When I took my IRATA level one, I was so focused on practicing maneuvers during the week that I didn't give enough study time to learning my gear. To be honest, I took it for granted. I didn't think it was a big deal even though Don told us to study. So, when it came down to my assessment, I was like a deer caught in the headlights when my assessor asked me to tell him about the Petzl I'D, the descender on my kit.
Hahaha..just joking. I wasn't that unprepared.
It's obviously gold and black.
"Hmmm..he says, why don't you start off with telling me what it does."
"Well, it helps me control my descent down the ropes. And it has various safety features such as the anti-panic function. So, if I pull too hard, it's going to lock up and I'm not gonna go flying down the ropes. And, when I lock off the handle of the descender, I can stay static on my ropes for work positioning."
"Great," he says (I saw the relief in his eyes that I wasn't completely stupid). "What other safety features does the Petzl I'D have?"
"Ummm..." So now, I'm staring at the I'D, playing around with it, hoping it'll shout out the answer to me. I look up, EVERYONE is staring at me. A few other guys in my class were trying to motion with their eyes, what this other safety feature was. But, they do it discreetly so it just looks like they have turrets. And now, I'm totally distracted by their turrets that I can't think. Crap! This is embarrassing! Why is it so quiet in here????
I don't know if you remember a situation where you were put on the spot in front of so many people and your brain just stops thinking. Well, mine didn't really stop thinking. It was thinking about everything else except the Petzl I'D. Actually, I remember thinking that if this stays awkward long enough, maybe he'll just give in and tell me. I look over to my classmates who are now trying to mouth the answer to me. I think they feel bad for me. They are so nice.
So now, to avoid having our future L1 students go through the same thing I did, we've created a lovely poster for you all to use during your study time. Hopefully, this visual will help you all recall the facts!
We sell these awesome Petzl IDs! If you're looking to get one of these on your kit, come check out our store here!