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  1. #1
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    Default Rope Rescue rigging and equipment

    We are having a friendly disscussion on our team about some of the methods and equipment we are using. Some of our new members want to switch and I was wondering if anyone might be able to lend a neutral opinion that I can share with our team.

    Our team responds in a metro area primarily our rescues would be restricted to high rise buildings or possibly radio towers. We have no mountains or tall hills in our area.

    Currently we us a six bar rack for a lowering device on our main line. Also on the main line we pre-rig a load release hitch in the event we should need to pass a knot. Our belay line is pre-rigged with a tandem prusik belay and a load release hitch as well.

    The new members are suggesting we do away with our six bar rack and switch to a "Tuba". It is my understanding that this device is intended for mountain rescue and the tube is intended to be packed with snow to keep it cool. They also are suggesting we switch from the tandem prusik belay to either a 540 belay devise or a belay spool.

    Thanks for any help! Resq4


  2. #2
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    I agree with the 540 as the prussiks over time glaze the rope and that in itself causes issues. I have never heard of the Petzl Tuba being restricted to mountain rescue and needing to be packed with snow. However, I still prefer the break bar rack for ease of use and security. I can drop or add a bar as needed and even control decent by controlling bar spacing.

  3. #3
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    First, the six bar rack is basically a standard now. Second, you have much better control and variable friction when needed.

    Now for that lovely 540 belay. Run screaming away from it. It only works with new clean rope in a clean environment. We played with the Petzl I'd, it works better than the 540. However, if you change your prussiks out every once and a while, they will not be a problem. It is also had to justify about $5 for a couple of prussiks (or less), versus several $100 for a mechanical device that is not reliable at all.

    Prussiks are simple to use and everyone is familiar with them. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq4 View Post
    The new members are suggesting we do away with our six bar rack and switch to a "Tuba". It is my understanding that this device is intended for mountain rescue and the tube is intended to be packed with snow to keep it cool. They also are suggesting we switch from the tandem prusik belay to either a 540 belay devise or a belay spool.

    Thanks for any help! Resq4

    First off, let me say my expierience with rops rescue is limited to the books at this time. My department currently only provided rope rescue training for the Rescue company. The reason i am posting is you mention the Tuba device.

    Mylocal dealer had one and i asked about it. He never made any mention of needing snow to use it?. I just looked in the Rescue Tech catalog and found it as well and the description makes no mention of it either?. That would seem to limit the device a great deal geographically i would imagine.

  5. #5
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq4 View Post
    Currently we us a six bar rack for a lowering device on our main line. Also on the main line we pre-rig a load release hitch in the event we should need to pass a knot. Our belay line is pre-rigged with a tandem prusik belay and a load release hitch as well.

    The new members are suggesting we do away with our six bar rack and switch to a "Tuba". It is my understanding that this device is intended for mountain rescue and the tube is intended to be packed with snow to keep it cool. They also are suggesting we switch from the tandem prusik belay to either a 540 belay devise or a belay spool.

    Thanks for any help! Resq4
    How new are your new members?

    I've been doing rope rescue for over 20 years and teaching it for about 10.

    I don't see a thing wrong with what you already have rigged. The bar rack is the way to go. The tuba is ok, but the bar rack is better for what you will do. If you want some excitement, use the eight with ears; simple and no moving parts.

    Stay with the prusik belay. The 540 belay device is alright as well, just a little pricey for what it does.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  6. #6
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    Default New members.

    A group of about 6 members were assigned to the team and sent to 40 hours of Operations Level Training and 40 hours of Tech Level about one year ago. The majority of these are on the same shift. The school they went to teach this method and equipment and therefore they believe we should change. The remainder of the team believes in the current system and the majority of us have been on the team for over 8 years and some have been on the team right at 15.

    And as jbrescue said "if it aint broke don't fix it"


    Thanks for everyone's comments, all of them are very much appreciated.

    Resq4

  7. #7
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    Don't forget, you can always use the "It's not NFPA approved" argument with the Tuba too.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

  8. #8
    Forum Member stickboy42's Avatar
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    I work for a metro department similar to yours but we do have a bit of woods/cliffs around us so we prepare for that as well...

    In the past we've used the brake rack w/ LRH and tandem prussiks for our belay with a radium for a LRH as well.

    We are in the process of eliminating the LRH, see the previous post i made in the spec rescue area entitled "Aztek as LRH". We are going to be implementing the aztek in many different areas in our rigging as we've found it to be very easy to use and versitile.

    In addition to this we are going to eliminate or reduce the use of the brake rack in exchange for the Petzl I'D. Since it became G rated we are now looking at it for our lowering device and rappel device. I think we are going to stick with the tandem prussiks for belay for now and not use the ID as a belay device however...

    just my .02...

    mike

  9. #9
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    We use both the Prussik and the 540. We like to have both. We don't want to be limited to one or the other. One thing about the 540 is that it woorks well when it can be kept in a flat plane. As opposed to being sideways.

  10. #10
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    I looked on line and in the sales material most of the vendors indicate the TUBA is NFPA 1983-95 G rated. Does this indicated it may be rated but not NFPA approved? I just want to have my information exactly right.

    Thanks,
    Resq4
    Last edited by Resq4; 01-12-2010 at 04:26 PM.

  11. #11
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    The main advantage to this equipment is that it will allow a knot to pass through it we while on rappel. It is on the same design as the figure 8 or the carabineer wrap. Depending on the manufacture the name varies but generally termed as a rappelling tube. The down fall is the same as the Fig. 8 or bineer wrap, that the friction between the rope and the device is less so its would be a bit more physical or harder to hold or break, also it will twist the rope when in use. This is not good in that in stiffer rope it will gain a memory and be harder to work with after repeated uses. Twisting of rope in longer rescues may also cause the rope to wrap around obstructions, other rescuers that may be lower on the rope or even tangle up the victims.

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