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  1. #101
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    I personall do not like/appreciate the way Robert comes off, because to me (and others who have read his threads), he comes off as arrogant. I personally tend to take what he has to say with a grain of salt because of his attitude.
    Didn't they tell you in school that you are always right and you need to stop listening to those who are not.

    The rescue community is very hard to change, a lot of egos. From what i've seen that is one of the true universal facts. Their are so many ways to do about everything in tech rescue that a heated debate is not far from most topics.

    Rescuedawg mentioned that he likes the double loop 8. The problem I've seen with it is that the loops are seldom the exact same size. So you have a single loop doing the work.
    How about the figure 9, I've heard it is stronger then the figure 8. Any rope guys using it?

  2. #102
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    Riversong, I do agree that many fireservice instructors are just passing the info on to the students without much experience. I live in Northern Illinois, we don't have much elevation change and the window washers are mostly safe. So you only get a handful of guys who have been on actual rescues.
    I have been fortunate to be on a few, a good amount of trench, collapse and confined space but not a ton of true vertical rescues.
    So we train and make it as realistic as possible.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdsqdcr View Post
    Thanks for your response. I have only been doing technical rescue for about 2 years, and 'teaching' for a little over a year. I teach according to a book, but am always looking for new ways and whys of we do. I look forward to learning new things, learning the why's of what we do.

    That is one of the reasons that I am asking Robert for his sources. I would like to critically read them, absorb them and if my team can, use them. I personall do not like/appreciate the way Robert comes off, because to me (and others who have read his threads), he comes off as arrogant. I personally tend to take what he has to say with a grain of salt because of his attitude.

    If you can provide me any sources to read, I would love to have them.

    Thanks!

    Anthony
    There are a few books, I like "Engineering Practical Rope Rescue Systems" by Mike Brown. I take exception with a few things in the book, but it is, overall, a good book. If you would like a copy of the "in house" Rope Rescue Manual we use in Washington DC, I could send it to you.

    Also, and I'm not trying to sound arrogant, it is hard to imagine that after studying rope rescue for only a year that it is possible to correctly answer questions that students may have. Anyways, we're all here to learn and help and the questioning of dogma is a part of that.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCFDRescue2 View Post
    There are a few books, I like "Engineering Practical Rope Rescue Systems" by Mike Brown. I take exception with a few things in the book, but it is, overall, a good book. If you would like a copy of the "in house" Rope Rescue Manual we use in Washington DC, I could send it to you.

    Also, and I'm not trying to sound arrogant, it is hard to imagine that after studying rope rescue for only a year that it is possible to correctly answer questions that students may have. Anyways, we're all here to learn and help and the questioning of dogma is a part of that.

    DCFD, thanks for the offer of using the traning manual. Please send it me, GDSQDCR@comcast.net . If you need a physical address, let me know.
    You do not sound arrogant at all! i appreciate your words of wisdom. I am teahing my squad, after only a year of training. I am only teaching because nobody else stepped up to take the position. This teaching assignment is one of the many reasons, I am here to learn more about ropes/rescues etc.

    Much appreciated,
    Anthony
    student and teacher.

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    i would use an 8

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    DCFD- If you dont mind Id like to see your in house training manual as well. Im always eager to learn new things. This is my email resqtek@sympatico.ca and let me know if can you send a copy.
    Or any one else on here if you got some training guides I could read I like that very much.

    Thanks
    Wayne (jafa62)

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    Default Either knot

    The simple answer is use either knot. A figure eight on a bight or a bowline. Or you could use an inline figure eight or interwoven or interlocking bowlines if you want to have tails for belay lines.

    I do believe in the KISS principle. That being said, I believe in the do what works as long as it is safe principle. Too many, in fact way too many, rope technicians see only one way to solve a problem. They see only one technique as being correct and all others as being WRONG and UNSAFE. To be honest, those are the instructors and individuals I stay away from. They are closed-minded. I question whether they truly understand the principles and physics behind what they are attempting to teach.

    I believe that all the rope rescue techniques that exist today are really just a toolbox of tools. The toolbox is a perfect analogy. You might be using an adjustable wrench to remove a nut, another person may use an open-end wrench, and a third might use a socket wrench. They are all correct, they all get the job done. Some may work better in certain situations and still in other situations one may not work at all.

    My requirements are that all portions of the connection be interlocked in some fashion with the belay system and that any mechanical links be designed for the anticipated loading.

    That being said, my personal preference for this connection is interlocking longtail bowlines. For a number of reasons, clean and has very small gain, easy to untie when complete, easy to identified as being tied correctly, and finally it take scare of interlocking the belay with the mainline, rescuer and victim.

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    sjchase,

    Well said. I follow the principle of is it safe and is it efficient. There is no room for narrowmindedness in any technical rescue discipline.

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    Smile

    I use both bowline and figure eight (often figure of nine) depending on how much time I have and other conditions. I find myself using the bowline with more confidence when I can't thoroughly or easily inspect or dress the figure eight or nine.

    I have seen more figure eight knots fail from improper dressing than bowlines. Ok, let me rephrase that, I've seen the figure eight fail twice in my experiences and that is all. In both cases, they were tied properly but not properly dressed.

    I have never seen the bowline fail. I have on the other hand seen knots that were thought to be a bowline by the tier fail.

    So basically, as long as you tie the bowline properly, or dress the figure eight properly, either knot will do it's job. The only time one performs better than the other is when the other isn't tied/dressed right.

    I prefer the bowline in most cases where either knot is acceptable simply because I can tie it blindly (in the dark) with more confidence, I can tie it with one hand, I can tie if faster than the figure eight, it's a smaller knot, it is much much easier to untie after loading, and I don't have to dress it as meticulously as the figure eight. Of course this is all for me, you could be the opposite. The point is, do what works best for you, and do it right. (Also, I always tie off the bowline with a stopper knot, not that I have ever seen it fail without a stopper knot, but because I tie everything off with a stopper knot.)

    By the way, anyone who dismisses the bowline in favor of the figuer eight for anything other than personal preference (as I listed above) is just silly.

    If you want super overkill ease of mind confidence, use a figuer nine stopped with a double overhand followed by an ashley, or a yosemite double bowline tied off with a double overhand followed by an ashley stopper.

    Of course, I could be wrong.

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    Question Just wondering??

    Anybody on here ever heard of a "yosimite safety" for a bowline knot? I was intriduced to it from Mr. Bruce Smith himself and it seems to work really well. The statement was made in the class I had the honor of being in with the distinguished gentleman that it actually cuts down on rope strenght loss by "opening the throat" of the bowline knot thus increasing the outside circumferance of the loop that bids the bight to the standing part of the rope.
    Pray for the dead, fight like hell for the living! - Mother Jones

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    The Yosemite Safety is a great way to increase the strength of the bowline. For those who can't picture it, it basically allows two ropes to exit the bowline thus increasing the surface area around the throat of the knot. Basically, there is more material to melt before the knot will fail.

    Bruce is a great guy and has been my mentor for years. He opened my eyes to what rope rescue really was and how the fire service in general has gone overboard in some of its teachings. I have taken 3 or 4 of his classes and have never been disappointed. If you ever get a chance to take a class from Bruce you will not be disappointed.

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    We use long tailed interlocking bowlines. This allows a second attachment point to the victim and the rescuer. Very easy to use. I also like using a long tailed bowline for pick-offs. This way you can be tied into your belay with the long tailed bowline and then use the tail as the second point of attachment to your victim.
    Jason Brooks
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  13. #113
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    Default Either is fine, but...

    FYI, the FEMA Rescue Systems manual calls for a "interwoven" long-tail Bowline for attachment to the litter. The interwoven bowline is then attached to the "O"-ring of the litter's pre-rigged bridle (for horizontal lower). One of the ends of the interwoven bowline is attached to the belay device (tandem prusiks, etc) and the other end to the main line system (using a friction device like a BBR).

    At the little end, one of the long tails of the interwoven bowline is attached to the patients harness (with a bowline that is backed-up with a double overhand knot).

    This is what FEMA says...

  14. #114
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    I know I'm going to catch some heat for this but here it goes. I much prefer the bowline in most cases. I use to be a commerical fisherman and I grown up using the bowline in extreme ways. In the fire service most of the time we have so much of a safety factor in the rope loads that we rarely come even close to really testing any knot. ( and this is the way it should be) but in commerical fishing and dealing with the ocean and mother natural alot of the time you are putting ropes and knots to there extreme limits. The rope tends to be used way past it's normal life span and always wet. I have only seen a bowline fail once and it was strickly from not being tied correct and not the knots fault. I wish I knew about the figure 8 back then so I culd have compared but I will trust in what I have witness and are comfortable using. Plus i think the bowline is easy to tie and can be used in more ways.

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    Default In line figure 8!

    Good discussion,

    I prefer the in line figure 8 because it is easy to tie (once you´ve mastered it), it loads the rope more "naturally" so you can leave a tail for Patient/tender, it doen´t tighten so much it also weakens the rope far less than the bowline because of it wider bends.

    The method described is a fusion between the European way (end of rope w/Figure 8) and the long tail used in the United States.

    Anyway, each of us must have a wide selection of tools and techniques because narrow minded isn´t allowed in Rescue.
    So Bowline and figure 8 users don´t forget or throw away the "other knot".

    And remember Semper Gumpy!

  16. #116
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    Talking

    Wow, good thread! <grin>
    Bowline v's figure 8. Well what about the inline 8?
    I'm stunned it has not been suggested here. Even more so for those who know Bruce Smith. (More on that later)
    My reason for preferring the inline 8? It give's me a nice pig tail that the basket attendant can now prussic into. Same with the belay line.
    So why not a figure 8 OR a bowline?
    Lets start with the bowline, designed when rescue rope was made out of manila. So what? Unlike manila, nylon slips. Ever untie a bowline after it’s had a two man load applied? it's easy! Now untie a figure 8. its HARD. I like that its hard. It means it won’t come undone! After all, the rescue is over and I'm not in a rush. <wink>
    Reason 2. I could be crazy but I thought a renowned swift water rescuer by the name of "Slim" Ray once rated a bowline with an efficiency of 27% compared to 18% for an 8. (18 being stronger) I don’t know about you gents but my intention is usually to build the strongest system I can and as far as I know the 8 will keep be closer to the NFPA's 15:1 than the bowline will, and hey, if you use 10:1, or less, even MORE reason. The fact is that sometimes rope rescue systems DO fail. I don’t have the stats or % on the reasons they have failed or how many where attributed to a bowline or an 8 (though most often it has to do with edge protection) so until then I'll go with the knowledge I DO have.
    So why not a regular single loop figure 8? simple. No pig tail. or at least not one that goes in the right direction. Though this can be overcome with "elephant ears" for me they are more complicated than necessary.

    Back to the inline 8. Concerns? I seem to recall that its efficiency is not much better than a bowline, and worse than a regular 8, however....
    For those who know BruceSmith you should also know he runs the rigging and safety team for an annual 900' + rappel from a certain bridge in WV. If so then you also know that the anchor system for said rappel is inline, with an inline 8 taking the load and a figure 8 at the end of a pigtail going to the backup. Turn it upside down and it should remind you of the topic at hand.
    I'm sure someone someplace has more practical rope experience than Bruce but if so I have yet to meet them, and I've met a few.
    Inline 8 is quick, secure and gives me options.

    As for Riversong, a little blunt on occasion to be sure but I have PM'ed him in the past and found him to be helpful and knowledgeable. While I disagree with him on this point I have found much food for thought in the very good articles he has written and one day i intend to make the trip and take one of his rope courses. I have little doubt it will be very educational. Keep posting RR. It’s appreciated.

    One last thought. NFPA (fire dept rope rescue) overkill? maybe. But please remember that high angle is simply one of over a dozen specialized disciplines that today’s firefighter is expected to be competent in, not to mention a dozen more so called non specialized disciplines. AND the bread and butter stuff like actual fire ground knowledge. (Quick, friction lose for two lengths of 65mm into a gated y into two 30' sections of 38mm? Anyone?) The NFPA has built in redundancies because it's realized that it may have been a while since the average firefighter last rigged a multipoint load share system and when little Johnny falls into the storm sewer it just might be that the fire station which is five minutes around the corner can get there before the local wilderness SAR team can respond to your local inner city neighborhood, and just maybe..... <sigh>
    K.I.S.S. I know, but sometimes it’s just not as “simple” as that.

    Dave
    B.F.E.S.

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    Thumbs up Stokes Knot

    I would use a figure 8 .The bowline is obsolete it is not as strong, harder to tie ,easy to tie wrong and very hard to un tie once it's been loaded.
    A better knot than both is the butterfly it allows you to leave extra for a rescuer tie in.

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    I don't use it, but why not an an inline bowline? It has the two loops that some people seem to want for "strength" and still allows you to create a tail.

    It really is a matter of preference. I'm a bowline man myself. The statement that bowlines are obsolete made me laugh. I would like to know what makes them so. I have a number of reasons why I think the bowline is a quicker, more versatile knot for rescue work.

    IIRC, the latest NFPA standard does not specify what knots need to be tied, they specify what their function must be, thereby leaving flexibility for those of us who in fact trust our lives to something other than an 8.

    I also use non-NFPA aluminum carabiners and I'm still alive and no holes have been ripped in the fabric of space.

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    Talking

    In an earlier post I stated a preference for the figure 8. While that preference still exists I must now admit that after spending 7 days on a ‘ropes that rescue’ tower rescue course my eyes have been somewhat opened by a bowline tying wizard. Thank you Eric. You have to think if it’s good enough for Reed Thorne the bowline can’t be all bad.
    Previously I viewed the bowline as “overhand loop rabbit comes up through the hole runs around the tree….” and was completely unaware of variations such and the bowline with a Yosemite finish or the double loop bowline or any of the more than half dozen variations I was shown. Properly finished I now believe the bowline to be as secure a knot as any 8 and a hell of a lot easier to undo after heavy loading
    I would be interested however to find a definitive in print source for knot strength. I realize that any source is liable to controversy but still, one has to start somewhere.

    Dave
    B.F.E.S.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkdrft View Post
    In an earlier post I stated a preference for the figure 8. While that preference still exists I must now admit that after spending 7 days on a ‘ropes that rescue’ tower rescue course my eyes have been somewhat opened by a bowline tying wizard. Thank you Eric. You have to think if it’s good enough for Reed Thorne the bowline can’t be all bad.
    Previously I viewed the bowline as “overhand loop rabbit comes up through the hole runs around the tree….” and was completely unaware of variations such and the bowline with a Yosemite finish or the double loop bowline or any of the more than half dozen variations I was shown. Properly finished I now believe the bowline to be as secure a knot as any 8 and a hell of a lot easier to undo after heavy loading
    I would be interested however to find a definitive in print source for knot strength. I realize that any source is liable to controversy but still, one has to start somewhere.

    Dave
    B.F.E.S.
    Thanks for the kind word Dave. I've been called many things over the years- ha! - but wizard is a first.

    Strength of the bowline family? For many years I've yanked, pulled, and tugged using bowlines to pull large trees out of their leans to fell away from houses. Using a truck, that is. Never seen a knot fail. And I'm talking occasionally pulling to the point of seeing surface-melt within the knot. Using both 7/16 and 1/2-inch low-elongation nylon ropes from Sterling. It really is an eye-opener and trust builder to see exactly how much abuse these ropes can put up with over and over. Of course if you want to increase your knot strength, make them larger either by retracing strands, doubling, or sticking a "crush biner" within to increase the "turn diameters"- and then also be able to untie even easier.

    I watched the double long tail bowline perform without issue during the 2-person+ load testing we did in AZ in '05- the tests Reed spoke about in his '07 ITRS presentations.

    (see you around in the email Dave)

    As for the folks concerned with the bowline being hard to tie or inspect- C'mon, are you serious? A bloody KNOT is hard for someone who performs rope rescue???!!!??? Someone who rescues/plays/works at height says they have a hard time with a basic connection point? If that's the case, I wouldn't trust them with the even bigger issues of the game, such as the physics involved in rigging a rope rescue op, etc. Nor would I hire a CPA who considers adding numbers to be tough. Or, as Reed once put it, he wouldn't hire the guy who shows up to build fine cabinets with a framing hammer.

    I think that if a team has to be so narrowly rigid so as to require using only an 8-family knot in all rigging, well, perhaps they should reevaluate the training schedule. Maybe monthly instead of annually...

    Eric Ulner

  21. #121
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    I think that if a team has to be so narrowly rigid so as to require using only an 8-family knot in all rigging, well, perhaps they should reevaluate the training schedule. Maybe monthly instead of annually...
    Perfect....pretty much sums it up!
    "If Prometheus was worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the Gods to honour the men who make it their professional business to put it out?"
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  22. #122
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    Smile

    We use interlocked or intertwined long-tail bowlines for the patient/rescue package connection. Our team is composed entirely of volunteers, including homemakers, a farmer, a county road worker, an irrigation engineer, and a welder. All our team members can tie the interlocked or intertwined long tail bowlines correctly in the dark, rain, and cold.

    Many reputable rope rescue schools in the US and Canada teach interlocked/intertwined long-tail bowlines as a very acceptable option for the patient/rescue package connection.

    The administrative code in our state mandates that we use rope with an unknotted tensile strength of at least 40 kN. Assuming that the bowline reduces the tensile strength of the rope by a very conservative 50%, we will still maintain a static system safety factor (SSSF) of 10:1 for a 2 kN load (40 kN * 0.50 / 2 kN = 10). This is acceptable.

    Finally, the long tails eliminate the need to back up the knot or worry about slippage.

    In reality, any interlocked/intertwined knots with long tails will serve well as a patient/rescue package connection (e.g. intertwined alpine butterflys or in-line figure-of-8s), provided that you maintain a minimum 10:1 SSSF.

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