1. #1
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    Default Pre-Rigging High Line kits

    Many departments pre-rig deployment bags for Rope Rescue operations. This idea saves valuable time at an incident scene and enhances the teams overall operational capabilities. In the rope rescue arena, high-line operations are inherently time consuming to set up.
    Have any departments or teams come up with a good pre-rig bag(s) for this aspect of rope rescue operations?
    And if so what do you have in your kit?

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    Anytime pre-rigged systems come up, the general consensus is "no".

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/t121828/ (Pre-rigged Z-Rigs)

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/t117768/ (Pre-Made -VS- Rescuer Made)

    We carry only one pre-rigged system in our whole inventory, a PMI 4:1 BT w/ an internal PCD similar to this one http://shop.pmirope.com/technical-ha...tMasterID=1584 . Only real reason it is prerigged is there is no other uses for that pulley set and we only would use it on a tripod for confined space.

    And why is this topic a sticky? Seems silly.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    We have two 4:1 pig rig bags, and two 200 foot bags with a RPM in the side pouch. No provisions for high lines. We also have some 150 and 300 foot bags with no pre-rigs. Then we have our hardware, software bags.

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    Bob, with Highlines, I am not sure Pre-rigging is a way to go, but I would be up to try it. You would likely still have to rig one side, after receiving a line. What kind of highlines do you use and what devices do you have for your control (rack / traditional MA or MPD / ID).

    I would still ensure you have another set of ropes and gear that would allow you to build a system if needed, unless you have pre-planned a specific site and that is where you are likely to have the need for such a pre-rigged setup.

    I have always disagreed with the theory of not pre-rigging most of our rope gear. In our mainly urban environment it is what makes sense. The pre-rigged systems are there to handle the 80 - 90% of calls with the only change being the anchor typically. This is especially true if you use devices like MPD / ID. Sure, will building a system from scratch keep rescuers skills up? Of course it will. Will it increase the possibility of a mistake, and potentially delay a rescue....after all there is an actual rescue going on, not a training session. Something that needs to be considered.

    In these days of fiscal hardship, manpower that is trained and proficient is at a low, and we need to take every step we can to make ourselves more efficient. We are often taking the "technical" out of technical rescue and I think that is often a good thing, as it increases our speed and safety if we engineer things ahead of time (given that is possible to do so).

    Consider this: If you worked on an engine company, would you start your tour every day by emptying the tank, and disconnecting all the pre-connect hand lines at each coupling to ensure that your chaueffer and crew were proficient in securing a water source, stretching hand lines and connecting them? Those pre-connect handlines don't always reach or work for a particular job, but I bet it handles those in the 80-90% range.

    We should further discuss this in one of our usual venues.

    Steve D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AFD696 View Post
    We should further discuss this in one of our usual venues.

    Steve D.

    By venue you mean a bar? I agree.

    You also brought up some points (manpower, urban scenarios, speed). They are valid, good and arguable points. On the other hand, I can put a 4:1 together in under 30 seconds provided the equipment. When does shaving a few seconds outweigh knowing it is right? (not being cheeky, honestly I think it is a debatable point)

    You made the comparison to morning checks on the engine; we still check the water level, ensure all the hose lays are there and deployable (not filled with CAFS air like some mornings), check that the tools are in the hydrant bag, SCBA's are filled, PW can has pressure, med bag is stocked, etc... each morning even though the shift we are relieving did it yesterday. Do you also pull the pre-rigged bags off and ensure that the shift before didn't leave you a surprise there?

    Not disagreeing (completely) just carrying on your comparison.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    I have to echo Drew's post, #2 in the thread. We've beat this horse to death here. If you practice, the time element becomes minimal. Lets face it, if you aren't practicing highlines on a regular basis you really have no business attempting one in a live rescue. You have to be able to look at the system when it's pulled out of the bag and know if it's right or not. If it isn't right, you have to be able to correct it. This usually involves taking it completely apart and starting from scratch depending on how twisted it is. You end up starting from scratch anyway. With more time wasted unf*cking things. Practice your craft, know your trade!
    Last edited by jdcalamia; 08-09-2013 at 07:17 PM.
    John D. Calamia, BS, NREMTP, FP-C
    Firefighter/Flight Paramedic
    Broomall, PA

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    I have to ask. How often is a high line used?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    By venue you mean a bar? I agree.
    Not sure what that is - will have to research it more.

    I agree if you build the system you have more confidence in it. It would be great if we could study, under some stress of time, how often a given system built in haste is built correctly. I have seen people make mistakes because they are rushing or thinking about 3 other things that are happening simultaneously.

    We do actually check the pre-rigged bags if another shift has used them. I will say, that with devices like the MPD and ID, really the only error can be rigging it backwards. It is quickly corrected, and probably doesn't save much time at all. But all the gear is there together and ready to go. Most of our systems and needs are quite simple.

    In times where we are doing more with less, it's nice to have the option of a pre-rigged system and also one we can build if need be. When I say we are doing more, we are taking on a lot of responsibilities and training in many different arenas. That isn't an excuse for not being proficient, it's just the reality that we are often pulled in directions we have no control overs. We may want to spend this month doing rope or confined space drills and find out that the current buzz word coming down from up high is swiftwater or mandatory EMS / Fire training. All good stuff, but it takes us away from the specialized stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelXYZ View Post
    I have to ask. How often is a high line used?
    Just to give you an outside prospective. I have been in NYC for the past week under the RFK bridge climbing for an inspection. Now I am 99.999% sure that when I am aid climbing under the bridge to setup the track line (for the others to cross), that if I would need to be rescued my crew would do it and fast. But, there is the chance the fire department would need to do it, bring the need for them to set a highline of some fashion. Yes its NYC and their Spec Ops team would have no issue most likely, but smaller towns with bridges would have a hard time for sure. It's not a type of climbing that the fire service teaches so its going to be a problem. Also its good to know what you are looking at if you come across a crew like the one I am on. This way you can understand the basics of what we may have already setup.

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    Here is a pic of the access lines we are rigging under the bridge for inspectors to connect to for access. We have to aid climb under to set it up. It would be at that point where a rescue would be made difficult at best.Name:  RFK bridge lines.jpg
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