot Line Top Trainer award in the Corporate Category, Mike Patten, a trainer with the Training and Safety department at Southwest Industrial Rigging (SWIR), Phoenix, Ariz., was awarded a $1,250 scholarship to use for educational purposes. He has in turn donated his award money to Richard Kempf, a crane operator for East Valley Crane Service in Mesa, Ariz. Although Kempf has operated cranes—primarily sign trucks and boom trucks—for more than 10 years, he had not yet become a certified crane operator. He is the general manager and operator at East Valley Crane, a two-person operation owned by Scott Davis.

SWIR is a crane service and specialty rigging provider, which also has a training division. SWIR offers mobile and overhead crane operator and inspector training as well as classes for riggers and signal persons. In July, Kempf took the NCCCO Preparatory class for Small Telescopic Boom Crane certification course, and subsequently passed the written and practical exams for the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. SWIR’s NCCCO preparatory courses consists of three days of classroom instruction, one day for written examinations, and three days of hands-on practice, and practical examinations. SWIR covered the remaining costs of the course and certification fees.

When considering Kempf for the scholarship, Patten says two things really stood out about him—his desire to be a better, safer operator and the fact that he has a passion for his job.

After completing the course, Kempf said of Patten: “He is a very good teacher. He makes it easy to understand terminology related to the crane industry. He communicates effectively.”

“With this class alone, I am more aware of my surroundings during operation of the equipment entrusted to me,” said Kempf. “I would like to thank Crane Hot Line and Mike Patten for helping me to keep doing something that I love to do.”

The Top Trainer contest is designed to recognize trainers who have made a positive impact on students, the work environment or the industry through the use of innovative training techniques or hands-on instruction, by encouraging peer or corporate accountability, and/or through quantitative evidence that the training was successful.

Nominations are being accepted until August 20, 2010 for the 2010 Top Trainer program, which is organized by Crane Hot Line magazine.