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    Default Lowering and Whistle Test

    During a lowering operation, how many of you use a brake mechanism after the DCD? I don't recall using one during training but I have seen them shown in books. If you do use one, how do you mind the prusiks while lowering? It seems that without a brake, the lower system would not pass the whistle test (Say you lose control of the main line). Would you consider the safety line with tandem prusiks to qualify as the necessary backup and meet the whistle test?

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    This system is slightly different to the system we use. on the belay (safety line) we have the from the anchor: rigging plate, load releasing hitch and then short and long prusik. not connected to the rigging plate, but close by is a pre-made 3:1 z-rig for hauling when required.

    Prusiks are minded by an attendant who follows the edge-mans calls, in the event of the whistle test, the prusiks would grab. In the failure of both a descender and the prusiks, something has gone very wrong is likely to be at the edge - cut in the lines, or at the anchor - not strong enough - part of the reason why we run 2 rope systems off separate anchors.

    Hope that made some sense.

    Dave

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    We have a two rope system on separate anchors as well, safety and mainline.

    What if we put the prusik before the DCD, then the same hand controlling the lowering mainline could also mind the prusik. I am sure this would have been thought of so there must be a reason not to use it.

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    What will likely happen in this new pic is that in the event of a loss of control by the rack operator, the prusik will follow the rope downwards until it hits the first bar on the rack. The first bar will then act like a prusik minding pulley (PMP) and the rope will continue its downward descent.

    If you have time to rig all this up you definitely have enough time to set up a separate belay system and take care of your whistle test concerns.

    Mike


    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelXYZ View Post
    We have a two rope system on separate anchors as well, safety and mainline.

    What if we put the prusik before the DCD, then the same hand controlling the lowering mainline could also mind the prusik. I am sure this would have been thought of so there must be a reason not to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelXYZ View Post
    During a lowering operation, how many of you use a brake mechanism after the DCD? I don't recall using one during training but I have seen them shown in books. If you do use one, how do you mind the prusiks while lowering? It seems that without a brake, the lower system would not pass the whistle test (Say you lose control of the main line). Would you consider the safety line with tandem prusiks to qualify as the necessary backup and meet the whistle test?

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    The whistle test is for the system not each individual rope in the system. It looks like the pictures you are using are for changing over from a lower to a raise, knot pass, etc...

    If your prusik were to behind the rack, you would not be able release the tension on the main line back into the rack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsqman View Post
    What will likely happen in this new pic is that in the event of a loss of control by the rack operator, the prusik will follow the rope downwards until it hits the first bar on the rack. The first bar will then act like a prusik minding pulley (PMP) and the rope will continue its downward descent.

    If you have time to rig all this up you definitely have enough time to set up a separate belay system and take care of your whistle test concerns.

    Mike
    I did not even think of that, but your right. I had a feeling that was a dumb idea.
    So since we have a tandem prusik on the safety line, then we are covered whistle wise?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelXYZ View Post
    So since we have a tandem prusik on the safety line, then we are covered whistle wise?
    Yes. I think most would agree with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by servantleader View Post
    Yes. I think most would agree with that.
    Definitely so. You cannot have a single line operation (raising, lowering, rappelling) that passes the whistle test. That doesn't mean a single line technique can't be done safely, just that there is no whistle test. When performing SRT, if the rope breaks, gets cut, anchor fails, etc., there is no back up. That is where the belay line, with a proven technique provides the whistle test requirements

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by rsqman View Post
    Definitely so. You cannot have a single line operation (raising, lowering, rappelling) that passes the whistle test. That doesn't mean a single line technique can't be done safely, just that there is no whistle test. When performing SRT, if the rope breaks, gets cut, anchor fails, etc., there is no back up. That is where the belay line, with a proven technique provides the whistle test requirements

    Mike
    The MPD gives you the ability for everybody to let go of the rope and have the load stop.
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    If I had to build a system like the one pictured I would replace the rack with a MPD,ditch the LRH but keep the T3P (unless I had a 2nd MPD to create a mirrored system). The picture you posted just has to much gear for me. In the pic they typed it could be pre-rigged and pre-packed...I think the chances of it coming out of the bag without being in some form of a tangled mess is not very good.
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgressiveRescue View Post
    If I had to build a system like the one pictured I would replace the rack with a MPD,ditch the LRH but keep the T3P (unless I had a 2nd MPD to create a mirrored system). The picture you posted just has to much gear for me. In the pic they typed it could be pre-rigged and pre-packed...I think the chances of it coming out of the bag without being in some form of a tangled mess is not very good.
    We keep a similar setup pre-rigged. Our rope bags have a long side pouch for rigging stowage. Never had tangle issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue 2 Training View Post
    The MPD gives you the ability for everybody to let go of the rope and have the load stop.
    Yes, it does. I didn't specify an MPD though for the following reasons.......

    Not all departments can afford the higher price range rope rescue tools such as the MPD. Yes, it is a great tool with a lot of versatility but sometimes, unfortunately, it comes down to price.

    Your department can only afford a simple lowering device, a couple of rescue pulleys, a couple of rescue ropes and a few prusiks and carabiners? No problem. Learn the basics of how to raise, lower and belay with the tools you can afford. You can afford an upgrade to a 540? Excellent. Practice with it until it becomes second nature. Christmas came early and you found the money in the budget for one MPD? Outstanding. Practice raising, lowering and belaying with it until you are comfortable operating it in all modes. Got a second MPD? WooooHooooo! Work them together in mirrored systems and learn their true capabilities.

    It really doesn't matter what tools you have. Some are easier to operate than others, some are pricier than others, some require more or less training time than others. The bottom line is this.....master the basics of raising, lowering and belaying with whatever tools are available to you because so called "advanced" rescue techniques taught by many instructors is nothing more than a mastery of the basics.

    If you can raise, lower, belay......you can do some pretty complicated rescues.

    Mike

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    I don't like the whistle stop test, personally. But that is off topic.

    When we use a single tension main, untensioned belay (STM-UTB) our system has a Tandem Triple Wrapped Prusick Belay (TTWPB) on the belay line. Beautiful thing is the TTWPB can be used in both raise and lowering operations, and provides the system with the whistle stop competency. You need not have a rope grab on the main line after the DCD, that is what the belay line is for.

    Trust in your equipment, rig for success- meaning that we rig to operate a system, not rig to compensate for each possible failure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsqman View Post
    Yes, it does. I didn't specify an MPD though for the following reasons.......

    Not all departments can afford the higher price range rope rescue tools such as the MPD. Yes, it is a great tool with a lot of versatility but sometimes, unfortunately, it comes down to price.

    Your department can only afford a simple lowering device, a couple of rescue pulleys, a couple of rescue ropes and a few prusiks and carabiners? No problem. Learn the basics of how to raise, lower and belay with the tools you can afford. You can afford an upgrade to a 540? Excellent. Practice with it until it becomes second nature. Christmas came early and you found the money in the budget for one MPD? Outstanding. Practice raising, lowering and belaying with it until you are comfortable operating it in all modes. Got a second MPD? WooooHooooo! Work them together in mirrored systems and learn their true capabilities.

    It really doesn't matter what tools you have. Some are easier to operate than others, some are pricier than others, some require more or less training time than others. The bottom line is this.....master the basics of raising, lowering and belaying with whatever tools are available to you because so called "advanced" rescue techniques taught by many instructors is nothing more than a mastery of the basics.

    If you can raise, lower, belay......you can do some pretty complicated rescues.

    Mike
    You didn't specify any device, only that "You cannot have a single line operation (raising, lowering, rappelling) that passes the whistle test."


    I disagree with that. I offered up one way that you can have a single line system that passes the whistle test. That's it; no more, no less.
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    Well if Santa reads this forum, our dept, could use a MPD :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelXYZ View Post
    Well if Santa reads this forum, our dept, could use a MPD :P

    Attachment 22638
    Too fancy, too expensive and too many moving parts. I am sure it is a dream to use, but just like I tell my wife; She is simple, a cheap date, and I know how to make things work in a hurry. That is why I would pick her over the latest hottie anyday.
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    An I'D passes the whistle test. Many other DCD's accompanied by prusiks will as well (assuming they are operated correctly).

    just my .02.
    My opinions posted here are my own and not representative of my employer or my IAFF local.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue 2 Training View Post
    I disagree with that. I offered up one way that you can have a single line system that passes the whistle test. That's it; no more, no less.
    Agreed. Single line systems with auto-stop built in (MPD, ID, Scarab with prusik, rack with prusik etc) pass the whistle test. The test they don't pass is the critical points test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue 2 Training View Post
    You didn't specify any device, only that "You cannot have a single line operation (raising, lowering, rappelling) that passes the whistle test."


    I disagree with that. I offered up one way that you can have a single line system that passes the whistle test. That's it; no more, no less.
    I'm not sure I agree with you DC. Maybe it's a matter of terminology. As I understand it, the whistle test relates to the belay line in that if there were a failure of the main line system then a properly set up and operated belay would catch the falling load. The belay system has to be able to catch the falling load even if the belayer was incapacitated.

    Yes, I agree that the main line rigged into an MPD would lock up and catch a falling load but there is no back up for the main line system in the case of an anchor or rope failure. To me, that is where the belay line comes into play and has to be able to pass the whistle test.

    Can a single rope technique be operated safely? Of course it can and has been for decades around the world. Does the addition of a belay line increase the safety of the operation? Not necessarily. It requires a proper technique (one that will lock up without human intervention if needed) as well as all the other things we always consider.....anchors, equipment, personnel, etc., etc.

    Happy holidays to everyone.

    Mike

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    I think that you are confusing the critical point test with a whistle test. So it may be a matter of terminology. I looked through a few pages of a google search of "rope rescue whistle test" and all of the disparate sources have roughly the same definition.

    What term do you use to describe the rigging wherein if everybody were to let go, the load does not drop to the ground?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue 2 Training View Post
    I think that you are confusing the critical point test with a whistle test. So it may be a matter of terminology. I looked through a few pages of a google search of "rope rescue whistle test" and all of the disparate sources have roughly the same definition.

    What term do you use to describe the rigging wherein if everybody were to let go, the load does not drop to the ground?
    Yep. You are correct. I was confused. Critical point is what I was thinking of. It's hell to get old.....or so I've heard....LOL

    Mike

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    I came across this bit of text that gives some definitions.
    Zone 3 Technical Rescue Manual
    Rope Rescue


    Source Location:
    http://kcfiretraining.org/trainingsi...e%20Manual.pdf
    The pdf is a good read.

    Critical Point Test:
    A Critical Point Test requires that rope system in its entirety is looked at to
    insure that the failure of any one part of the rope system, either human or
    equipment, will not result in a total system failure (dominoe effect). A Critical
    Point Test can be performed by asking “What if” type of questions in regard to the rope system, such as “What would happen if the Track Line failed”, or
    “What would happen if the Main Line anchor failed”.
    Whistle Test:
    The passing of a Whistle Test means that if in theory at any point a whistle
    were blown which signals all personnel to “let go” of the rope or equipment
    that they are operating, nothing catastrophic will occur to the live load that is
    depending on the rope systems for their safety. Some examples of
    equipment that allow passing of a Whistle Test are the use of a Belay Line
    and Prusiks that will capture the load if the team operating the Main Line
    slips and lets go of the Main Line while hauling up the live load, or a tandem
    Prusik on a Load Release Hitch situated towards the load on a Control Line
    lowering operation utilizing a Brake Bar Rack in the event a Track Line fails
    and imparts an impact load to the Control Line.

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    NZLSAR (New Zeland guys) have a great definition of the Critical Point Test;

    The critical point test examines whether or not a failure of any one component would result in a total system failure with ensuing catastrophic outcome. If critical points are found, they should be analysed to see if they need to be eliminated by a redundant component, backed up or accepted.
    I like this because it lets common sense, risk vs. benefit and our skills as technical rescuers overcome a noted weak point in the system; if you are weary of an anchor for example you can add redundancy (my least favorite), back up the anchor (such as a tieback) or accept the risk to perform the mission.

    What is doesn't mean is that since you have a bombproof anchor, that you would assume the anchor would fail and need a redundancy. Or that you need two of everything. Trust in your equipment, the human factor is always the weak link in the system anyhow.
    Last edited by FiremanLyman; 12-22-2012 at 12:24 AM.
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