Thread: All about knots

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    Default All about knots

    Recently completed confined space rescue training, and I quickly learned that mastering knots and rope skills is a very important tool for rescue work. For my course we had the following knots in our taskbook:
    • Figure 8 Stopper
    • Figure 8 on a bight
    • Figure 8 Follow Thru
    • Figure 8 Bend
    • Square Knot
    • Overhand Bend
    • Double Fisherman Bend
    • 3-wrap Prusik
    • Modified Trucker Hitch
    • Basket Sling
    • Single Loop Anchor Sling
    • Wrap 3 Pull twice

    Since my class I have practiced these knots along with a few others like the bowline and munter hitch.
    So I was just wondering if you seasoned folks could add any additional knots to include in our rescue toolbox?

    Also, one other question, what knot would you suggest for tying off a standard figure 8 descender, the ones without the ear bends?

    Thanks

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    I would add the butterfly knot in there too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golzy12 View Post
    I would add the butterfly knot in there too.
    Thanks, looks like a good knot. It seems like a way to add a loop mid-line, what might the application for this knot be?

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    You are correct, it is a way to put a loop anywhere in a line. This is an omnidirectional not, meaning it can be loaded in either direction. This could be used for a secondary attachment to a stokes basket, or in the instance of confined space two rescuers can be on the same main line clipped into two different locations along the line via a butterfly.
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    Thanks, yeah I like that knot. When I was in confined space training this instructor made a rope basket to haul up a heavy box, I always wondered (and was impressed) how he did that. I wonder if it was a combo of the butterfly and others?

    I tried posting an image of my butterfly knot to see if I did it correctly, guess I don;t have enough post to do so

    Thanks

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    Hi Michael,

    some other knots that you may want to use could also be the clove hitch - both pre-formed and standard, round turn and two half hitches, the munter hitch - good to use for belays of a single load, tensionless hitch - can be used for an anchor etc.. and also the hasty harness using webbing can be a good one..

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    Sorry if this was to much of a newbie post. I did in fact buy some webbing for home practice, and I did learn the full body hasty harness described in this video (The first one):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQHlIASNTCQ

    One thing I wondered, I notice the guy uses the front as the line attachment point, it would seem to me the portion near the back where the first carabiner was placed would make a good attachment point. Your thoughts?

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    How about the "handcuff" knot?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handcuff_knot

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spencer534 View Post
    How about the "handcuff" knot?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handcuff_knot
    Thanks, I did hear this was a good knot to use when a space was to confined to use a rescue harness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spencer534 View Post
    How about the "handcuff" knot?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handcuff_knot
    AKA California Love Knot.

    So here are my burning questions. What level class was this (Level I, Level II)? What prerequisites were required for your confined space class? I ask this because Confined Space is a higher level of training that usually requires a pretty good knowledge of ropes, systems, rigging, force multipliers, patient packaging, ICS and haul commands... the list goes on.

    I have nothing against getting as much training exposure as possible. Cool, great, get it. Just trying to wrap my head around giving a person a Confined Space Rescue class before a Rope class.

    Anyways, acquire these skills, continue to practice them. Knots and ropes are only a small part of Confined Space, but skill sets that are easily lost if not continually practiced.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Sorry that came off as rough. Confined Space is one of the things I am passionate about. Like I said, great to get whatever training they throw at you.

    The knot list between your list and those added is pretty standard. Didn't see water knot, but I am sure you got it since you mentioned webbing.

    Start to reach out further than knots. Look into anchors, systems and devices that make them up, critical angles.
    -Radium Release Hitch
    -Tandem Triple Wrap Prussick Belay (TTPB)
    -Tensionless Hitch
    -Load Sharing Anchors
    -Load Equalizing Anchors
    -Wrap Three, Pull Two
    -Multi-Point Anchor
    -Two Tension Rope Systems (TTRS)
    -Single Tension Main - Untensioned Belay (STM-UTB)
    -Compound and Complex Mechanical Advantage Systems
    -Force Multipliers on changes of direction over 120 degrees.

    I don't know what patient packaging systems you used. SKED/OSS is about the best for Confined Space. Other considerations;
    -LSP/ Miller Halfback
    -Stokes or Ferno
    -Hasty Loop Harness
    -Tickner Harness
    ~Drew
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    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    AKA California Love Knot.

    So here are my burning questions. What level class was this (Level I, Level II)? What prerequisites were required for your confined space class? I ask this because Confined Space is a higher level of training that usually requires a pretty good knowledge of ropes, systems, rigging, force multipliers, patient packaging, ICS and haul commands... the list goes on.

    I have nothing against getting as much training exposure as possible. Cool, great, get it. Just trying to wrap my head around giving a person a Confined Space Rescue class before a Rope class.

    Anyways, acquire these skills, continue to practice them. Knots and ropes are only a small part of Confined Space, but skill sets that are easily lost if not continually practiced.
    I can understand where you are coming from. I think my situation is a little different from the standard metro side. I work for a private agency, our primary mission is confined space rescue in a industrial setting such as ship yards or the petroleum field. We all have our EMT certs, some are medic, and also academy training. Our confined space rescue class is Cal-OSHA approved, and I hold a cert as Confined space rescue tech. Not sure if it is a I or II, does not say.

    Anyways, I may not have gone through all the steps that most may have , but don't think I don't take this job any less serious than anyone else that is more seasoned. I take this position very serious and that is why I am here trying to learn more and be the best that I can be.

    Not to sound wackerish, but in order to learn my craft, I have purchased a full RPM setup, minus the mariner. I have an Anchor plate, a fig 8 belay device, and several biners, along with 8mm and 11mm cord. I bought all this stuff so I could practice my skills in my free time. In fact, using a hasty harness, I have done a few high angle descents on my own using a friends roof and chimney.

    So, my whole reason to posting here was to learn from you much more experienced folks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Sorry that came off as rough. Confined Space is one of the things I am passionate about. Like I said, great to get whatever training they throw at you.

    *** I should have read on before making my last post, but your concerns were fair and not rough.

    The knot list between your list and those added is pretty standard. Didn't see water knot, but I am sure you got it since you mentioned webbing.

    Start to reach out further than knots. Look into anchors, systems and devices that make them up, critical angles.
    -Radium Release Hitch

    *** I been working on this one, but once I get to the munter part, my system seems to bind. Not sure what I am doing wrong there, also, what do you do with all the excess cord assuming a 30 meter cord?

    -Tandem Triple Wrap Prussick Belay (TTPB)
    *** Think we covered that, that's just two prusiks on the load in a RPM system right?

    -Tensionless Hitch
    -Load Sharing Anchors

    *** I purchased a ABC 36KN mini plate to practice with
    -Load Equalizing Anchors

    -Wrap Three, Pull Two

    *** That was on my task list above
    -Multi-Point Anchor

    -Two Tension Rope Systems (TTRS)
    -Single Tension Main - Untensioned Belay (STM-UTB)
    -Compound and Complex Mechanical Advantage Systems
    -Force Multipliers on changes of direction over 120 degrees.

    I don't know what patient packaging systems you used. SKED/OSS is about the best for Confined Space. Other considerations;
    -LSP/ Miller Halfback
    -Stokes or Ferno
    -Hasty Loop Harness
    -Tickner Harness
    We have a Halfback and another brand I can't recall.

    Thanks for the feedback

    Darn, text formatting does not seem to work... I answered some of your above questions in the quote but you can't tell, so I put asteriks in front of my responses.
    Last edited by MichaelXYZ; 02-07-2012 at 12:58 PM.

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    I'll try to address the new questions.

    Rescue Tech is what is now being called Level II per NFPA 1006. 1670 still addresses the team response levels as Awareness, Operations and Tech. The change took place in 2008, many places are just catching up.

    With the Radium Release... insure you tie the munter so it feeds into the system from the outside, if you are feeding it in between the munter and the first bite it will jam up. Also "Dasiy Chain" the excess cord, start from the free end and work back to the RRH so it plays out into the system. 30 meters of cord is a bit much... we built ours with 33 feet.

    Correct, TTPB is just a set of prussicks on the load side of a Prussick Minding Pulley, use a load release (RRH, Mariner, Jigger) between pulley and anchor.

    A load sharing anchor does not relate to an anchor plate. Instead, using two anchors you connect them in the middle. Done either when your anchors don't line up with the hole nicely or you are dealing with marginal anchors. Load equalizing differs only in the fact that as the load is moved side to side, the anchors are equally sharing the weight, while a load sharing might see one anchor seeing all the weight at odd angles. Understanding angle force multipliers helps here. For example at 120 degrees a load sharing/equalizing anchor will see both anchor points seeing 100% of the load. At 150 degrees it becomes 200% each, 170 d sees 600%. Understanding this could be critical.

    Keep rolling, go to different classes, keep expanding your rescue skill sets.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    I would add a "Double Figure 8" I believe it's called. Looks like a Figure 8 on a bight with (2) bights. Makes for a great harness for lowering. It's actually really comfortable when sized correct.
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    along with the butterfly knot, I also use the Inline figure 8 a lot because its directional... And with your webbing a water knot is essential..
    "....train as if your life depends on it, because one day it could.."
    .....Leather Head N6A
    Tillerman..... The best job in the FD!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasldixon33 View Post
    along with the butterfly knot, I also use the Inline figure 8 a lot because its directional... And with your webbing a water knot is essential..
    AKA "Directional 8". Big fan, as a family of 8's it is more efficent (~80%) than a Butterfly (~75%). Problem is that it is directional. As long as the knot will be loaded in one direction, it is fine. Butterfly is great because it can be loaded in either direction, good for when you might need to pull in either direction, your knot making person is green or at 3am. Not worried much about the additional efficency loss, in 9000lbs rope it would be 450lbs.

    Mike- there would be another thing to get familure with; Efficency Loss and System Safety Factors.

    Knots are the weak point in a rope. End to end, most ropes are rated around 9000lbs MBS. A knot subtracts from that 9000lbs rating due to sharp bends used to form the knot. It can range from 18% loss to over 38%, depending on the knot. Each additional knot is NOT added to the loss to find the new load rating, only minus for the least efficent knot. In class room you can work the numbers to find the theroretical load rating, we use quick feild math on the job, and just minus 30% for any knot.

    The System Safety Factor (SSF) adds in other equipment (like a prussick or caribeener) and finds the weakest link in the system. The ratio of Weakest Link to Load (usually 600lbs for General Load) gives you the SSF, expressed as a ratio. Say a looped assesory cord is used in your system, let's give it a 5000lbs MBS. Your two person load is always estimated at 600lbs. That gives you an 8:1 SSF. We shoot for a 7:1 in our systems.

    To give you a perspective on SSF's an airplane is built to a 1.1:1 safety factor. If it requires 10 rivits to hold a plane together they'll put 11. A boat has a bit more, 1.5:1, so if it requires 10 bolts, they'll put in 15. Anything over a 1:1 SSF should hold, and if your system goes below 7:1 it is not unsafe, 7:1 is just what we aim for.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Very excellent, and useful information. Thank you. The other thing I think I need to work on is reading up on the regulations, not exciting but important none the less...

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    I thought I would share a rope tip. When cutting rope, a knife leaves a messy edge, even using a lighter does not clean the end so well. I had one of those old woodburning kits lying around and it came with an exacto blade insert. So, I heat up the iron with the exacto and it cuts right through the rope and leaves a nice clean cut...
    Note: Have not tried it on anything larger than 8mm cord.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    I'll try to address the new questions.

    Rescue Tech is what is now being called Level II per NFPA 1006. 1670 still addresses the team response levels as Awareness, Operations and Tech. The change took place in 2008, many places are just catching up.

    With the Radium Release... insure you tie the munter so it feeds into the system from the outside, if you are feeding it in between the munter and the first bite it will jam up. Also "Dasiy Chain" the excess cord, start from the free end and work back to the RRH so it plays out into the system. 30 meters of cord is a bit much... we built ours with 33 feet.

    Correct, TTPB is just a set of prussicks on the load side of a Prussick Minding Pulley, use a load release (RRH, Mariner, Jigger) between pulley and anchor.

    A load sharing anchor does not relate to an anchor plate. Instead, using two anchors you connect them in the middle. Done either when your anchors don't line up with the hole nicely or you are dealing with marginal anchors. Load equalizing differs only in the fact that as the load is moved side to side, the anchors are equally sharing the weight, while a load sharing might see one anchor seeing all the weight at odd angles. Understanding angle force multipliers helps here. For example at 120 degrees a load sharing/equalizing anchor will see both anchor points seeing 100% of the load. At 150 degrees it becomes 200% each, 170 d sees 600%. Understanding this could be critical.

    Keep rolling, go to different classes, keep expanding your rescue skill sets.

    VERY good info here!!!
    "....train as if your life depends on it, because one day it could.."
    .....Leather Head N6A
    Tillerman..... The best job in the FD!!!

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    Sorry to intrude slightly, but that is great information you have posted here FiremanLyman. Thank you
    Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand.
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    With all the great knots at our disposal, how does one decide which one to use? The fig 8 family seems to cover most of the bases. The half hitch is a good tie off knot, the clove hitch seems to be good for a loaded anchor. Well, what say you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelXYZ View Post
    With all the great knots at our disposal, how does one decide which one to use? The fig 8 family seems to cover most of the bases. The half hitch is a good tie off knot, the clove hitch seems to be good for a loaded anchor. Well, what say you?
    Real basic rule. It needs to be easy to tie, easily identified by others and suits the need of the application.

    Depending on where you go, a bowline for example is not recognized as a life safety knot. A bowline with a Yosemite safety might not be identifiyable to others. A figure 8 may require an overhand safety, or it might only require a 4 inch tail instead. Chimney hitch means two diffrent things depending on where in the country you are. Honestly it is very regional and department specific sometimes.
    ~Drew
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    Thanks, I get what your saying. I suppose one could take a personal preference approach to a certain point eh?

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    I have come to really enjoy learning all the knots out there. (Yes, I need a life) Anyways, I recently came across a really nice knot, and since this is a knot thread I thought I would throw it out here.
    For mechanical advantage (MA) knots, the trucker hitch comes to mind and it is a useful knot, but for added MA the versatackle is really useful. This knot is very handy for tying down bundles in a truck or whatever.

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