1. #1
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    Question Deer Hunter Tree Stand Removal

    Was dispatched to "rescue" a deer hunter from the woods earlier this week. Upon arrival, found the hunter had injured himeself in a climbing style tree stand, but was able to climb down prior to FDs arrival. Had he not gotten down, and obvious team based rope rescue lower was in order. Being that he had been appx. 40 feet in the air, curious to your thoughts for getting to, and above, the victim in the stand.

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    Hope there are some sturdy branches to use for setting up rigging? ......ground ladders set up, tied off to use as guides for a stokes.....

    We have had a couple of accidents near me with hunters - one neighbor fell out of his tree stand last year and broke his femur with other assorted injuries.....DRAGGED himself part way out of the woods to a trail, where he was found by a local boy sent by his wife to look for him when he was late for lunch.......he was lucky.....said he made it through Viet Nam, this wasn't going to stop him....

    Depending on the type of injury, a sling may be usable too, but still need somethign to tie off to above the stand......

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    A spool of 80-pound fishing line with a machine nut tied to the end and a walmart special sling shot, both sitting atop 200 feet of 4 mil accessory cord stacked into a small stuff sack.

    Unspool and stack the fishing line onto the ground beneath and behind your shooting point. Sweep the ground clear of snags/sticks first or stack the fishing line atop a tarp. Take aim at the crotch in the tree you want shoot the machine nut through. Take the stuff sack to the machine nut on the other side. Cut off the machine nut. Tie the fishing line to the end of the 4 mil cord with 2 constrictor hitches in series, the first as close to the tip of the cord as possible. Leave the bag there and walk back to the original shooting position. Pull the fishing line back through, respooling it as you go. Once the 4 mil cord is in you hand again, remove the fishing line, and replace with rope you use for ascending via two constrictor hitches in series again. Walk back over to the stuff sack and pull the 4 mil cord until climbing rope is in your hand. If there are zero branches between the two sides of the climbing rope, I tie a steel quicklink to the end of the rope with a bowline with a retrace, clip the link to the other side of the rope, and then draw it up until the link cinches to the crotch up above. Ready for SRT rope ascent or do it again if you want a belay as well. If branches between the 2 sides of the rope, tie the end down to the base of the tree and ascend the other side, but being aware of force multiplication on the crotch.
    Last edited by EricUlner; 12-13-2009 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Clarity

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    There are a few previous threads about this, even one or two within the past year, but I couldn't find any when I searched yesterday. Usually have better luck with searches, but not this time, sorry.

    Tried various combos of the keywords stand, blind, hunter, hunting, rescue.
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    What were the injuries? (To avoid violating HIPA you might state; "In theory the patient might have had a __")

    The part that is getting me stumped is "How do you get your rescuer up there?"

    Once you get your rescuer up to him. Miller Half Back to package patient with in the stand, mainly because you can package him sitting in the stand and lower him in it. Use a tensionless hitch around the tree above the stand with a body cord for a high point change of direction with a single pulley. Haul/Lowering team on ground, use a mechanical advantage on the ground ran through the high point, to raise him from the seat and lower to ground (piggy back z-rig would be ideal, you could haul up to clear the stand with the z-rig, disconnect it and slow lower with a descent control device).

    It is clear in my head, hope I explained it well enough. I think it is about as simple as you can get and still overcome the obsticals of raising patient out of the seat and lowering to the ground. Once on ground further packaging and movement options are endless.

    But how to get the first rescuer up to the patient? Suggestions?
    Last edited by FiremanLyman; 12-13-2009 at 09:52 PM.

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    Thanks guys for the responses, great suggestions. And Eric, thanks for your suggestions. Based on your extensive knowledge as a rope practicioner, and an arborist, I'll direct a few more questions to you. (Anyone definitely feel free to chime in)

    1. When ascending, would you A: ascend w/ a bight of rope through a directional pulley and after packaging perform a ground based lower, or...
    B: ascend w/ a bag of rope, AZTEK kit, and friction device, and set up a dynamic fixed brake and lower from the tree (such as a structure based rescue taught in your tower work). This primarily for the concern of forces placed by a directional pulley on the tree.

    2. Totally on the same page about the messenger line to place the ascending line. What is your opinion on the throw lines made for arborist? I think typically 1.75mm. Is this strong enough to pull a 7/16" rope, yet light enough to place with a slingshot, provided the weight added? This would eliminate the need for the fishing line to pull the messenger chord, and one step in the process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squad1FF View Post
    Thanks guys for the responses, great suggestions. And Eric, thanks for your suggestions. Based on your extensive knowledge as a rope practicioner, and an arborist, I'll direct a few more questions to you. (Anyone definitely feel free to chime in)

    1. When ascending, would you A: ascend w/ a bight of rope through a directional pulley and after packaging perform a ground based lower, or...
    B: ascend w/ a bag of rope, AZTEK kit, and friction device, and set up a dynamic fixed brake and lower from the tree (such as a structure based rescue taught in your tower work). This primarily for the concern of forces placed by a directional pulley on the tree.

    2. Totally on the same page about the messenger line to place the ascending line. What is your opinion on the throw lines made for arborist? I think typically 1.75mm. Is this strong enough to pull a 7/16" rope, yet light enough to place with a slingshot, provided the weight added? This would eliminate the need for the fishing line to pull the messenger chord, and one step in the process.

    1- It depends... Don't you love it when someone says that? Well there really are variables to consider. If we're sticking to the deer hunter situation only, then I think we can go with the premise that the hunter chose a stout tree. Given that, then a ground based lower should be fine, so ascending with a bight of rope in a pulley to be the high directional would be in order. One person on the ground can operate the dynamic fixed brake. If you've an AZTEK, use it behind your brake device- rack, ID, Munter, whatever for the lifting element. If a belay is indicated for the patient and you trailed another rope on your way up, use it to belay the patient from above, to keep potential impact forces 1:1 on the anchor. This scenario would require a total of 2 people for the rescue.

    A couple of months ago, we rescued a tree trimmer who had had a mishap in a tree. We did a "structure-based" rescue because the tree was dead and barkless above him. It all depends...

    Anyway, a less than ideal scenario could call for you to rig your personal ropes into 2 different trees on either side of the patient's tree and do a 2-rope type of positioning. This could be the case if the patient's tree is misshapen or not trustworthy above.
    Perhaps the patient isn't a hunter. Perhaps a child who made a bad decision to climb and became stuck/afraid. Perhaps a hang-glider or parachutist gone wrong. In the 80s there was a local incident where a person fell from a cliff and ended up suspended in a tree... The important thing for the rope rescuer is to have a variety of options in the cranium, and not be tied to "this is THE way our dept requires us to do this or that". Especially when it comes to whether or not to belay the patient. A good technician should be able to have the freedom to decide whether or not it is indicated.

    2- I haven't tried combining a throw line with my sling shot. I've got serious doubts that it would work because of the weight of the line. Anyway, there are pro's and con's to everything. Shooting a nut on a fishing line- pro- lightweight equip in a small bag makes it easy to take wherever; the speed of the nut gives a straighter trajectory than a thrown bag, which opens up tighter target spaces through brushy branches, and enables you to shoot from a greater lateral distance away if need be. Con- as you said, one extra step.
    For a patient 15-40 feet up, hand throwing a smaller diameter pilot cord could probably be faster.

    The original premise of a deer hunter 40 feet up a tree sounds rare to me. Granted I am not a hunter, due to impatience. But my buddies who hunt rarely go above 25 feet in a tree. Still though, our Jackson County Ambulance rope rescue team has trained such a scenario. Premise being the typical hunter way off the beaten path where we're not showing up with a 40-foot ladder in our pockets.

    Food for thought...

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    The discussion of the sling shot line brought back a memory......

    Was at a friends' house for a 'taking a tree down party'.......the tree in question was leaning toward the house somewhat, so it was decided to tie it off with tension away from the house......only problem was getting a rope around the tree high enough.

    Well, a hammer was used as the weight - I can tell you it was pretty 'interesting' - throw and run!.... so you didn't get nailed with the hammer.....somewhere I think I still have pictures.......anyway - think outside the box - almost anything can be used for weight - just depends on how far you need to throw.....

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    We played with a line gun a few weeks ago. Yes, "played with" is an accurate description. I suppose you could line gun a messenger line up over a stout branch to position your assention line.

    This made me think about when playing with the line gun. We were shooting a water rescue line with a little self inflating floatation device, pretty cool, took a large psi to get it out any distance. When we switched tasks to making a highline we shot a messenger line across a ravine but forgot to lower the psi. That projectile, which was a lot lighter than the inflatable projectile, carrying the line hit a rock on the other side and ricocheted 40 feet in the air. The far side team about crapped their pants, thank God it hit a rock, if we'd have hit a team member he'd have to gone to the ER.

    Anyway, I suppose that getting a messenger line up over a stout branch and then hoisting an assention line would be the best method. Via line gun or sling shot. Still sticking with Miller Half Back to get him down with a haul/lower team on the ground.
    Last edited by FiremanLyman; 12-14-2009 at 01:36 PM. Reason: spelling

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    To "stick with" ground-based as "the" way would be premature. You don't always want to double your forces. At least, I don't. Deciding which of many different options should always be the way to go, and especially not until the information of what lies in front of you is at hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricUlner View Post
    To "stick with" ground-based as "the" way would be premature. You don't always want to double your forces. At least, I don't. Deciding which of many different options should always be the way to go, and especially not until the information of what lies in front of you is at hand.
    You sir, are correct.

    The tree's trunk in my mind's eye would support opposing weights in excess of 400lbs. The tree you envision might not. Adapt and have the rescuer use a pick off to raise him over the stand and then lower from your anchor above with a Petzel, rack or whatever.

    If possible, I would want the ground team for control purposes. The rescuer who ascended the tree is going to be shot after ascending +40', rigging and packaging. Again, yes, if the tree trunk will support double the hunter's weight then that is my method. Yours?

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    Not method, but methods. Having an adaptable skill-set was my whole point, yes. And, per the call at hand...

    As for ascending a rope one time causing someone to be shot/spent, I guess if that's an issue, then yes you'd need to factor for that. But maybe that person should train more and eat less.

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    My department had a rescue before thanksgiving almost like this. A hunter in a tree stand that became unresponsive. When we got there we found the hunter aprox. 30 ft in a tree that was healthy enough to handle a rescueer but there was no suitable limbs above the hunter to use as a ancher. The pt was a diabetic and was alert but very confused. The first thing we did was make sure the hunters rifle was secured. The rifle actually was found at the base of the tree, we figured the hunter dropped it as his blood suger dropped. One of our members is a retired utility worker and had a pole climbing harnes and foot spikes he used to climb the tree and put a wrap three pull two ancher aprox. five ft above pt and afixed a pulley to the ancher. The rescueer then placed a pt rescue harness on the pt and connected the rescue rope to the harnes. A haul system was used on the ground to pick the pt up out of the tree stand and then switched over to a rack to lower the pt to the ground.

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    I was also going to recommend a "wrap three, pull two" anchor around the circumference of the tree. If I had the time and the inclination, I might back it up with a constrictor knot above it, but I doubt there'd be a problem with slippage.

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    These are the times to think out of the box also, but not to forget the basics. we have trained in this exact thing and found a couple things that worked well.

    1. although not ideal for every occasion, we hauled out a 24' extension latter on our four wheeler and used that for access. Put the patient in a harness and lowered him with a simple pulley anchored above him ( in the wye of the tree) with a brake rack anchored around another tree.

    2. The two biggest points are going to be access up the tree and anchors on the tree. If you have to climb there are some good tree climbing access videos on youtube ( they are well done and safe, not just yahoos with a rope and spike).

    The biggest thing i have learned in rope rescue os not to over-engineer the system. Keep it simple, keep it to the skill level of your rescuers, keep it safe and train in it of you think this may happen in your area.

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    I happen to come across a video yesterday on the Rescue Response Gear website.

    http://www.rescueresponse.com/store/...equipment.html
    Your a daisy if you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ftfdverbenec770 View Post
    I happen to come across a video yesterday on the Rescue Response Gear website.

    http://www.rescueresponse.com/store/...equipment.html
    You beat me to it. Great gear website and good people.

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