Anchor Systems for Rescue Rope Deployments

In the last two articles, we focused on the foundation of mechanical advantage systems (MAS). We also touched on both anchor and belay systems. By now you should have a good base of knowledge regarding these topics so we'll dive into some of them a little...

Here's another example. You are asked to create a belay and anchor system using only one rope. Figure 10 shows how this can be done. A Figure 8 follow through makes your anchor connection then a Directional 8 is tied facing the anchor to serve as a back up connection point. Finally another Directional 8 facing the load is tied (a butterfly knot will work as well.) This knot receives a carabiner where tandem triple wrap prusiks will make their connection to the belay line. Pull all the slack in the line up through the prusiks and you're ready to go.

Whether you're rigging operations easy or challenging, the bottom line is they don't have to be complex. Whether you're rigging anchor systems, belay systems, or building a MAS keep it simple, avoid tunnel vision and focus on the operation as a whole. The bigger the picture the more rigging opportunities you will find.

Stay safe and stay progressive.

See Michael R. Donahue Live! Michael will be presenting "Rope Rescue Made Simple" - a eight-hour hands-on class on July 21 and 22 at Firehouse Expo, in Baltimore. There is still time to register for his sessions!

MICHAEL R. DONAHUE is a 13-year veteran of the fire service is assigned to Rescue Company 1 in Elizabeth, NJ. Mike is the owner and founder of Progressive Rescue, a company dedicated to further firefighter's in all aspect of the job. He holds the title of rescue specialist with New Jersey's Urban Search and Rescue Team (NJ-TF1) and he is actively teaching at Middlesex and Somerset fire academies and the Middlesex County College as their Fire Science Program Coordinator. You can reach Michael by e-mail at