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  1. #41
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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.


  2. #42
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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 10:57 PM.

  3. #43
    Forum Member vehext's Avatar
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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

  4. #44
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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!!

  5. #45
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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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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  6. #46
    MembersZone Subscriber ShaversFork's Avatar
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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.

  7. #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
    North Georgia

    - Let No Mans Ghost Come Back To Say My Fire Training Let Me Down -

  8. #48
    Forum Member WBenner's Avatar
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    Question

    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..

  9. #49
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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

  10. #50
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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

  11. #51
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    I use the double granny for lowering objects in a stokes. If there is a person I use the triple granny.

    Never failed me.
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  12. #52
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    I like and use the "Long Tail Interlocking Bowline" but there are guys on our team that like to use "Fig 8s". Both knots if done propperly work well.

    The LTIB takes less equipment to make than the F8.

    I have told our guys that they can choose which system that they will use but it needs be done right. Even though I like the LTIB I would much rather see a propperly rigged F8 system than an impropperly tied LTIB system.
    Last edited by MEDIC0372; 07-31-2006 at 05:27 PM.

  13. #53
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    We use a double loop fig.8 for the simple fact it is the strongest knot.
    (Matter of opinion? Maybe...but it is mine and I am the one who has the final decision)

    I have seen some post in this thread that refer to the minimal difference in 80% and 70% strength. My thought on that...would you rather have an 80% chance of living or a 70% chance of living.

    The bowline is being phased out in Tech. Rescue. There's a reason for that. Simply, it is not the best knot for the job.

    Our system is Simple: Double loop fig.8, To a swivel, to a rigging plate, to litter straps.
    All attached with 1/2in biners.
    Tender is attached to system with daisy chain dynema
    Of course each (litter and tender) have safeties.

  14. #54
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    What ever you use is fine, as long as you understand the theory and physics behind rigging. As I stated earlier there is a small difference in strength reduction between these two knots and if the success or your comfort of the system is dependant on this small difference….maybe you shouldn’t be “the one who has the final decision!! Over the last couple of years I have attended classes in British Columbia, Colorado, Arizona, and California and not one school stated they were phasing out the bowline, but some have even preferred we use bowlines over the family of 8s. Both knots have their advantages and disadvantages but like any other knot…if not tied correctly they will fail. I have yet to experience or even hear about a system failing solely on the fact that it was tied with a bowline and not a figure 8. If you understood the advantages of the bowline you would not classify it as “not the best knot for the job!!” You system sounds simple but very equipment intensive and creates a huge gain between the end of the figure 8 loops and the bottom of the basket which could become a huge issue when operating in tight spaces. You can accomplish the same thing with the same amount of versatility with less hardware. When you refer to litter and tender as having safeties are you referring to a two rope system (main and belay)? Just remember that there are a hundred different ways to accomplish a single task in the tech rope world. Each will have their advantages and disadvantages but more importantly they should be efficient and versatile so to be able to adapt to issues that may arise. Understand the “WHY” we rig the way we do and not just the “how”. The system can be simple but the rigger should not.

  15. #55
    Forum Member Riversong's Avatar
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    I've just reviewed this entire thread and am amazed at the ingorance and dogma that pervades the rope rescue community.

    Quote Originally Posted by fddd160
    Figure eight. The bowline was a good knot for braided rope but the kernmantle rope allows the bowline to slip.
    A loaded bowline cannot slip

    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum
    Figure 8 with a safety is correct. With todays synthetic ropes and their core type construction, a bowline causes to much compression and extension at the radius' of the bends.
    You mean "compression and tension", but - as others have pointed out - the strenght difference is insubstantial and far less important than the functionality of the knot.

    Quote Originally Posted by shammrock54
    I was always trained to use a figure 8 w/ a safety.
    A dog is "trained" - a person should be educated to make their own decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by lutan1
    We always use the figure 8 family of knots. The bowline is too easy to get wrong for so many people.
    In fact, the bowline is a far simpler knot to tie than the figure-8 and requires no dressing. I've seen many more incorrectly tied figure-8s than I have bowlines.

    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD
    The Bowline should not be used any longer for synthetic rope. It also weakens the rope more then the family of 8 knots.
    "Should" should not be used any more in rescue, as there are so many perfectly functional and safe alternatives.

    Quote Originally Posted by firespec35
    When I was in the academy in '98 (I bow to the mighty veterans knowledge) They told us that the bowline was not safe on kernmantle rope and the "8" series of knots were much safer.
    Bowing to authority is generally a dangerous thing, since you really expose your hindquarters when you do. And so many "veterans" are doing what you're doing now - repeating misinformation and bias.

    Quote Originally Posted by sunfire67
    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.
    "Only" - same as "should/should not".

    Quote Originally Posted by benford1
    Simply put, folks can tie an 8 easier than a 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.
    The bowline is quicker to tie than a fig-8, as easy to inspect, easier to untie after loading, and doesn't need a back-up knot in the application discussed in this thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaversFork
    Figure 8 w/safety backup. Having everyone on the same page, utilizing same knots and rigging will insure a safe,professional rescue.
    Having everyone "on the same page" will insure a limited repertoir of techniques and hence a potentially less safe outcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffmav426
    We would use a figure of eight...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.
    The bowline and figure-8 are both loop knots intended to be stressed from loop to standing part. If the stress is from standing part to loop to working end (as with end used for attendant safety), then a figure-8 would be loaded improperly unless it was an inline-8, which is no stronger than a bowline.

    Quote Originally Posted by swcfpd340
    We use a double loop fig.8 for the simple fact it is the strongest knot...would you rather have an 80% chance of living or a 70% chance of living. The bowline is being phased out in Tech. Rescue. There's a reason for that. Simply, it is not the best knot for the job.
    Strongest does not equate to safest. If that were the only factor, then you should be using steel cable.

    The bowline is most certainly NOT being phased out by rescue instructors. It is still, however, being denigrated by the repetition of ignorance and prejudice. In many applications, including the one that started this thread - attachment of mainline to litter - it is arguably the BEST knot, for reasons that the few knowledgable members of this forum have stated.

    The system you describe is excessively complicated and much longer than is either necessary or advisable, significantly limiting the number of applications in which it would work safely. Adding more links to the chain simply creates more potential failure points and makes a system LESS safe, in addition to making the system ungainly and difficult to use in close quarters or with no high directional at the edge.

    Bottom line is this: anyone who offers a blanket condemnation of one of the most used and most useful knots in the rescue toolbox simply shouldn't be involved in rope rescue, let alone instructing.
    aVERT - a Vertical Emergency Response Training
    To Avert Disaster in the Vertical Environment

  16. #56
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    Simply this.....

    The bowline is NOT used for rescue applications....period.

    It is used for hauling tools....at best.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrainingNut
    Simply this.....

    The bowline is NOT used for rescue applications....period.

    It is used for hauling tools....at best.
    The bowline, contrary to your claim of One Commandment absolutism, is possibly the most commonly used knot in high-stress rigging applications, including nautical seamanship, arboreal tree removal, rock-climbing and rappeling, vertical caving, canyoneering, mountaineering, and mountain rescue. AND IT IS TAUGHT BY THE BEST ROPE RESCUE INSTRUCTORS ALL AROUND THE WORLD.

    For the same reason that the Fire Service had to compensate for their lack of knowledge and technical expertise in rope rigging by adding 50% to the globally recognized 10:1 safety factor, there has developed a widespread prejudice against the bowline family of knots, based on ignorance, and passed on from each so-called instructor to their students.

    There is NO objective basis for this prejudice, no empirical study to support it, and no evidence of rigging failures due to the use of bowlines.

    If a trainer has trouble teaching the bowline to his students, that's the fault of the instructor and not the knot, since it is a technically simpler knot to construct than a properly tied, dressed, and set figure-8-on-a-bight or figure-8-followthrough.

    The bowline meets all the criteria of a good rescue knot:
    • easy to tie
    • easy to inspect
    • performs its intended function
    • easy to untie after loading

    Even at the world-standard 10:1 safety factor, the strength of a rope tied in a bowline is not an issue. At 15:1 it is completely irrelevant, since even a 50% loss is already accounted for in the rope safety factor. And anyone who rails about the strength loss of a knot does not understand the mechanics of rope rigging and shouldn't be practicing it, let alone teaching it.

    - Robert
    aVERT - a Vertical Emergency Response Training
    To Avert Disaster in the Vertical Environment

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrainingNut
    Simply this.....

    The bowline is NOT used for rescue applications....period.

    It is used for hauling tools....at best.
    This is scary....is there really that much ignorance out there. You claim to be a training nut, judging by the name, but you obviously have not been training as much as you should. If you are confident in your responce, which it sounds like you are, you should at least have an idea of what you are talking about before you make yourself look like an ***, unless you like that!? Riversong is right on point so I will not echo his responce but I hope your are not an instructor and passing on your ignorance to anyone else.

  19. #59
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    Just what I've learned thats all.

    You guys need to take it easy with the personal attack stuff too... I addressed this in another thread as well....I'm just chiming in on a topic like everyone else is, but I'm NOT personally saying things about you am I?
    Last edited by TrainingNut; 08-20-2006 at 09:33 PM.

  20. #60
    Forum Member Riversong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrainingNut
    Just what I've learned thats all.
    And that's exactly how ignorance and prejudice gets spread around. Someone gave you the "gospel" and you repeat it without having the experience, the knowledge, or the judgement to make a proper assesment on your own.

    And, then, in your "Age vs Experience" thread, you complain about older firefighters who don't bow down to your years of experience and training in spite of your youth. Perhaps that's because they can see that you have learned little from either.

    - Robert
    aVERT - a Vertical Emergency Response Training
    To Avert Disaster in the Vertical Environment

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