1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Critique this litter tie in

    Here are four pictures I have taken of my first attempt to secure Rescue Randy into a litter.

    In the rope class I had last year, we used a different type of litter. It had a rope running along the entire inside of the litter, so that you could attach the webbing to the rope to secure the patient.

    I have three sections of web. The Purple at the top is the main-line attachment to the litter. It is tied with clove hitches at four points along each side and the end is tied back to the webbing with the same knot we use for a safety on most other knots (one-half of a double fishermans). The mainline attachment point is laid across his neck (I should have had someone hold it for me). When we were taught our class we used rope for this as opposed to webbing, but I don't currently have any short rope. Is web OK???

    The purple web at the bottom is used to secure the (alert and conscience) patient from falling out of the bottom. It is tied with one half of a clove hitch around the ball of his foot and the other half of the clove hitch around his ankle. It is then secured in the middle of the litter.

    The yellow web is used to secure him to the litter. I route my web thru a precut hole in the litter then up to the next hand hold and tied at the top. THIS IS THE TIE-IN THAT CONCERNS ME THE MOST!!!!!

    A class two harness is used on Randy for the belay line.

    Your comments and critique are very welcome. We are looking to buy a better litter, but do not yet have the $$$$

    Steve Murphy
    Salem Fire Protection District
    Salem IL

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest



    It looked pretty decent to me. Like you said the only thing I saw was the fact that you need a new Stokes. I, as well as my team, and other colleagues don't like plastic for load bearing practices. I use somewhat of the same technique that you pictured, other than as you stated, we use the rope and you used webbing. I don't see why you couldn't use the webbing, as long as it fits the 15:1 safety ratio. The only other thing I would do different, is used a longer piece of webbing to secure the patient, (conscious or unconscious) to the stokes. That way I could also run it through the harness he has on to prevent him from slipping down if I was hoisting vertically. Anyway, good post, and this is just my opinion anyway. Its good that you practice, that is what keeps you sharp.

    The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Good pix. A few comments - what type of rescue scenarios do you see (urban only or urban/wilderness, vertical/low angle)? How do you do your evacuations (helo hoists of any sort)?

    Webbing has very poor abrasion resistance. Any point that exposes the webbing to possible abrasion - whether it is building edges, cliff faces, etc. introduces significant problems. This is particularly important on your tie-ins to the main line(s). Rope works better (more abrasion resistance) in these cases as the bridle/spider.

    Your foot stirrups seem O.K. but what do you have to protect the victim from sliding toward the head end of the litter? The harness will not work too well because the webbing will stretch slightly. Your victim needs to be stable in all attitudes/angles. A chest tie-in of some sort will be useful.

    A couple of commnets on the yellow tie-in/lacing. It is a continuous loop - cut one leg and the whole thing is gone (unless I missed something in the pictures). With a more approp. litter you could secure each leg as you come across the body to the litter rails that way if one leg fails, the victim remains secure. Second point - if your victim shifts downward (stand the litter up with Randy tied in - or better yet, tie-in a real person and stand them up - see how they move the repeat - this time standing on their head). I would venture that the top crossover will be up around his neck.

    Another couple of points - you mention the stirrups for a conscious/alert victim. What about the unconscious/c-spined or similar patient? How does a backboard integrate into your tie-in? How does the tie-in change if there is a leg injury? Is it still secure? How does it work in a vertical vs. horizontal mode?

    An enlightening experiment is to tie Randy into the litter, hoist him 7-10 feet off the ground and cut one leg of the spider. See how he moves. (Be careful - you might be surprised if Randy launches out of the litter in some fashion). Try different failure modes and tie-ins.

    Lastly - if you have a failure (of any sort) how will the victim hang? Will the victim be hanging from the harness with the litter hanging from the victim? Even in a major failure you (and the victim!) are better off if the litter/belay/mainine supports the weight vs. the victim.

    I agree w/ALS - you do need a better litter - especially if you do much vertical/technical rope work.

    Get input from others, take some more classes and practice, practice, practice.

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