15 Jul Toronto’s Heroes
EVERYDAY HEROES: A TRIBUTE TO MEN AND WOMEN WHO RISK THEIR LIVES EACH DAY IN AID OF OTHERS-WE SALUTE FIVE OUR AREA’S UNSUNG HEROES
Ivan Kristoff has spent portion of his life in places where few people would care to venture. North America’s foremost aerial rescue expert, Kristoff is also the founder of the Eiger Highrise Emergency Aerial Rescue Team, or Eiger HEART, a non-profit organization whose aim is to: minimize the loss of life and to increase the safety of the public.”
He created the organization because he felt that with over 12,000 high rises in Ontario and substandard training procedures for rope workers, such as window washers, accidents were bound to happen for which traditional emergency response teams would not be equipped.
And if anyone is qualified to run such an organization, it is Kristoff. In addition to his years in the Bulgarian Army and work with the airborne forces, where he received survival and emergency training, he has a lifetime of climbing experience that began with the makeshift equipment when he was a teen. He also works professionally on high rises, doing inspections and implementing safety guidelines for property managers.
Although the work may sound suited to a daredevil, Kristoff has spent his life turning into an exact science.
He has integrated his academic training as a mechanical engineer technician and the benefits of modern technology, including laptop computers and digital video equipment, to ensure that safety always comes first.
He is currently working as a safety expert on a committee involving the Ministry of Labour and construction and manufacturing companies helping to draft safety guidelines.
”Accidents shouldn’t happen, ” he says. But if they do, it is a good thing Ivan Kristoff is around.