1. #1
    j crooke
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Munter hitch vs fig 8

    I attended a structural fire/rescue class recently & came across an instructor using a munter (SP?) hitch for lowering victim or rescuer. He said he would preferr using that type of lowering device over a rescue 8 or rack. there was also a guy in the class that said the same.
    Any feedback?
    pros, cons
    the good , the bad, the ugly

    thanks in advance

    Jeff Crooke
    Marshalls Creek fire/rescue

    [This message has been edited by j crooke (edited October 19, 1999).]

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I am no expert, but in that kind of situation ( firefighter self rescue or victim rescue from a fire condition), I think it makes sense to use the Munter. It is easier to use and requires less space, no carrying an 8 plate.

    ED C.
    "Doin' it for lives and property !"
    <A HREF="http://www.freeyellow.com/members8/ptfd21/index.htm"" TARGET=_blank>http://www.freeyellow.com/members8/ptfd21/index.htm"</A> Pittsfield Twp. F.D.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Just what is this Munter Hitch you guys are referring to. I've not heard of it. Any ideas for sources of information would be helpful.


  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The munter hitch is best suited to use as a single person belay hitch. It has a tendancy to tighten up when shock loaded which helps you catch a falling load. One drawback to using it is that you have nylon running on nylon which generates friction and can possibly damage the rope. Any time you perform a lowering operation a friction device should be used such as the figure eight plate. The Eight plate is designed for this purpose and has options the munter hitch does not have. (lock off, variable friction) A munter hitch can be used if no other friction device is available, but it should be a back up and not the main choice.

    Lt. Tom Finch
    Union Colony Fire/Rescue Authority Greeley, CO

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The Munter Hitch is a very simple hitch. It is used with a carabiner for single person belays. An excellent resource with this hitch along with knots,riggings,raising systems and more is "Rope Rescue Manual Field Guide" 3rd edition put out by CMC Rescue,www.cmcrescue.com
    It says this hitch is popular with rock climbers and some industry disagreement exists on whether a Munter Hitch belay can handle rescue loads or should be limited to one-person loads.

    Lt.Tim Helms
    Freedom Fire Company

    [This message has been edited by TJHELMS (edited October 21, 1999).]

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I recently read a study on the M.H., in 3 out of 5 test it failed to stop a 4:1 fall factor, and has been Cited by the Natl Forest Serv as a reason for Injuries during several Incidents where Recreational users failed to use this Hitch properly,, It is taugh nation wide by several Rescue Companies and is Like any other Tool, Train Train, Train, and use it as Instructed, I agree with the Post that Stated not to use it a Primary Brake or Fall Arrestor, use a FIG 8 PLATE or BRAKE BAR RACK if there is any chance of Shock Loading your System.

    Here today for a Safer Tomorrow

  7. #7
    TRUCK 110
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Munter Hitches are OK, to use as a Takeup Knot in an Equipment Belay, but it lacks Shock loading and Stopping power. It's only benefit in a Belay is it is multi- directional, and requires friction on itself to work, a Single Frictional knot vs. the Figure 8 with 2 Frictional points. People, as said before do not tie it correctly, or overload the knot with weight. It is not a recommended Rescue Rappelling knot for Victim Rescue, but rather an equipment knot, since equipment does not die from Broken bones or the Fall.....

    Thanks for the Post..and be SAFE..


  8. #8
    Drew Smith
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The Munter Hitch was originally used in sport climbing as a way to arrest a fall then be able to lower the climber a short distance so the climber could regain a grip or rest.

    I learned this technique more than 15 years ago and have used it reliably since. In the past few years a couple of papers have been written stating its use both pro and con. I read both of these. One is available at the SARCBC web site, I believe. The other is available from ROCO Rescue. In both papers the SET UP of the test seems to be key to its success or failure with a TWO PERSON load.

    I will agree that it takes practice to manage this technique.

    As for the 4:1 fall factor, thats a lot of rope for any belay technique.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We use it for a single person belay only, not in our rescue system. It works well and uses less hardware. However, as stated above, if you don't use it regularly you will set it wrong on a call. We keep it as an option, but would suggest you stay with the rack or 8plate. You use these all the time and you will tend to set it right. If you have them available, I would use the rack, as you can adjust the friction if you need to.

    Be Safe,


    Hey Truck 110, what did you think of the seminar the other night?

    [This message has been edited by fyrescue (edited October 30, 1999).]

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