Thread: Highlines

  1. #1
    JStrickTRT1 Guest

    Thumbs up Highlines

    I am interested in opinions on highlines. We have in the past taken them out of our technician class curriculum and presented them annual or bi-annually for diifferent reasons to follow: In South Florida things that are over sea level are manmade, the only swift water locally requires a rope long enough to stretch from South Beach to Nassau or CUBA (90 miles). We have 4 helicopters with hoist capability and the busiest Coast Guard Air Station in the World for Air Attack on fire and rescue alarms.
    For the majority of local response we have other options. Due to our deployability with FEMA and OFDA we may go to somewhere it is needed. This is the reason we train on this less frequently. Please offer me your opinions on the following questions:
    Tensioned lines versus non-tensioned? Is anyone still using tensioned? Is everyone estimating 10' of drop per 100' of spanse?
    What is the average number of lines deployed on actual working incidents? 3,4, or six? Have you used a highline on an actual alarm?
    What are practical uses of a highlines in your area?
    Thanks for your time.

    Captain Jeff Strickland
    Miami Dade Fire Rescue Department
    Special Operations Division

    Capt. Jeff Strickland
    Miami-Dade Fire Rescue
    Technical Rescue Bureau

  2. #2
    RWK Guest


    As you know, highlines are somewhat of an art and have many uses/variations. Horizontal, steep, sloping, very long (100's of feet), etc. Drooping, Reeving (variable trackline angles), swiftwater, transportation, pick-off, etc. As you can see the possible applications and variations are large.

    We typically use tensioned systems - 12:1 or 18:1 - depending on rope, etc. Number of ropes varies depending on purpose. Simple "transportation" use will not require as many lines (3 would be typical). Systems where a rescuer will be lowered may require 4 or more.

    We have used highlines operationally. Typical scenarios involve accessing individuals across canyons (or cross-slope on high angle slopes), mid-river strandings, and limited or no access via helicopter, etc. There are a number of other scenarios where highline-like systems (usually tensionless) are used.

  3. #3
    Smoke286 Guest


    Jeff, not sure of the Terminology you are using, Are you refering to High Angle Rescue?
    If so I am on my Depts team, our city is surrounded by cliffs falling into the sea, we average about 15 to 20 calls a year. mostly climbers who get stuck, and sometimes tourists who just fall over.

  4. #4
    lutan1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    I come from The Land Down Under!


    I recently purchased a video from "Rigging For Rescue" titled, "The What-if of Highline Failure...Is There A Backup?"

    AWESOME! This was a real eye opener! It showed various ways that people rig highlines and what happens when they fail. It does not teach you how to set them up, only what happens when they fail.

    Well worth the look.......

    Rigging For Rescue are at<br />PO Box 399<br />Invermere, BC Canada V0A 1K1<br />Phone/Fax: (250) 342 6042<br />email:

    <img src="eek.gif" border="0">

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