1. #26
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    Some more good sources:
    www.sarbc.org (Search and Rescue Society of British Columbia) for info. and links to several good sites.
    ITRS (International Technical Rescue Symp.) was also mentioned - another great source for info. For a couple hundred bucks you can exchange ideas with some of the most experienced rope rescue people around.

    Want to expand you horizons even more - take one of the Rigging for Rescue classes. Tower rescues? Try Reed Thorne's Ropes That Rescue classes. CMC, Rescue3, and many others are worth checking out.

    Never be afraid to ask, "why?"

    The better you understanding the hows/whys - the better you'll be at handling a complex range of rescue scenarios.

    Finally, do some of your own testing. Be rigorous and thorough about it. Repeat it, analyze it, have someone else repeat it. Share the info with readers of this forum and others. Building the knowledge base of technical rescue can only help us all.

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    At our department the figure od eight knot is the only knot used when it comes to raising anything with patients, the only time I will use a bowline if for hoisting equipment and even then a figure of eight is better. The figure of eight knoe is used with confined space rescue as well as high angle rescue. I believe this is the better knot to know.

  3. #28
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    I believe MtnRsq said it best below,

    Originally posted by MtnRsq

    A correctly tied/dressed bowline or figure-8 will serve you well.
    As long as the knot will hold a life-safety rated load, who cares what knot it is, let it be a bowline, fiqure-8, butterfly, fiqure-9 or whatever. As long as you pratice and have a way to attach the rope to the basket and patient then you shouldn't have a problem. It's good to see people asking how it's done else where.

    I like to think "You can never have too many tools in your tool box" Don't limit yourself in how you do things, go out and learn what the other rescuers do.
    Peace to our fallen brothers...

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    Great thread with a lot of good information. I too prefer the figure 9...but my department hasn't started using it yet. resqtek...A+ for spelling!

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    I like to use the 8 instead of a bowline. Simply put, folks can tie an 8 easier than a bowline. Also, the strength of the 8 is a little greater than the bowline. In a nut shell, use a knot that is easy to learn, easy to tie, easy to teach, and easy to untie. Just seems like the 8 works best for us. Also, a safety is not really needed with an 8, but it is essential for the bowline.
    Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.

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    Is the strength of the knot really an issue? If you are sressing your system to the point that the 5-10% difference in strength between the knots is the deciding factor then the problem isn't the choice of knot but rather the techniques you are using. Interestingly enough, while I was at rigging for rescue recently I took a piece of 12.7mm(1/2") rope and tied a figure eight in one end and a bowline in the other. We hooked it up to the slow pull bench to use as a test pull to ensure the data aquisition equipment was working. What do you suppose happened? I thought for sure that the bowline would break but infact the figure 8 broke. Now before anyone jumps on me, I realise the validity of a single test and that multiple tests would need to be done for accuracy but if the figure 8 is so much stronger than you would think that under any circumstance the bowline would break. The most interesting part of this test was when we tried to untie the knots. The figure 8 was impossible to untie where the bowline could be loosened off with one thumb. The load cell did not capture the peak force but based on other tests throughout the day, it would have been about 28kn(6300lbf). The bowline has some great applications for rescue and should not be ignored based on the passing down of folklore from one close minded instructor to another.
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    Cool

    I do realize that there is a place for a bowline. Fact of the matter is that the 8 is much easier for someone to learn how to tie. Also, the safety knot HAS to be in place for the bowline to be safe. Not so with the 8.
    Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.

  8. #33
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    Fact of the matter is that the 8 is much easier for someone to learn how to tie.
    I'm with benford on this one. I've seen more people stuff up the bowline versus the 8 family of knots.
    Luke

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    a figure 9 is just like a figure 8 except it has a half a wrap more ... the figure 8 is just like an over hand knot with a half wrap more so just go a full wrap and you have a 9 testing is in and there is only 9% strength lose with the 9

  10. #35
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    Default proper lknot for attachment to Litter Basket

    Figure Eight on Bight with overhand bend safety!

    -Retains more of the ropes tensile strength

    -Safer knot for Life Safety Ops.
    Last edited by tecrsq; 02-13-2005 at 08:40 PM.
    TecRsq
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    Default Re: proper lknot for attachment to Litter Basket

    Originally posted by tecrsq
    Figure Eight on Bight with double overhand bend safety!

    -Retains more of the ropes tensile strength

    -Safer knot for Life Safety Ops.
    I'm pretty sure I know what you're getting at, but a bend is whan you join two ropes together. Also, what need is there for a double overhand safety on an inherently safe knot? Why not use a main line and two belay lines, why not use 1' rope? Where does the dogma and paranoia end?

  12. #37
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    Figure Eight on Bight with double overhand bend safety!

    -Retains more of the ropes tensile strength

    -Safer knot for Life Safety Ops.

    I've seen people go as far as using a fisherman's knot (prusik) for the safety on some of theses knots.
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  13. #38
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    I'll echo the "Where does the dogma and paranoia end?" sentiment...
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  14. #39
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    When I instruct rope rescue I teach to use one of the following for the mainline attachment to a basket, a directional figure 8, or a butterfly as it has to be a midline knot as the long tail is then left for the rescuer to attach to utilizing either a figure 8 or figure 9 knot. We also teach to add prusiks to the tail in order to allow the rescuer to adjust his level relative to the victim in the basket. We utilize a barrel knot as a safety knot.

    I believe there are other acceptable methods of securing the basket to the mainline, but in my experience this seems to be the simplest and easiest to teach and for the student to retain. Most firefighters that I know don't regularly tie knots the way they should. The guys that are really interested in rope work can tie them with their eyes closed and every department I know of has a few of these guys. Like any other occupation you cant be an expert in every aspect of your occupation but you have to be familiar with every aspect of your occupation. As an officer you have to know which of your men are proficient in which discipline and rely on them for their expertise if it is an area you are not an expert in.

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    I am still amazed at everyone's reaction to the good ole bowline. When I first came on the FD, everyone talked about the bowline like it was a second rate knot, and after joining, that was the first time I had ever heard about tying a "safety" on it. Now here it is almost 12 years later, and I still think it is a great knot, and probably one of the easiest to tie, but we use the family of 8 knots here.
    As for the bowline, I spent 11 years in the Navy as a Bosun's Mate, we worked with line every day, not on a few calls or training, and I have tied it on every type of line you can think of, everything from something as small as a shoelace, to 3 inch diameter, all without a safety, and have never saw one slip or heard of one slip. One thing is for sure with it, after a load is put on it, it is probably the easiest to untie.

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    I usually stay in the bleachers where the forums are concerned, but I truely feel sucked into this one and need to submitt my 2 cents.

    First, let me answer the question. I prefer to use interlocking long-tailed bowlines (Belay and Main) for stokes evolutions. They are: easy to tie and untie, and easy to identify (Hey!! The Qualities of a good rescue knot)But most of all, they allow connections to be made using minimal hardware. This makes the connections more compact and lighter. The long-tails are used as alternate connections to the basket and to the rescuer. Some people teach to connect the main line tail directly to the patient. I do not do this as if a failure did occur I do not want the entire weight of the system riding on the waist or chest of an injured person. I connect one tail directly to the stokes using a bowline w/safety, and a tail directly to the rescuer.

    Now it is soapbox time. It is easy to see (or read) the ones in the forum who have been around. Any instructor that teaches rope rescue and gives you an absolute one-way of performing a rescue should not be training. When I put on a class, I like to show 2-3 way of occomplishing the same objective. In-line 8's, bowline's, butterfly's, even double looped butterfly's will all work. The main thing is this...SAFETY!!! Why are we concerned about a knot that has 80% efficieny vs. and knot with 70%? If we're dealing with a stokes basket evolution an NFPA Rope Technician knows IT DOESN'T MATTER!!!

    Are there instances when I want to use a butterfly over a figure of eight? Of course! But it takes a knowledgeable instructor to point those reasons out to you.

    The worst part of all of this is "I have always been told that". Guys and gals I have news for you...that training model will get you killed! Try new techniques. Don't question each other prove each other right or wrong. I can debate myself for hours on the topic of knots and litter rigs. I want someone to come back to the forum and say, you know what I tried your way and it sucked! Not this guy taught me a class and said it wasn't a good idea. Make the calculations and do the math.

    Tecrsq, resqtek, mtnrsq, who ever you are, I commend you for your responses to this forum.

    Thanks for your time.

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    JMATTHE2, good reply. As you can see I am usaually a passive reader and do not get involved in these forums, but as posted before me, I am being "sucked" in.

    People have mentioned the strength being an issue between the bowline and eight. Yes, the figure eight is approx 5-10% stronger than a bowline. I know that in my jurisdicition we are teaching to use a conservative 50% loss in rope strength from tying a knot. In using this we keep ourselves way inside our 10:1 safety factor and thus negating the issue of what knot to tie. As mentioned before, if 5% to 10% is going to make the difference on whether your system work or not....it's time to re-evaluate. I don't want to repeat what JMATTHE2 stated, but there are many ways to do one thing; just know why you are doing it. As Reed Thorne stated....there are periferal(SP) and central issues. Periferal issues are whether you tie a firgure eight or a bowline, a central issue is whether you tie your know correctly or select the right anchor. Central issues should be focused on and make or break your evolution where your periferal are not that big of a deal. Some people have periferal issues in their central issues and their " central window" is alot bigger. As your education expands your central issues become more compact and whether you are tying a bowline or firgure eight becomes less of a factor. For people that are against the bowlines so much, check schools around the country and you will find that bowlines are back. Look into the test from RFR and RTR to see my point. People who say that "a bowline is difficult to tie" is not an excuse for not using it. If you are going to be operating on a technical rope team you should have many "tools" in your "tool box". You should know how to tie as many different knots as possible and understand why!! Learn your knots and learn them right. Using the excuse they are difficult to tie is a sh***ty excuse for not knowing your specialty. As a long winded answer to your question...I teach a double long tail bowline. BE safe.
    Last edited by PGTL33; 03-20-2005 at 11:57 PM.

  18. #43
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    Default Figure 9

    The figure 9 knot is the same as a figure 8, except during the final trace you wrap the working end around the knot an come in from the back side. Some feel this is a bit stronger than the traditional figure 8, but is doesn't lend itself well to combing with another rope (trace 8). Another tool for the box.

    JEB

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    A figure 9 knot is one (actually 1/2) extra turn around the standing part of the rope when you tie your figure 8 on a bite. Anyway, I have been doing high angle (both rescue and sport) since '79, and the debate over which knot is better can bring civilized men to blows fairly quickly. All the fine people that I have recieved instruction under (and that has been a lot) have one common statement..."if the knot is tied right, then it will get the job done right". Over the years I have come to perfer the figure 8 family, but never think the "others" will not get the job done. And the debate over a bowline in synthetic rope...I personally think it is a crock...have used it a lot in 7/16" and 1/2" static line and in 10.5mm and 11mm (both dry and regular core) and as long as it is safety (as should ANY rescue knot be) it held fine. The biggest problem in rope failurs is not the knot, but disreguard for the dynamic factors of rope work. Just my humble opinion. H

    Hey..how about the debate over mechanical camers versus prussic wraps....that should start a fight somewhere!!

  20. #45
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    During frequent rappelling trips, I hae found more and more uses for a figure 8. Never have put it on a Stokes litter but I like figure 8's and are used to them.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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  21. #46
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    Figure 8 w/safety backup. Having everyone on the same page, utilizing same knots and rigging will insure a safe,professional rescue. Practice knots and rigging atleast once a week. Stay safe.

  22. #47
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    Good input everyone as there is always more than one way to skin a cat.

    Our policy is to "use the safest means necessary to accomplish the objective" and without over engineering the system to death.

    Our curriculums here in Georgia regarding Technical Rope have been a combination of different proven programs from around the Unites States and British Columbia.

    The Rescue Systems curriculum was brought here in the late 80's from California's Team's and along with it was some standardization in equipment to allow personnel to have the inter-operabilities from jurisdiction to jurisdiction as well a picking the equipment complement "hardware and software" to minimize the weak links in systems and maximize the strengths.

    Things change in the Technical world, new techniques come and go and sometimes the old techniques come back with a twist.

    I was taught to always back up any knot with an "overhand bend as a safety" and the only exception to this were hitches which got an overhand or thumbknot.

    Now I believe the state is teaching the 8 family of knots without a safety and that works for me as I have never seen a "properly tied, dressed & set" 8 family knot slip out.

    Just as several previous posts have stated, try many different safe configurations and see what works for you and dont limit yourself to just a few tools in the toolbox.
    TecRsq
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  23. #48
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    I would use a fig 8 aswell..Can I ask why i keep seeing some people say to use a safety knot. Ive never heard of a fig 8 of coming undone.. aswell as its a waist of of rope. Its like asking someone to tie a bomb proff knot and anchor. We still have rope techs afraid of tying an anchor to a 4" tree trunk..Why is it a car can hit this tree at a high rate of speed and wrap itself around it but we wont use it for a anchor.. Any way Id use a fig 8..

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    We would use a figure of eight, probable on the bight if the stokes was unattended. The reason basically boils down to the directional stress (from my teaching) the figure of 8 in this situation would be experiencing stress in one direction, and it is designed to take this stress.

    If we had an outrider we would put an alpine butterfly about 2 metres above the figure of 8 and attach the stokes to the butterfly and the outrider/ attendent to a figure of 8 family knot.

    We would then use purcell prussiks or AZTECs for rope mobility. Old school guys may still use Gibbs or ultra hand ascenders as a preference.

    Regards Mav

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJTF1Bowman
    I've seen people go as far as using a fisherman's knot (prusik) for the safety on some of theses knots.
    I've seen this done heaps, mostly by climbers tying in, but just to tidy up the tail of the knot, rather than safety

    We use the alpine butterfly to tie in a litter with an attendant, or if its a straight haul we'll just use a figure eight

    Cheers

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