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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber Golzy12's Avatar
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    Question Connecting the main line and belay line to the same point on a victim harness

    I was wondering what the opinions are around here? Is it acceptable to connect your mainline and belay line to the same attachment point on a victim harness. Connecting to the same point seems to defeat the point of having a redundant system, but I don't see any other options on some of these harnesses with only one attachment point (CMC Pro Series Lifesaver Victim Harness, Yates Victim Rescue Harness, even the LSP halfback).


  2. #2
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    Given the design of those harnesses I would say it is acceptable, just maybe not ideal. What about connecting the belay line directly to the waist belt portion of the harness? That eliminates the connection loop as a critical point.

    As for the LSP, you could connect the main and belay to the spreader bar and run a tail from the belay line through the shoulder straps.

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    If we're worried about a the harness failing...we've got some pretty big issues. Please, with this response, do not envision a rescue style harness. The most popular PFAS harness design will have a single, back D-ring. Attaching to any other part of the harness, creates the potential for the harness to fail, as it isn't designed to endure fall forces, in the alternate location. So, when we must, I am very confident using the same back D ring for both the main and belay.

    As for the side D rings attached to a belt...I would use webbing to attach to BOTH rings and then run the main through the chest strap. For the belay, I'd only use the back D ring or chest D ring.

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    None of the examples are of a PFAS (personal fall arrest system) harness though.

    If I'm not misunderstanding, I think the question was more of if it is possible to rig these harnesses to the critical point paradigm. I agree there is very little chance for failure, but not a nonexistent one. If it is possible to avoid it without too much complexity or wasted time then , why not?

    For instance, as with the spreader bar for the LSP, attach both lines to one point, but leave a tail on the bowline and attach it to your secondary place of preference. Unlike a PFAS type rescue, we're not going to be doing this with a Sure Clip pole.

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    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    No issue with attaching to the same point. That attachment is rated, correct? No issue in attaching to a secondary point, just be aware of the resulting forces applied to the patient if that line would become loaded in a dynamic event.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

  6. #6
    Moderator ProgressiveRescue's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of utilizing the same point for both the main line and belay even if it is rated....I'm a little obsessive in that respect. I would utilize the back "D" ring as a connection point for both the main and belay but with the belay line make the connection to the dorsal attachment point a butterfly and run a tail down to the waist area as a second connection point. You may have to utilize a short piece of webbing there to "make" a connection point however at least if the dorsal point should fail your victim is still safe.
    Mike Donahue
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

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    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgressiveRescue View Post
    I'm not a big fan of utilizing the same point for both the main line and belay even if it is rated....I'm a little obsessive in that respect. I would utilize the back "D" ring as a connection point for both the main and belay but with the belay line make the connection to the dorsal attachment point a butterfly and run a tail down to the waist area as a second connection point. You may have to utilize a short piece of webbing there to "make" a connection point however at least if the dorsal point should fail your victim is still safe.
    Mike Donahue
    This is a good solution that blends the "where do you want to be loaded" crowd with the "need two separate points of attachment" crowd. If belay is loaded, you are in the best position (front mid point) to both absorb and regain control (ie climb). If God strikes you down and fails your front attachment you are in on the dorsal.

    I just spent two weeks in a class on Single Rope Technique... Now we can really debate!
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

  8. #8
    Moderator ProgressiveRescue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    This is a good solution that blends the "where do you want to be loaded" crowd with the "need two separate points of attachment" crowd. If belay is loaded, you are in the best position (front mid point) to both absorb and regain control (ie climb). If God strikes you down and fails your front attachment you are in on the dorsal.

    I just spent two weeks in a class on Single Rope Technique... Now we can really debate!
    I'd love to hear some of the theory you took away from that class. If you have a few thoughts you want to share email me or even start a new thread! That will be a dynamic topic for sure!
    Mike
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber Golzy12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgressiveRescue View Post
    I'm not a big fan of utilizing the same point for both the main line and belay even if it is rated....I'm a little obsessive in that respect. I would utilize the back "D" ring as a connection point for both the main and belay but with the belay line make the connection to the dorsal attachment point a butterfly and run a tail down to the waist area as a second connection point. You may have to utilize a short piece of webbing there to "make" a connection point however at least if the dorsal point should fail your victim is still safe.
    Mike Donahue
    Is there a reason you would use the back D ring as opposed to the front D ring for your attachment point?

  10. #10
    Moderator ProgressiveRescue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golzy12 View Post
    Is there a reason you would use the back D ring as opposed to the front D ring for your attachment point?
    When I wrote that post I was thinking about a few instances where the fall arrest harness I was dealing with only had a back attachment point, thus forcing you to rig like that. You could also use the back "D" ring as the belay point and offload the victim from his system using a mini 4:1 MAS then connect him onto your harness and proceed with the raise or lower.
    If the harness only had a front "D" ring I would still create a separate dorsal attachment point by using a short piece of webbing.
    For me if i have a victim hanging there I'm going to offload his system as described above connect them to me and use their attachment point for the belay thus giving us two points of contact.
    Hope this helped understand my post.
    Mike
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

  11. #11
    Forum Member jdcalamia's Avatar
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    Looking forward to hearing some of your thoughts and techniques for SRT Lyman.
    John D. Calamia, BS, NREMTP, FP-C
    Firefighter/Flight Paramedic
    Broomall, PA

  12. #12
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Single Rope Technique (SRT) was strange, took me back to my roots of rope training! It was a strange thought, after doing years of "crazy" things on rope in the Army (ie; double wrapping a non locking steel 'biner and doing a 60' tower in a bound and a half, Auzzie style rappel, fast rope from a UH-60...) that the years in the fire service had made me so system safety factor conscious that I was nervous getting onto a single rope with a bar rack!

    But SRT has its place in the rescue world. It does not solve every problem, and takes a lot of training by people already very competent on rope to master SRT rope rescue skills. Quote from our book;

    "SRT's are fairly new to fire service side of rescue. SRT is not however new to the rescue world. Cave and cliff teams all over the United States have been using SRT for 30 plus years. SRT means that a single person can move up and down a fixed rope with nothing but the gear attached to their harness. This rescuer has the ability to rappel down to whatever area they are trying to access, and then climb out under their own power. These techniques also give us many more options when tending litters and providing help on the edge."

    Simply put, the initial rescuers on scene are able to toss one rope down the cliff, building etc... and provide patient contact within seconds. The big advantage came in litter tending. Having the ability to climb above, rappel or down climb below the litter to negotiate obstacles or help with edge transition was great. Also this put less tension on the MA system, doubling the safety factor of the haul/belay or lowering system.

    I would not send a person to a SRT class unless they have had a rope tech class that taught the traditional style with everyone having main/belay, two attachments, whistle drop test standards. That way when you take away a portion of the traditional system the rescuer understands the importance of training to overcome the reduction in redundancy.

    Most remember the debate here that we use a dual munter system for single person lowers. Same principle; we train on SRT, train hard, and it is our higher level of training on these simplified systems that keep us safe. We still use something substantial; tandum triple-wrapped prusik belay and rack or other friction device if we are planning on putting a two person load on the line.

    If you have any specific questions please send them.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

  13. #13
    Forum Member rescuedylan's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see that so many are open minded to the thought of training in SRT. For years I have been using SRT to access tree's canopys. Take this into consideration when training for SRT or in some cases using it down range. It's not always having to be a straight forward setup having your one line anchored off high and the rest of the line going down. If you know that you can use half the length of the rope to reach your target, then leave behind the other half with the rigging crew. This will allow for the freedom of SRT for the climber with the added insurance of giving the rigging crew as much line to play with in the case you need a lift or to be lowered any amount of distance (in the case you need to get around an object with a load connected to you). The big thing with SRT is learning what style of ascending is right for each person. Not one person is the same and not one person's body mechsnics will be the same as another, so each person will have to find there own twist on a technique. The best ascending technique will involve a smooth transition to descending. If you are truely intrested in becoming good at these skills check into a web site called TreeBuzz.com There is a ton of SRT DRT and DbRT climbing set ups.

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    Dropping out of my usual lurker mode to comment on SRT....

    First of all - excellent post. SRT is certainly worth discussing but is almost taboo in many circles since it violates so much rope rescue orthodoxy. Maybe a new topic is warranted...

    SRT is used a lot more extensively in the mountain rescue arena and is very effective in facilitating rapid access to subjects, but does require a much higher level of training and comfort levels by rescuers as was noted.

    The comment about ascending techniques really resonates. We end up ensuring that people can use basic, minimal gear prussik-based ascending techniques and then introduce use of ascenders. Once people are competent we let them choose a "preferred" method. A lot of time is spent doing change overs from descent to ascent and back again till people can do it rote. This includes ascent/descent w/a rescue pack and over knots - always fun.

    In a rescue it would not be unusual for initial access via a single rope. A litter and other equipment would then come down also via a single rope (since the litter requires more manhandling the attendant usually descends via a single rope lower vs. a rappel). Both those lines would then be converted for use in the raise or lower w/the victim.

    Training, training and more training are done to keep people sharp in these skills. We use scenario-based training in the field to ensure people can put it all together in the "real world" vs. in the station.

    I strongly agree with the comments about ensuring people are well grounded in the fundamentals before getting into SRT. It is another tool in the toolkit for sure.

  15. #15
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    If Mike wants to open a new thread on this and lead a discussion that would be great.

    I for one was very skeptical going into SRT. But the level of training, did 53 scenarios in two weeks, has got me bought in. You stated another key; constant training. These are very perishable skills with dire consequences. If you decide to explore SRT, it is a significant time requirement not only to acquire skills but to maintain them.

    In rope tech we learned the prusik climbing. The SRT climbing with handle ascender and chest croll is a logical next step. Glad I saw the prusik first to gain a better handle on the ascenders.

    Each person is different in equipment set up. SRT is very personal. I for one am a right handed person, but found using a left handed ascender worked better because the rope was easier to access to switch to a right handed rappel. Fun work.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Where did you guys go for your SRT training?

  17. #17
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Local, Austin area's CAPCOG RESET.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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