The Handcuff Knot
If you havent already figured it out, i am a very strong advocate for simple and dirty tricks which will be the ones to save our own. One of these is called the "handcuff", or "Love" knot. It has a variety of uses and only requires a piece of rope.
The knot isnt really a knot, its more like a hitch. It is formed much like a clove hitch is, but instead of bringing your two loops together, you bring them through each other (I'd never be able to explain it without pictures). The knot is best formed in the approx. middle of your rope. It can be attached to wrists or ankles. Another neat approach is to tie the wrists with it, and also slide one up under the butt (like a seat harness) if you have the room to extricate through the opening...this is better for the conscious ff who just needs a lift, as it takes longer.
The best indicator to tie into is the reflective trim on the ff's coat or pants, you want to place your loops just above the wrist and ankle trim, depending which method you choose. Cinch them down and raise away. Now the rescuer in the hole comes out in a different manner. The top side team lowers a loop of rope to the rescuer and he steps into it and grasps it high above his head...he more or less rides up as the top side team pulls.
If the top side team lowers two loops into the hole I can tie 2 handcuff knots and use them in the same place (wrists or ankles) and it gives me a 4:1 haul system more or less. Using ladders, doors or other makeshift items, pad the edges of the hole to distribute the weight of yourselves as you pull (much like ground pads work in a trench collapse).
I.m curious to hear what peoples thoughts on this simple and quick way to extricate a trapped ff.
(**sidebar: ask the firefighters in Colombus who had to leave brother John Nance to die because they could not get him up through a hole in the floor..after several long and failed attempts, they were ordered to evacuate..THEY WERE ABLE TO SEE THIS MAN AND REACH HIM, BUT NOT ABLE TO SAVE HIM...ISN'T THAT A CRIME?**) By not training our people, we do them a great deal of injustice, and we pay with lives sometimes.
[This message has been edited by e33 (edited April 29, 1999).]
The Handcuff knot and other "simple and dirty tricks " are tought to every ff in our annual "Saving our Own" Training. And I have seen it used to rescue a FF from a confined space hazmat incident. Very quick and effective.
The Hand Cuff knot is a knot we learned in a saving our own course also. It is a knot all firefighters should learn. This summer all members of our department will be taking the saving our own course on firefighter rescue. We have practiced this knot in vacant structures for drill, simulating a downed firefighter through a floor and brang him up using this knot, it went well.