In my LARRO class we got to rappel using the 8 plate and brake bar. Anyways, while doing the rappelling we covered using an ascender to unjam the descender device which was useful, but all the while I could not help but wonder about fall protection.
For low angle fall protection may not be as big an issue but for steeper angles, and one slip of the braking hand can spell disaster for the rescuer. Why were fall protection not discussed, wouldn't a prusik from your harness to above the 8 plate serve as an adequate fall protection device or does this cause other safety issues. What are if any, are fall protection methods/devices for rappel?
While we are discussing rescue 8's or 8 plates as I heard em called, I have read that the 8 plate has fallen out of favor by the rescue community.
In my LARRO a few weeks ago, the instructor mentioned that the 8 plate usage had made a full circle.
It was once the friction device of choice, but was later replaced by the brake bar (due to more friction control), and it remained this way for awhile, but recently the 8 plate has reemerged as the friction device of choice, at least in California. One method we were shown was to add a carabiner below the 8 plate and route running end of the rope through the carabiner to add more friction.
Look forward to you input :)