A Day In The Life Of: James Ross At Lake Garda, Italy

1. Tell us about yourself?

I am an expedition Safety Advisor and Medic. This job involves supporting productions in achieving their editorial objectives both through assessing the risks prior to a project as well as accompanying them on the ground. 

It’s a fantastic job, as I get to meet incredible people and travel to some amazing places, at the same time have a positive impact on whether clients are successful in their objectives.

I have a military background and have now become a UK Paramedic, Nebosh Safety Advisor and Risk Management Consultant. I enjoy mountain and water sports and I'm currently training to join the French Mountain Rescue with ANPSP (Association Nationale Des Pisteurs Secouristes).

2. What was the overall project you were working on at Lake Garda, Italy?

The Lake Garda project was an exciting opportunity for me to join a great team, who were filming a marketing campaign which involved social media influencers overcoming their fears. The lady in this particular shoot had a fear of heights and had to face her fear by climbing via ferrata on hugely exposed walls above Lake Garda in Italy.

3. What were some of the safety procedures that had to be put in place before the climb?

We had to ensure that there were guides who knew the area well and were able to suggest appropriate routes for the team to climb. The equipment we used was also important - ranging from harnesses, ropes and helmets, down to appropriate footwear and sun cream.

We also needed to ensure that there was a reliable emergency plan in place in the event of an accident which would involve evacuation from the mountain and potential transport to definitive medical facilities. The most important aspect was to work with the team to ensure that the editorial content was captured in a safe manner as possible.

4. What sort of health and safety equipment did you take along with you to aid in the rock climbing?

  • Harnesses, helmets and gloves
  • Mobile phone and radio
  • Emergency contacts list and evacuation plan
  • Map and compass
  • Food and water
  • Lightweight windstopper/waterproof
  • Head torch & battery bank
  • A small medical kit which included, a trauma kit and medicine (From asthma pumps to IV analgesics)

5. Did you have any risky situations in the climb? How did you overcome these situations?

Not really, the climbing was exposed (meaning big drops) in places, but there weren't any situations that were particularly dangerous. We were using the right equipment and had fantastic local guides showing us the way. The lady with the fear of heights had a few moments, a few tears, but she did really well to overcome her fears and make it to the top.

6. What did you enjoy about this project?

It was a fantastic team and we had a great time together during the shoot. For me the climbing was great - I love to climb in my own time and it has definitely given me the urge to go back to Lake Garda to climb some more!

What a great trip - I think the whole crew really enjoyed it and got what they were looking for editorially, which was the main aim!