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  1. #1
    Forum Member stickboy42's Avatar
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    Dec 2009

    Default Victim/Patient Harness

    Hey all, just firing off some more questions for you all....

    the victim harness.

    1) what do you use?
    2) seat only or seat w/chest
    3) main line connection and belay connection separate points on the harness or into 1 point

    the dilemna i run into is balancing speed and proper harness wearing with the victim harness. it's easy to place a hasty seat or a manufactured seat harness on the victim and connect your mainline to it. it's easy to tie a simple chest harness. if it's me climbing i join the two together with a small loop of webbing in essence building a type 3 harness. would this be the preferred method of connection for a pt?

    is this realistic on a pt to do all this finagaling? not sure. i could see the scenario unfold like this (this is for a non harness wearing pt, ie. clinging drunk climber powered by courage in a can):
    1) reach the pt, place seat harness on them
    2) attach mainline tail rapidly to that harness (you've got some connection at that point)
    3) chest harness on pt with connecting tail to seat.
    4) belay tail to chest connection. ready for lower/raise.

    i would like to see an easy victim harness with chest connection for belay and seat harness for main like we use in rescue. it seems as though the pt is frequently getting a system that is different than ours and maybe that is fine but i'd like to go into that with an educated mind.

    there is talk about not connecting the main/belay into the same harness location yet there isn't a second point on many victim harnesses to separate them both.

    what do you do and is there and easy solution out there i'm missing. we use the cmc rescue proseries lifesaver harness. i do see they make a chest sling to go with that which connects the seat and chest together now that i look some more.

    just my .02 and more rambling...


  2. #2
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009



    Patient goes into a class 3 harness if possible. Hasty harness is great, but if you have the time available, class 3. Reasoning; patient has already f---ed up enough to get into their situation, don't want to see what else he can f--- up during the rescue.

    The real meat of the question is hooking up main and safety line. Even in our own team this is a contentious issue. The D-ring on the harness is rated at 22KN (~5000 lbs) MBS. You can hook both the main and safety lines up to that ring. Other parts of your system will fail long before that d-ring. Some of our old schoolers like to connect the safety line to the back side. We came up with a solution that satisfies both. Main line connects to front seat d-ring. Safety line connects to front seat d-ring with a butterfly knot and caribeener, and then terminates on the back side d ring. This satisfies both parties (the one that does not want to hang someone from their back side and the other party that wants two separate points of attachment).

    But here is a question. If you are doing a pick off (with say a 5:1 pickoff device), do you then put a second (safety line) to the patient, or just go ahead and lower/haul with the pt hanging from your pickoff device?
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

  3. #3
    Forum Member stickboy42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    interesting with the connection going to both the seat and dorsal ring. i'd be curious to see what that did to the pt in a fall situation, what would load first and the effect it'd have on the pt.

    pickoff question: yes with the 2nd safety line just as we do with a litter scenario. we tie a directional f8 into the belay with a tail.
    1)descend to pt
    2) aztek that is prusiked onto main above rescuer mainline connection is attached to pt.
    3) belay tail is attached to chest connection of pt harness
    4) pt is unweighted from their rope via aztek and then disconnected from their rope
    5) call for lower or raise on main.

    so, yes addt'l safety line onto pt.


  4. #4
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005


    If it comes down to it, I would rather use an LSP than spend time tying a harness in the victim. Saves time.

    And with the second question about pick offs, we also use a second belay line to the patient. Hook in new belay to patient, do the pick off, and remove old belay from patient. The finish the rescue. Or, just throw a butterfly in to the rescuer and let be belay terminate on the patient.
    Career Firefighter
    Volunteer Captain

    -Professional in Either Role-

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    N. Ridgeville, Ohio


    Food for thought about the rear belay point. If the main line breaks, the victim will now re-center all of their weight based the on the rear point instead of the front point they started on. This will send them forward into some stationary object if there is one nearby. The other issue, we actually squished a guy when the belay and haul lines got fubared and he was trapped between them and could not breathe. This is not a good situation.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388

  6. #6
    Forum Member stickboy42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    I concur totally, here's a good write up from a previous thread for all to see some of the other issues with rear belay as well...



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