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    Default Belay Position When Using A Tripod

    I apologize if this topic has been touched on in the past however I wanted to poll the members of our forum regarding the placement of your belay(s) when using a tripod.
    I'm not a fan of committing all my lines to the tripod, therefore I utilize other anchor points to connect my belays too. It seems a lot of teams are fans of throwing all the lines onto one of those nice rigging plates....Sure it may be convenient and does have its place in some applications, however if you have two rescuers gong in that means you need two rescuers ready to go in. Right there we're talking four belays and a main line. With that being said that rigging plate will get messy real quick. I've seen double sheave pulleys used to service two belays but to me that defeats the purpose of the independent belay. When I rig the tripod I'll utilize the connection point on the tripod for my lowering/raising main line. The belays are connected to separate anchor points remote from the tripod. Some may disagree with this method but by definition the tripod is not a bombproof anchor therefore I'm not committing my belays and mainline all in one location.Also by separating the mainline and belays the overall look of the operation is more organized.
    If you're reading this and think i'm totally wrong that's certainly okay, I'm just trying to get a feel for what teams are doing out there.
    Thanks in advance for the input.
    Mike Donahue
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    Enjoy these discussions, I have an opposing viewpoint, when we discuss things like adults from different viewpoints we all tend to open our minds.

    Talking about type 3 or 4 confined space (opening on top), right?

    The belay line also is the emergency retrieval line attached to the dorsal attachment. If you have to haul the rescuer out of the hole on the retrieval line, would you not want it rigged through the high help to get the rescuer out of the hole?

    When using a mono- or bi- pod as high help on a cliff side, then the belay line should run directly over the edge. This is in case your high help fails you don't have free fall in the belay or the main line fails you don't put a dynamic load on the high help.

    In top entry confined space I rig high for all lines. Yes, if not managed right you have a mess of ropes and pulleys, but if managed it is a work of art, able to raise any rescuer up past the hole edge. Without the retrieval line in the high help you only bring the rescuer up to head level with the edge using the retrieval system.

    I have faith in our tripod as being bomb-proof. Keep your working angles inside the legs and it shouldn't tip over. Rig for success.
    ~Drew
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    Drew,
    First off I love that you referred to the rigging when done right as a "work of art".....Well said. Let me throw this at you. If you had overhead I-Beams to rig from would you utilize one attachment point and a rigging plate or would you create separate independent anchor attachments?
    Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgressiveRescue View Post
    Drew,
    First off I love that you referred to the rigging when done right as a "work of art".....Well said. Let me throw this at you. If you had overhead I-Beams to rig from would you utilize one attachment point and a rigging plate or would you create separate independent anchor attachments?
    Mike
    Probably separate, given space and equipment. If you end up doubling up for each set of retrieval lines that is ok, but separate is better.

    Our tripods are the Petzel tubular style with three attachment points at the top. Easy enough to dedicate one attachment for the lower/haul MA, one for the rescuers and one for the back up team.
    ~Drew
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    In a previous thread someone (I think it was DCFD2, I'm sure he'll chime in here soon) made mention of using a SOFs to transition the belay line line from high to low and then back again. There might even be some pictures of this. This might be a happy medium for everyone. You eliminate any type of fall factor in the event of failure and you can maintain the high point when you need it. The only down side is additional man power to operate the SOFs during the transition.

    Definitely use separate straps/webbing/points of attachment for each system, this way everything is independent back to the anchor, I have no problem using a single "bomb proof" anchor for everything. Alot of times you have no choice. I like to put a rigging plate on each system as long as equipment allows, just in case. It keeps things clean, and allows for a little more versatility if needed.

    What about the MA in the hole, I personally do whatever it takes to keep it out and piggy back it. Sometimes in an industrial setting the real estate is limited and your forced to put it in the hole (LOL!), but if it can be avoided I try to.

    As far as the tri-pod being bomb proof, as long as we keep our loads where they are intended to be (underneath) I see no issue in calling this bomb-proof. We can certainly change this if we move the forces outside the legs like Drew stated. I think we can all agree that the tri-pod can be viewed in the same light as most of our hardware and be one of the least likely points of failure.

    Just from some of our threads, I'm pretty sure that any of the regular fellas on here are "rigging artists" and clean rigging is something that we all strive for. Love these types of threads, lets keep it up!
    John D. Calamia, BS, NREMTP, FP-C
    Firefighter/Flight Paramedic
    Broomall, PA

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    John,
    "Rigging Artists"....Love it! and very true. I take my fare share of flack because of that. I'll have to agree the Tripod can be considered bombproof when rigged properly and loads are kept within the footprint. I do remember now DCFD2"s transition post and loved it. I'm hoping more guys chime in on this thread other than the "usual suspects" lol!
    Mike
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    We have been looking at another approach. On a short vertical entrance, use only a single belay/retrieval line. Initial rescuer ties in to the terminal knot, and subsequent rescuers either tie in with a butterfly or Prusik. If they must seperate further, the attachment point is easily moved. This works well when there is a lack of personell to manage all the lines. Belay is usually rigged low, but can also use a dynamic anchor to give HA when needed. This was suggested to us during a class by Ron Gore of Safety Systems.

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    TRT, I may not be seeing the whole picture here, but doesn't this come into an issue when attempting to retrieve say entrant #1 with 2 or more entrants behind him on the line? By doing this don't you need to ensure that everyone who enters the space has to come out in a specific order? I'd like to see pics if you can. Not saying this isn't a good idea, I'm just not sure of the whole picture.
    Last edited by jdcalamia; 07-01-2011 at 11:59 AM.
    John D. Calamia, BS, NREMTP, FP-C
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRT24 View Post
    We have been looking at another approach. On a short vertical entrance, use only a single belay/retrieval line. Initial rescuer ties in to the terminal knot, and subsequent rescuers either tie in with a butterfly or Prusik. If they must seperate further, the attachment point is easily moved. This works well when there is a lack of personell to manage all the lines. Belay is usually rigged low, but can also use a dynamic anchor to give HA when needed. This was suggested to us during a class by Ron Gore of Safety Systems.
    Just to put it out there, OSHA just released an interpretation letter directed at rescue teams not to butterfly into the same retreival line. That said, do what you are comfortable doing.
    ~Drew
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    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Drew,

    I can't find the letter on OSHA's site, if you could throw up a link, I'd like to see it. Were they talking about utilizing the knot itself, saying that a prussic is acceptable, or to utilize a separate line for each individual in the space?

    John
    John D. Calamia, BS, NREMTP, FP-C
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    interesting, I'd like to see the link also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcalamia View Post
    Drew,

    I can't find the letter on OSHA's site, if you could throw up a link, I'd like to see it. Were they talking about utilizing the knot itself, saying that a prussic is acceptable, or to utilize a separate line for each individual in the space?

    John
    Made some calls, the letter of interpretation in still in revision. Should be seeing it soon. It says no to using the same line as a tag/belay/retrieval line. I will keep digging.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
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    It would be very interesting to hear what OSHA has to say on this matter. Having two entrants on a single line cleans up some of the rope management issues while still allowing them to be removed at any time (in reverse order of their entry). We could easily make the argument that mandating the use of separate multi-function "entry" lines for each entrant creates a hazard (similar to the same conditions mentioned where OSHA allows entry into a CS without a retrieval line, such as when there is an entanglement hazard for example).

    Dave

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    Cool Anchor Points

    We just finished our (3) year refresher training and annual permit entry for Con Space. What we were instructed to do is use separate anchors for our lines. As far as the Entrants went, they were on separate lines more for flexibility and an increased range of movement.

    We used separate anchors and ran the lines over the edge using edge protectors. We also had pre-established high anchors that if wanted/needed could be quickly changed over without using the Tripod. Our thoughts were that if (I know, let's not "if" this to death) the Tripod were to fail, we could remove it and use the change-over high anchors.

    Another way to do it..... I'll be interested in the OSHA letter that was discussed here.
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    From Mike D. "Some may disagree with this method but by definition the tripod is not a bombproof anchor therefore I'm not committing my belays and mainline all in one location.Some may disagree with this method but by definition the tripod is not a bombproof anchor therefore I'm not committing my belays and mainline all in one location".
    Mike: I’d have to agree with you that seldom would I consider a tripod “bombproof”. Sure, if the resultant forces are kept within the footprint of the tripod you're fine but that almost never happens. The simple matter of moving the entrant to/away from the edge usually changes the resultant enough to cause the tripod to move... and that’s not to mention what happens when people start using the tripod as a handhold or railing. Bombproof? I’m going with you and say no, use a separate anchor for the belay, not because I am worried about the giant NFPA-rated tripod breaking but because it is prone to tipping over.

    From Lyman "The belay line also is the emergency retrieval line attached to the dorsal attachment. If you have to haul the rescuer out of the hole on the retrieval line, would you not want it rigged through the high help to get the rescuer out of the hole? Without the retrieval line in the high help you only bring the rescuer up to head level with the edge using the retrieval system".
    When we want to use the retrieval line to effect a non-entry rescue, whether of a worker or rescuer, that rope is not “rigged through” the overhead anchor. To raise the load we simple hang the pulley system (often the 4:1cd) on the overhead anchor (tripod) and attach the other end to the retrieval line via prusik or rope grab. An additional rope grab is attached to the rope as a ratchet or progress capture to allow the pulley system to be reset. (Note: when using a mechanical rope grab it is often possible to push it down the retrieval line and gain a longer stroke, reducing the number of resets).

    Also from Lyman "When using a mono- or bi- pod as high help on a cliff side, then the belay line should run directly over the edge. This is in case your high help fails you don't have free fall in the belay or the main line fails you don't put a dynamic load on the high help".
    I’d have to offer that when you properly build a mono/bi pod at the edge, it is closer to bombproof than the aforementioned tripod. The mono/bi pods typically have tensioned guys (or guy lines) holding them in place, allowing the overhead anchor to resist movement as the resultant changes. Yet, even with that bit of “insurance” built in, it is still a good idea to eliminate (or at least reduce) the critical point by keeping the belay out of the overhead anchor. Using a SOF’s (as mentioned by jdcalamia), is an example of what I mean when I say to reduce the critical point.
    Now, if you are using a tripod (which is typically not guyed) with the belay line running through, what will happen to the tripod if the belay line becomes tensioned (the dynamic load mentioned above)? If the resultant isn’t within the footprint of the tripod it is going to fall over, and maybe in a very dramatic fashion.
    Dave

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    I'm glad to see this topic has a good discussion going. The topic of rigging always sparks great threads. For those that are in favor of putting all your ropes on the tripod let me throw this question out there...
    If the tripod was extended up 12' and the rescuers were half way up from a 20' raise when the tripod was pulled over.... Aren't you concerned about the 10'-12' shock-load and drop on the belays and in turn rescuers and or victims?
    Mike
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    If all your ropes where on a plate on the tri pod and tipped over then the result would be ALL ropes going slack very quickly and dangerous to both the edge/entrant tender and the rescuers and victims down below. Simple reason to NOT load everything on your tripod. We like to use a totally seperate anchor for our belay thus making the entire belay(rope, anchor, etc) all seperate from everything else so if somthing goes wrong anywhere on the haul system you have your back up.

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    Here is a little more info on the individual retrieval line issue...
    http://rocorescue.wordpress.com/2011...trieval-lines/
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue Dave View Post
    Here is a little more info on the individual retrieval line issue...
    http://rocorescue.wordpress.com/2011...trieval-lines/
    Dave
    Just got back from vacation. Was about to post the ROCO link also. Thanks Dave.
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    That is a pretty interesting read. Not sure if they really considered how that would affect on scene operations though.
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    Is anyone in this forum using the 1 retrieval line technique as shown the the ROCO article? I've been through a lot of training from various people and organizations and this was never brought up. I like the simplicity behind it and the fact that it would clean up the rigging area however I cant bring myself to commit 2-4 rescuers on one line. Is it just me?
    Mike
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    I have seen it taught and have used it in training. Don't like it personally. As long as nothing goes wrong it works well enough though.

    Here are my issues with it; If rescuer #1 goes down then you either have to pull up rescuer #2 (,#3 and #4?) or have them d/c from the line and untie their knots to facilitate the retreival of #1. Also, if not spaced on the line with far enough distanceboth have to travel together; say #1 is at the patient and #2 has to go back to the hole for additional equipment.

    Here is the deal as I see it; If you want to use it and have trained to do so great. It will not become an OSHA issue unless you get someone killed using it. As long as you are successful OSHA will never know.

    As someone said here once; we are in the buisness of risk management, who better to decide our own level of risk comparied to our training.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    I have seen it taught and have used it in training. Don't like it personally. As long as nothing goes wrong it works well enough though.
    I think this says it all. If this is the case for any option/procedure I think the application needs to be rethought. Something already has gone wrong, hense the need for a rescue/retrieval. No need to invite anyother possibilities. There are plaenty of other methods to use with less risk.

    Personally I like to go with the rigging method that has as few variables as possible given the specific situation. The fact that you have to ensure the rescuers are removed in the reverse of their entry simply lends to confusion in an already tense/chaotic environment. Not to mention that the configuration of certain spaces may not allow for this and force someone to be temporarily d/c from the retrieval line. Great discussion, I'm looking forward to see OSHAs viewpoint.
    John D. Calamia, BS, NREMTP, FP-C
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    Received an email this week reference ROCO's inquiry into rescuers on a butterflied belay/retrieval line. States that; OSHA might be OK with butterflying in... "OSHA does not view rescuers as entrants (having to fullfill the same requirements as industry entrants). More to follow with an official OSHA response."

    Will be waiting on the official OSHA interpretation, but that is the preliminary response.
    ~Drew
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    Did anyone ever see the OSHA interpretation letter yet?
    Still would be interested in hearing what they have to say.
    Dave

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