1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post rope rescue specifications/standards

    The Toledo Dept. of Fire & Rescue is trying to establish a set of guidelines for technical(rope/high angle)rescue. we are trying to gather as much information from departments nationwide as possible, for the controversy of one rope vs. two rope systems. Several schools teaching this subject matter have conflicting views as to which position is acceptable. We are trying to acquire as much input as possible for this argument, as well as any facts, figures, history, as to which to be used as a standard, along with the reasoning behind which technique was accepted by your own department. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated. Notices can be replied here or be e-mailed to myself at;"douglas.palicki@ci.toledo.oh.us"
    Thank you in advance for all your input/suggestions.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Boy oh boy. Have you opened a can of worms.
    SRT vs. double. Both are safe and effective - IF USED APPROPRIATELY BY TRAINED PERSONNEL.

    Check out the discussion under the Rope Rescue discussion board on the Search & Rescue Society of British Columbia (SARBC) @ www.sarbc.org. Good discussion - lots of ideas, etc. Ask for info.

    If you are bound by NFPA, etc. you may not have much choice. High angle rescue work is so situationally dependent that having a single "standard" can cause problems. We have a "preferred" (guidelines are good too) method. It happens to be DRT, but it uses parallel systems vs. a main/belay model. Deviation from the preferred is O.K., it just needs to be an informed/sound decision and used properly.

    Kudos to you and your dept. for asking the question and not just accepting what someone else says. Knowledge is power.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Look into NFPA 1670 & 1006 standards. What ever you go with, train for that operation. One of the most inportant things is to have two points of contact with the rope even with a two rope system. The belay line can be a fixed or a traveling line. If you use a one rope system you still have to have two contact points on the rope. With the one rope system it's harder and takes more training to operate. You will find that there is as many ways to do things as there are people out there teaching rope rescue. To put into a nut shell, you are going to have to decide what will work for your department.
    Good Luck with your team
    David Gerrer
    Captain Ft. Lewis Fire & Emergency Services
    Owner / Lead Instructor
    Technical Training Solutions, LLC www.TechTrngSols.com

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I have to agree that you have open a can of worms.

    In general we use two ropes for rescues. (Work line and safety)Training we almost always use two. We will switch to one rope when, in the opinion of the rescue sector commander, a second rope would hamper the rescue or rescuer or create a dangerous situation. Also we sometimes dump the safety when lowering the rescuer from a single available anchor. In other words if he were rendered unconscious he wouldn't fall because we have him.

    We have had some serious debate on what is an appropriate belay device; tandem prusiks, Gibs, rack, munter hitch, or some manufactured device like a 540 or gri gri.
    What are your feelings and also what type of rope do you use dynamic or static with shock absorbers

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    ADSN/WFLD raises some good questions that get back to the nature of technical rescue - the situational variability and need to problem solve and adapt as necessary.

    There are many schools of thought on belay devices and techniques. Generally - and I use the term very carefully - the devices/techniques mentioned can all be used safely and effectively - provided that their risks/limitations are well understood and potential failure modes avoided (having a Gibbs catch a fall when there is 10 ft. of slack in the rope is asking for a failure or having a poorly tied prussik fail to catch or slide/melt, etc.). Always be careful in using devices that may not be designed for rescue loads (Gri-Gri's for instance), but fine for single person loads.

    I guess my point is that the rescuers brain and ability to use it in problem solving is key in high angle rescue work. For JRDOUG - keep doing your homework on this. Know when to use SRT vs. DRT or how to avoid problems associated with one vs. the other. Same with belay devices/techniques, rope types, building systems, selecting/building anchors, etc. A skilled rescuer will be able to solve the problem safely and with available resources.

    Take classes - understand and incorporate (where appropriate)what you learn. Challenge assumptions. Does someone REALLY know why doing something one way vs. another is better/safer, etc. or are they blindly following what someone else said. Don't - train, train, train.

    Enough soap box. FYI - Although we use static rope nearly all the time we do use dynamic in certain situations (high fall factor/lead climbing). Load limiters/shock absorbers are used infrequently - depends on situation. Generally (again that word...) belays are done on 8's in double rope set-ups.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    thanks everyone for all your input, i have received lots of excellent information and direction concerning this subject. i'm sure with all the information i haver received, we can make an informed, rational determination on the standards we will adopt.
    again, thanks again for all your input.

    doug palicki

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We do a fair ammount of cliff rescue, and our policy is always to use a secondary belay.
    So if you go down to do a pick off you end up taking as many as 4 lines with you

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