Protech, the Las Vegas-based rigging specialist, has hired Baer Long, formerly master rigger and head of rigging and fall protection at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino and New York New York Hotel and Casino. In a release, Will Brants, CEO/president of Protech, noted that the company's recent growth necessitates the creation of a department of quality control, field services.

Long is ESTA's current co-chair for the rigging skills working group and riggers' certification program. His sole charge is to develop, implement, and operate an effective quality management system that will ensure safe and reliable theatre equipment. He will perform independent reviews of every Protech installation prior to the architect or consultant inspection.

Long's hands-on rigging experience began in 1978 in Reno, NV, at MGM Grand and Bally's Casino Resort. Starting as a stagehand, he held positions as head flyman, supervisor for props, pyro, and specialty acts for the show Hello, Hollywood, Hello! In 1990 he joined Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas as show installer, show flyman, and maintenance rigger. He went to England in 1991 to work as a stage manager and show production manager for Stageworks Worldwide Productions before returning to join the technical staff at the new MGM Las Vegas.

Bob Watson, executive vice-president of sales and marketing, added that Long's hiring is an indication of Protech's commitment to delivering innovative, safe rigging equipment to the theatre rigging industry.