1. #1
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    Default Roof Rescue Procedures

    I am looking for procedures to remove a person from a roof (1 to 3 story, flat or pitched), using a stokes basket and ground ladders. The scenario is a roofer or homeowner who is injured or has a medical emergency and cannot climb down a ladder. We have plenty of life-safety rope and related hardware.

    Anyone have a procedure they would like to share? I want to incorporate this into our annual training schedule.
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    For peaked roofs we have had some luck with placing a roof ladder and using it as an anchor. Put the hooks over the peak, sling the beams and a rung and lower using an 8. Flat roofs we would try to sling the stokes under the tower ladder and pick them. If you can find an anchor on the flat roof, protect the edge or use a roller and lower them using an 8. For just about all rope lowers with stokes I like a modified vertical where you wrap the rails with rope, tie in at the head and keep the stokes in a fairly horizontal position with tag lines.

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    With ground ladders, we strap them into a basket and slide the basket down the ladder, with guidance from a FF and ropes from above.
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    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Thumbs up Roof ladder + extension Ladder + stokes basket + rope = removal

    Roof ladder secured by its hooks over peak or edge of roof, extension ladder to roof's edge at a shallower angle than for climbing (try about 60 degrees), patient in stokes (properly packaged), lower line and belay line anchored to roof ladder in appropriate fashion with appropriate hardware (or use the rungs of the roof ladder itself as your friction device) and lower on.
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    Thumbs up Hey Bones...

    Good picture of a ladder slide !!
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    I have always liked the ladder hinge also. You can get some info by google searching for "ladder hinge". It works well, is fast, and should you have more than one pt to move, it is a charm.

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    Given a choice, I'd take the ladder slide instead of the ladder hinge. The slide is quicker to set up and operate....
    Luke

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    One of the things that I started is attaching an extra set of straps to the feet on the backboard. Mostly this is done for those of us that have to retrieve patients without a basket. Done it a couple of times now and it works great. Just run the straps under the feet anytime the patient is going to be tilted headup. Keeps them from sliding down and coming off the board before the doctor orders it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halligan84
    If you can find an anchor on the flat roof, protect the edge or use a roller and lower them using an 8.
    A rescue-8 is, at best, a one-person rappel device and should not be used for patient lowering in rope rescue. It has less friction than even the common sport climbing friction devices. A heavy rappeler will often have trouble controlling their descent with a rescue-8.

    Quote Originally Posted by herbroberson
    extension ladder to roof's edge at a shallower angle than for climbing (try about 60 degrees)
    Beware: this is using a ladder outside of its intended function. A ground ladder is rated for its load at a 75 degree angle. "Flattening" the angle dramatically increases the load on the ladder rails.

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanEMVFD
    One of the things that I started is attaching an extra set of straps to the feet on the backboard. Mostly this is done for those of us that have to retrieve patients without a basket.
    Likewise, this is using a spinal immobilization device as a rescue litter, which is beyond its design function. Can it work in a pinch - sure. Does it expose you to extreme liability if something goes wrong - sure.
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    All that being said, the KISS principle would dictate that a ladder slide should be considered first as the simplest alternative. However, this is a steep-angle scenario and requires careful line tending and a good anchor in addition to extra precautions for preventing a pendulum of the "package" back into the side of the building (a tag line to the toe of the litter).

    If it's available, a confined space litter is narrower and will fit better between the rails of a ground ladder.

    - Robert
    Last edited by Riversong; 06-01-2006 at 10:38 PM.
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    If you double wrap the 8 you'll have no control problems. Figure 8's have been around forever and while their are better things out there, they still work fine.
    You will not damage a fireservice ladder with the slide or hinge, again it has been in the books and used for years.
    I do agree that you should use a SKED, stokes or REEVES don't use the board by itself.
    I'd use the ladder slide first, it is a good solid choice.

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    24' extension ladder testing that I had done a few months ago was done by placing a 500lb weight on the ladders beams, while the ladder was resting on 2 "horses" at a 0 angle. Somehow, I doubt sliding a person in a basket down one at a less than horizontal angle is going to overload the ladder, or be anywhere near the stress level that the required testing achieves.
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    Thumbs up Great Picture BONES

    We too have a bradco basket and we would use the ladder technique but using a brake bar rack instead of an 8. We use Brake bar racks for all rope rescue situations even a rappel backed up by 2 prusiks. All ladders are in a bailout position once firefighters have accended. We also would use our Ladder Truck and retract the patient to the bed of the truck while Pt is locked in on the tip. Good Picture Bones...What is a ladder hinge?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD
    If you double wrap the 8 you'll have no control problems. Figure 8's have been around forever and while their are better things out there, they still work fine.
    If you double wrap the 8-plate you'll twist the rope so much that it becomes all but unmanageable. And that's just one of the drawbacks to the 8-plate.

    Even with a single wrap, the 8-plate imparts more twist than any other device except perhaps the Munter hitch. It requires unclipping from the harness in order to reeve onto the rope, opening the possibility of dropping it. As I said above, it offers less friction than any other descent device. It's difficult to lock off while maintaining position on the rope. And it's been known to break the locking collar on locking carabiners, open the gate, and come disconnected (at least one documented death from this).

    Which makes it a wonder that it still retains the popularity it does, which I suspect is primarily due to a lack of exposure to better devices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    24' extension ladder testing that I had done a few months ago was done by placing a 500lb weight on the ladders beams, while the ladder was resting on 2 "horses" at a 0 angle. Somehow, I doubt sliding a person in a basket down one at a less than horizontal angle is going to overload the ladder, or be anywhere near the stress level that the required testing achieves.
    Even fire service ladders that are rated for 750 lbs are rated by the manufacturer (and independent testing labs) at the required 75 degree angle. Safe working load will drop dramatically as the angle is decreased.

    Sure you can rest a static load on a ladder without permanent damage, but that's very different from the dynamic load of a moving body and it's using a piece of equipment outside its design parameters which exposes the user to potential liability if injuries result.

    You're literally "out on a limb" if you do that.

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    The question here was for a 1 - 3 story building. As with any tool, you should understand it's limits and abilities. I have used both open and closed rappel racks and most other types of descenders out there. My choice is generally an 8 plate for a simple rescue such as this.

    First, we are talking about a 1 person load, the victim. When used from an anchored static position I have found no problems controlling one and two person loads. In this short of a descent, the twisting is simply of no concern.

    Second, I have heard the horror stories about 8's, Gibbs, failed ropes, etc. There is very little factual evidence (NIOSH reports, etc..) floating around out there to justify some of the overkill built into what should be a simple rescue operation.

    The stresses placed on a fire service ladder should actually be LESS than what gets placed on a ladder during normal use with fully geared firefighters climbing, working, etc.. A stokes lower is a controlled, smooth operation that spreads the weight of the victim (again, generally less than a fully geared firefighter) across a larger surface area of the ladder. That being said, I firmly believe it is easier to use 2 tag lines and delete the use of the ladder. Usually results in a faster evacuation and avoids tricky transitions from varying roof angles to the angle of the ladder.

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    I will agree that the 2 tag line is just as easy to use. However you walk up and down a ground ladder 100 times or more in its 20 yr life and you honestly think it will fail. Sorry wont buy it.And if you take firefighter survival they want you to throw out the NFPA ladder placement. I also dont like the 8 I perfer a bar brake for any decending and we use 2 guys over the edge for every rescue with NO Belay line. No where have we ever heard of a rope failing due to weight or a ladder for that fact for a 2 man load? Just my thoughts. The ladder procedure works well and if it works then use it.

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    If spinal isnt a concern, use a sked, slides much easier on the rails, also if possible we use the squad as an anchor on the opposite side, this way our belay and haul line are controlled by guys on the ground seems to keep the confusion on the roof down...just my two cents.

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    I'll support Riversong here- Figure 8's may have been around a long time and used this way, but there are better (And most definitely, SAFER) devices for belaying
    Luke

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    The Petzl D20 now comes in a general rating. Their is no better, safer and rescue proof decender then the D20. However under a rescue load a double wrapped 8 will work, as will the rack and several other things.
    An 8 will also double as a anchor plate, since a steel 8 is rated for close to 45,000 lbs it is the strongest thing in your system. I still feel that the 8 has a place and if the guys can use an 8 then they can use anything.

    Oh, and for the ladder thing, if your putting much stress on your ladder with this procedure you are doing something wrong. the stokes slidding down the ladder is probably less stressful then climbing down it. A shallower angle then 75 is being used more and more on the fireground (don't try a ladder bail at 75 degrees unless you insurance is paid up)
    Fire Rescue magazine has an article this month on ladder use at shallower angles. The ladder will take it just fine.
    Last edited by ADSNWFLD; 06-07-2006 at 09:59 PM.

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    I too like the brake bar,I like the ability to adjust to different load on the go.Also the double prusik, none or very little rope damage. By the way If no one minds me asking. I would like to hear more about the ladder hinge.
    Have done many ladder slides but never a ladder hinge. Just want another tool in the bag of tricks.

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    We have used a Ground Ladder slide with patient either in a stokes or Sked.

    Utilized our Quint for a pick off as well as utilizing on site machinery that they are usually utilizing daily to access the upper areas of structure.

    Whatever the quickest and safest means of extraction is.
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