1. #26
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    I teach and use the "HSTO" in every class that I teach. It is (like already stated) a good tool in the tool box but in real life rescue it is not used that much. Tubular webbing in the W3P2 is what we have used the most in the past. A couple yrs ago we bought the CMC anchor straps with the large delta links and we now use them the most...Very Nice Anchors, quick, easy and safe to set up. It is best to learn as much as you can and know when and where to use what.




    PS...Hey Mike, did you make it in on the big cookie factory job??? Back in the early 80's I used to work ASB and we would get cookies there all the time.

    Take Care.
    Last edited by FIRECAPT62; 02-23-2012 at 09:54 AM.

  2. #27
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    Everyone was at that fire.....Burned for well over a month!
    Great pics in your post!
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

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    Maybe I missed it in this discussion, but we are all over using hardware. I am all for setting up pre-rigged bags and systems, but too many guys are dependent on them. I tend to talk to guys from teams all over the place and pick their brains for ideas. Our team has decided to stick with the basics and do them well. That does not mean that we are not capable of doing difficult rescues or scenarios at all. It just means that we are no becoming dependent on hardware and gadgets. We have looked at all the gadgets and have decided to stick with the good old prussic systems for what we do. Why do we need to replace our perfectly good gear, with the expensive toys on the market? Anchor straps are great, but it never fails that the wrong one is in the wrong bag or part of the situation when needed. If the guys can’t work past that, they get stuck and nothing progresses. We are trying to teach a more minimalistic approach to rigging, with less hardware. This allows the hardware to be available where it is truly needed. Also, we are teaching and pushing all of our members to use and get proficient with the multi-loop bowline. This is a very versatile know and can replace valuable hardware in a lot of situations. There are many ways to do the things that we need to accomplish. Too many guys in the rescue community can only see one way to accomplish certain tasks.
    Jason Brooks
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    JB - Well said.

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    Ditto, JB. Right on the money.
    For years we have been encouraging our guys to work from their harness. With just a few basics, 3-4 guys who know what they are doing can run circles around 2 crews who must rely on the pre-built system. The reason? People lean on the pre-built stuff like a crutch (more like a walker) and when it doesn't fit just perfectly into the scenario they last practiced, they're lost.
    That being said, we do use pre-built systems for actual responses, we just don't rely on them in training... just one more way to stay sharp.

    By the way, if anyone cares, each persons harness has pretty much the same stuff:
    5 carabiners - a friction device (rack or I'D) - 1pr. 8mm system prusiks - 2 lengths 1" webbing (20' & 12') - 1 or 2 pulleys. Scattered among the members is a small rigging plate, 35' length of 8mm cordage, a double pulley and usually a hard rope grab (Rescucender). Each member also has an Aztek. So no one person is carrying a ton of stuff and between them the team can build a system to address 90% of the incidents they will encounter.

    Good stuff...
    Dave

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    Dave, nice individual cache. We have added to each member a 20' 10mm body cord. They can use it to tie off (you have your aztek), or they can use it for a multi-loop bowline as an acnhor in certain places. We are very big on making sure our guys are tying off when at height. By issuing them each a body cord, we have taken away the excuse of "I didn't have one". Most of our guys carry at least 6 prussiks of two different lengths, you never have them when you need them.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
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    Just wondering, any thoughts on using a clove hitch around your anchor in place of a HSTO or tensionless hitch.

    In addition, I'd just like to throw the idea that the fire service might be just a little hung up on having a huge SSF. The climbing community has been doing rope rescue for many more decades with far less secure systems and much lower SSF. Keep in mind we are moving people, not cars.

    I am a big proponent of safety, especially in training, but safety can't be an impediment to completing a rescue.

    Thought these might inspire some additional discussion in here.

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    While we are at it, has anyone ever seen a report of a mainline failure during a rope rescue in the fire service?

    I want an actual written report, not a word of mouth or some hearsay report of an accident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schase1967 View Post
    Just wondering, any thoughts on using a clove hitch around your anchor in place of a HSTO or tensionless hitch.

    In addition, I'd just like to throw the idea that the fire service might be just a little hung up on having a huge SSF. The climbing community has been doing rope rescue for many more decades with far less secure systems and much lower SSF. Keep in mind we are moving people, not cars.

    I am a big proponent of safety, especially in training, but safety can't be an impediment to completing a rescue.

    Thought these might inspire some additional discussion in here.
    There is too much chance for slippage with a clove hitch as an anchor. As far as the rest of what you are saying/asking, I don't disagree. But, we are held to a higher standard and have NFPA standards that will bite us in the *** in court if we don't follow them and something bad happens. I agree that we tend to over engineer our systems. Some of that is the "we have always done it that way" school of thought. If you look at the standard now, there is some thought allowance in there. We do not have to use 1/2" rope all the time, we don't have to use G rated steel carabiners all the time and so on. However, most teams would rather use the KISS system. We talked about getting our members some aluminim carabiners for personal or single person use. The scenario of one accidentally ending up in the wrong place did not sit well. If all of our gear is the best possible gear and rated for the worst case scenario, we can't put it in a situation that could cause a failure.

    I have never seen a mainline failure during a rescue, I have seen stories of problems at training. While that is still not a good thing, it is better for the overall situation not to happen in a media sensationalized rescue situation. We all need to train as though it is a real situation and not play around. But, we need to force our teams back to basics and learn how to use the gear over again. Too many teams train in the same places/scenarios time and time again. This is done because they have a relationship with the location and it is easy to get into those places. How many times have your teams done this and heard "last time we used that anchor"? Change things up and force critical thinking!
    Jason Brooks
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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by schase1967 View Post
    Just wondering, any thoughts on using a clove hitch around your anchor in place of a HSTO or tensionless hitch.

    In addition, I'd just like to throw the idea that the fire service might be just a little hung up on having a huge SSF. The climbing community has been doing rope rescue for many more decades with far less secure systems and much lower SSF. Keep in mind we are moving people, not cars.

    I am a big proponent of safety, especially in training, but safety can't be an impediment to completing a rescue.

    Thought these might inspire some additional discussion in here.
    The climbing community will continue to rescues more than the fire service because climbers are not concerned with huge SSF numbers. Anchors will blow, edge pro will be more lax, and people will fall. That is not an option in the world where I operate. I'm not a safety nut and am fine using marginal anchors and minimalist rigging... But I love this stuff. Not everybody in the fire service does.

    We (the fire service) are responsible for rope, c space, water, ice, trench, building, vehicle, and hazmat disciplines; oh, and searching the floor above the fire without hoseline protection.. The safety factors are built in because it is near impossible to be a master of every discipline to the point where you can operate with confidence using a low safety factor. If you fail to account for one variable that a high speed operator would have no problem seeing, you're screwed. Obviously, the people on this forum have more interest than the average fireman or they wouldn't be here.


    Additionally, while I agree that we are moving people, not cars; most climbers are not called on to build high lines, tracking lines, lift a 400 lb construction worker (and fireman for that matter), etc... There are probably not any 400 lb climbers. 400 lb workers and firemen are a dime a dozen.

    As for safety not getting in the way of a rescue: Graveyards are full of dead heroes. Again, I'm not a safety nut, but I am a realist.

    Good conversation starting points!
    I used to be DCFDRescue 2. Forum changover locked me out.

    www.rescue2training.com

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by schase1967 View Post
    While we are at it, has anyone ever seen a report of a mainline failure during a rope rescue in the fire service?

    I want an actual written report, not a word of mouth or some hearsay report of an accident.
    Not since we've adopted huge safety factors and two rope systems

    For loads of people not hung up on SSF and who are just moving people, check out the accidents section of rockclimbing.com:

    http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/....cgi?forum=78;


    Not trying to be a schmuck, just having some discussion. FWIW, I use 7/16" rope and aluminum biners for rope rescue and a whole lot less for FF escape.
    I used to be DCFDRescue 2. Forum changover locked me out.

    www.rescue2training.com

  12. #37
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    Arnor Larson showed a video to the local SAR team at the University of Maryland about 17 years ago that showed a main line failure during a training. My memory is unfortunately vague: it was a FD, it was on a cliff, it was training, and it clearly was operator error. The litter+attendant fell about 1-2 meters before the belay engaged. This was still in the first decade after the TPB had been introduced and tested. I think he was trying to show the need for a reliable tested belay method.

    I'll chime in my 2 cents as a FF, mountain rescuer, and rock climber/mountaineer:
    There's a difference between climbers rescuing other climbers and a mountain response. Sure, climbers rescuing their buddies will use systems with SSSFs well below 10:1. I'd use a system with a SSSF below 10:1 if I had to rescue a climbing partner in the mountains. But, no mountain rescue team in WA state, and I suspect anywhere else in the U.S., will use a system with less than a 10:1 SSSF. Period. 99% of mountain rescuers are active climbers: Sure, we'll use recreational climbing technique to access the subject, but the actual rescue maintains a 10:1 SSSF, whistle test compliance, and leaves no critical points without backup.

    Pat Rhodes (retired Phoenix Fire) points out in one of his texts (can't remember which one) that climbers and mountain rescue teams have been doing rope rescue far longer than FDs, and that any team will benefit from sending their members to rope rescue schools whose instructors are primarily mountain rescuers.

    My examination of NFPA 1983 and of the literature on it (Look up Jim Kovach's paper: "Why the Fire Service Should Ignore NFPA 1983") indicates to me that a 10:1 SSSF requirement is built into it, but with a rescue load defined as 2.7 kN (600 lbs) instead of the 2 kN specified by mountain rescuers. At least until recently. Apparently NFPA 1983 has removed all reference to the 600 lb rescue load: see My Confusion Surrounding NFPA Standards and Rope Rescue Equipment which is available for download off the internet.

    If necessary, I can elaborate on why I think a 10:1 SSSF for a 600 lb rescue load used to be built into NFPA 1983. Short on time...shouldn't even be playing in FireHouse right now...

  13. #38
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    Default Sorry should have been more specific

    When I mentioned using a clove hitch in a HST, I should have explained a little further.

    Clove hitch followed by the bitter end being wrapped around the object a few times and then secured to the working strand.

    While we are on the topic. Sometimes, I use a bowline tied loosely around the working strand to save me a carabiner. It just depends on what I have with me.

  14. #39
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    I love the use of the bowline instead of a biner for that exact reason. Why use a $30 carabiner when a free knot will work?
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
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  15. #40
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    I may be wrong but in some of the early posts on this topic it sounded as if some may think that by making a tensionless anchor you are some how making it a "bomb prof" anchor. This can be a very misleading thought. You are not making the anchor any stronger or weaker you are just increasing the mbs of whatever you are using to wrap that anchor with ie; rope, webbing, slings, exgirlfriends bra.... The anchors strenth ( a light poll concreat foundation for example) will remain the same.

    Also, side topic on this. Mike you mentioned that a knot will lower the the strenght of a rope. I know what you are saying with this but I always like to say to people that I am training to step back and look at what you are doing with that rope. If it is a tentionless anchor are you losing anything with that knot? If the tentionless is done right the answer is no (all the force is placed on the rope prior to the knot). If this stuff has been said before im sorry for repeating it. I will make it up to you all and buy the first round!!

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    Maybe I missed it in this discussion, but we are all over using hardware. I am all for setting up pre-rigged bags and systems, but too many guys are dependent on them. I tend to talk to guys from teams all over the place and pick their brains for ideas. Our team has decided to stick with the basics and do them well. That does not mean that we are not capable of doing difficult rescues or scenarios at all. It just means that we are no becoming dependent on hardware and gadgets. We have looked at all the gadgets and have decided to stick with the good old prussic systems for what we do. Why do we need to replace our perfectly good gear, with the expensive toys on the market? Anchor straps are great, but it never fails that the wrong one is in the wrong bag or part of the situation when needed. If the guys can’t work past that, they get stuck and nothing progresses. We are trying to teach a more minimalistic approach to rigging, with less hardware. This allows the hardware to be available where it is truly needed. Also, we are teaching and pushing all of our members to use and get proficient with the multi-loop bowline. This is a very versatile know and can replace valuable hardware in a lot of situations. There are many ways to do the things that we need to accomplish. Too many guys in the rescue community can only see one way to accomplish certain tasks.

    Hello...may I comment on a couple things.

    1) Anchor Straps...I think that they are one of the greatest things that we invested in. Again they are fast / safe / easy to use. Some of the situations that we are confronted with are very complex. We deal with heights that are in the 200 to 400 ft range. Sometimes the only anchor point is a large, hard to access and precariously situated structural member. Placing a webbing "wrap 3 pull 2" anchor in some of these cases is a very difficult, time consuming and risk increasing task. We have found that in such situations we are able to throw a properly sized and padded anchor strap over or around such an anchor point to form a proper anchor much more safely. All our anchor straps are protected / padded by running them through a 2.5 inch fire hose. We also use large tri-links to secure the straps.

    2) I agree 100% with the pre-packing issue. We will unload and stage all equipment at the scene and pack what is needed at that time.

    3) You are right...there are many ways of doing things. Please don't make it sound wrong that we use anchor straps. Organizations need to spend time on learning as many ways possible to do the job quickly, safely and easily. Its hard to say what tactic is "better" than another in all situations. Remember...what works great in on situation may not work in an other situation.
    Last edited by FIRECAPT62; 03-02-2012 at 04:49 PM.

  17. #42
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    Hopefully I did not sound like I am against anchor straps. They are a great piece of equipment. The problem tends to be that you have the wrong one when you need another one frequently. The newer ones that allow one ring to pass through the other for a girth hitch are an imporvement as well. My big complaint is that too many guys only know how to do things one way and forget that they can do a lot with what they may have on hand instead of depending on other pieces of gear. The basics are important and need to be second nature as a fall back when the bigger and better things fail or are not available.
    Jason Brooks
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by servantleader View Post
    If necessary, I can elaborate on why I think a 10:1 SSSF for a 600 lb rescue load used to be built into NFPA 1983. Short on time...shouldn't even be playing in FireHouse right now...
    10:1 is a pretty high number. Use one prussick in a system (most rated prussick loops ~4000) and you are looking at a 6 or 7:1. Use anything not rated at over 6000lbf and you'll be under 10:1.

    We teach a 7:1 goal for a SSF. We will gladly take a greater SSF if possible, and will work with a less than 7:1. The reason we are proffesionals at this is because we understand the capibilities and limitations of our equipment and assess at what point we are willing to risk or find another solution.
    ~Drew
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    10:1 is a pretty high number. Use one prussick in a system (most rated prussick loops ~4000) and you are looking at a 6 or 7:1. Use anything not rated at over 6000lbf and you'll be under 10:1.

    We teach a 7:1 goal for a SSF. We will gladly take a greater SSF if possible, and will work with a less than 7:1. The reason we are proffesionals at this is because we understand the capibilities and limitations of our equipment and assess at what point we are willing to risk or find another solution.
    Certainly. I agree. For an 8 mm prusik the SSF is down to about 7:1 for a 600 lb (2.7 kN) load. But, if you define a rescue load as 2 kN (450 lbs), as is commonly done by wilderness rescue teams, the SSF for the prusik is just at 10:1 instead. [Given a 14 kN unknotted strength for 8 mm cord (Lipke p 181) and a 30% strength reduction at the knot (Lipke p 181), the prusik SSF is calculated to be 7.4 for the 2.7 kN load and 9.8 for the 2 kN load.]

    So, the issue of how a rescue load is defined continues to hang over our heads. There is no consensus. For the 8 mm prusik, 10:1 clearly cannot be claimed by a wilderness rescue team rescuing a 400 lb (1.8 kN) patient. But, the SSF for the prusik clearly exceeds 10:1 for a 200 lb (0.89 kN) firefighter rescuing a 150 lb (0.67 kN) patient. So, your statement about understanding the capabilities and limitations of our equipment based on the anticipated loading is definitely key. The issue is that many teams just want a cookie cutter approach to rope rescue. Everyone on this forum knows that the cookie cutter approach is a hotly debated topic.

    A few members of my team attended a “technician refresher” class last week. The class had five groups of students from agencies around the state. All but one group claimed a minimum 15:1 SSSF for their systems. When asked why, they mumbled something about the fire academy and NFPA…

    My statement about NFPA 1983 referred to life safety rope. Some claim that NFPA 1983 requires a 15:1 SSF for life safety rope (for a 2.7 kN load) because the tensile strength of unknotted ” rope is about 40 kN and 40 kN/2.7 kN = 15. But, ropes need knots to be functional. So if we reduce the tensile strength of the rope by 30% to account for the knot, we're at about 28 kN (40 kN x 0.7 = 28 kN) and the SSF is 28 kN/2.7 kN = 10. This is the correct SSF for the rope because it accounts for how the rope is actually going to be used.

    The only reason I mentioned this is because people are still incorrectly quoting 15:1 for general use life safety ropes per NFPA 1983, even though the functional SSF for ” rope with a 600 lb load is 10:1. Even worse, some still claim that NFPA 1983 mandates a minimum SSF of 15:1 for all rope rescue equipment used by the fire service even though NFPA 1983 (a) does not deal with some types of equipment (for example prusiks) (b) is a standard for manufacturers, not for users and (c) does not explicitly state or discuss a required SSF for anything.

    Even even worse, some will point to that 8 mm prusik in their system and tell you it doesn’t meet a 15:1 SSF but that’s OK because our ” rope and steel biners do meet the a 15:1 SSF as required by NFPA 1983…

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by servantleader View Post
    Certainly. I agree. For an 8 mm prusik the SSF is down to about 7:1 for a 600 lb (2.7 kN) load. But, if you define a rescue load as 2 kN (450 lbs), as is commonly done by wilderness rescue teams, the SSF for the prusik is just at 10:1 instead. [Given a 14 kN unknotted strength for 8 mm cord (Lipke p 181) and a 30% strength reduction at the knot (Lipke p 181), the prusik SSF is calculated to be 7.4 for the 2.7 kN load and 9.8 for the 2 kN load.]
    And the wilderness guys go to a General Load of 450lbs? Interesting, then you should be able to aim for 10:1 each time. They do this because people walking in the woods are thinner?

    Quote Originally Posted by servantleader View Post
    The only reason I mentioned this is because people are still incorrectly quoting 15:1 for general use life safety ropes per NFPA 1983, even though the functional SSF for ” rope with a 600 lb load is 10:1. Even worse, some still claim that NFPA 1983 mandates a minimum SSF of 15:1 for all rope rescue equipment used by the fire service even though NFPA 1983 (a) does not deal with some types of equipment (for example prusiks) (b) is a standard for manufacturers, not for users and (c) does not explicitly state or discuss a required SSF for anything.

    Even even worse, some will point to that 8 mm prusik in their system and tell you it doesn’t meet a 15:1 SSF but that’s OK because our ” rope and steel biners do meet the a 15:1 SSF as required by NFPA 1983…
    Bing-Freaking-O
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