1. #1
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    Question Deer Hunter/Tree stand Removal

    Was wondering if anyone knows of a company that makes anything like a "cherry picker" that attaches to a tree to get a Litter to a deer hunter that is hanging upside down from his tree stand.

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    Has this situtation happened to you already?

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    Yes, this question came from a situation we had this past weekend where we had a deer hunter that was found after hanging upside down from his treestand for approximately 19 hours. If the treestand would have been even two feet higher than it was we are not sure how we would have gotten the hunter down.

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    Hunter hospitalized after tree stand mishap

    Published Tuesday, December 5, 2006 3:49:06 PM Central Time


    By ERIC HJERSTEDT SHARP

    Globe Staff Writer

    HURLEY -- A 61-year-old Oconomowoc, Wis., man spent Friday evening and most of Saturday morning tangled up in the safety harness of his portable deer stand near his second home on Blue Heron Ridge Road in the town of Oma, according to Iron County Sheriff's Department report.

    Deputy Darrell Petrusha and DNR warden Stuart Pfeiffer found John Walter, who had been hunting deer using a muzzle-loading rifle during black powder season, at about 11 a.m. Saturday. Walters was immediately transported to Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff, Wis., Petrusha said. Mercer ambulance and fire personnel, as well as Vilas County EMS rescue workers participated in the rescue, which involved cutting Walter out of the safety harness.

    According to the initial ICSD report, Walter's wife from Oconomowoc had called dispatch in Hurley at 8:54 a.m. Saturday because she was concerned her husband hadn't called the night before, as she said he does each night when he's away hunting.

    Deputies went to the couple's Oma home, and found Walter's dog in the back of his pick-up truck. According to information Walter's wife told dispatch Saturday morning, her husband usually kept the dog in the truck when he was out hunting.

    A search of the house revealed Walter was not home. Petrusha and Pfeiffer began searching along an ATV trail about a quarter of a mile from the residence, where Walter's wife said he often sets up his tree stand.

    Shortly after the search got underway, Petrusha heard cries for help coming from the direction of where he was suppose to be hunting.

    "It took about 10 minutes to evacuate him," Petrusha said. "He was in pretty rough shape."

    According to Petrusha, the safety harness kept him from falling out of his tree stand, but Walter got tangled up in the harness, and was unable to right himself during the ordeal.

    Petrusha notified his wife shortly after finding him. He was rushed off to Howard Young Medical Center, where he was treated and shortly afterwards airlifted to Duluth, Minn., for further treatment, according to Petrusha.

    Iron County deputies went back and fed, watered and walked Walter's dog, which they put back in the truck, as his wife had asked.

    Petrusha had not heard from Walter's wife since he initially talked to her, but said she was on her way up to the area. Officials at Howard Young Medical Center did not say what Walter's condition was before he was airlifted.

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    mercer526,

    All you need is a rope rescue mechanical advantage system anchored up above the victim to haul him up slightly. That allows you to take the weight off the original harness/safety system. Then you can release him from it and lower him to the ground.

    Just basic high angle technique. Good luck.

    canff2706

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    Quote Originally Posted by CANFF2706
    mercer526,

    All you need is a rope rescue mechanical advantage system anchored up above the victim to haul him up slightly. That allows you to take the weight off the original harness/safety system. Then you can release him from it and lower him to the ground.

    Just basic high angle technique. Good luck.

    canff2706
    I agree a simple 4 to one system should work good.
    "If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."
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    What the article says and what really happened are two different things. The deer hunter was NOT wearing any type of safety harness. He was using a self climbing tree stand. He had his feet in position to climb with the stand because he was making his way down the tree. He apparently lost his balance and fell backward. With both of his feet stuck in the stand he hung upside-down till he was found the following morning. The stand had to be cut from the tree because his feet were stuck, and he was high enough that we(EMS/Firefighters) were only tall enough to support his upper body. We could not lift him high enough to get his feet from where they were stuck.

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    Two options:

    1. Cut the tree down.
    2. Use the get the cat out of the tree solution. Deck gun.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    2 things strike me as a definate problems;
    1) Getting a secure anchor point above the klutz. Especially in some skinny pine tree
    2) Trying to get a harness on the guy
    All the neat pre-made mechanical systems are useless unless they can be set and achored above.
    Maybe one of those Little Giant ladders? A 26' should do the trick and it's easy enough to hump in. It also has the advantage of being able to climb up both sides. Might be worth trying.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    O.K. - I will toss out the standard disclaimer - I'm not an expert but I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night - No really I do have a good background in rope work & I have done several incidents involving hunters & tree stands but only one which required us to get one out of a stand (or off the safety strap actually) and that was a fatality so we weren't really pressed for time.

    Before I offer any suggestions I will also preface this by saying that before you try ANY rescue technique involving rope, that you undertake the proper training from qualified instructors. The potential forces that can be generated in a rope system by even the lightest load is enough to injure, disable, or kill the victim or any rescuer when done improperly.

    **********************************************

    Given the infrequency with which (I hope) you'll be faced with this and an unknown level of expertise - I would not recommend any type of haul system. These take some education & training to set up & some practice to work safely. Instead I would suggest using a couple of single pulleys as a "change of direction" (COD) to get a rope from your victim to a decent control device at the anchor point.

    Also given the fact that you will probably have an abundant supply of manpower (don't forget you can use bystanders) then getting 3 or 4 big guys to supply the needed muscle to lift the victim with a simple COD shouldn't be a problem either.

    I also agree with SPFDRum (and CANFF2706) that you are going to need an anchor point above the victim and THAT will be the real trick of the operation.

    Again - the level of skill & training of your people will come into play here - if you have someone who is proficient in tree climbing (has the correct equipment, and the tree in question is stout enough) then they can scale the tree & create an anchor point (various techniques omitted for brevity)

    Another alternative would be to throw a rope over a limb above the victim & use that rope to hold a pulley as your high anchor point (be sure to secure the free end of the rope and to allow for natural stretching of the rope as it's loaded).

    A 3rd option is an extension ladder against the tree as a high anchor point - however (from experience) humping any kind of ladder into some of these places is going to be a fairly time consuming task - even with the aid of 4X4's and ATV's (or horses if you have mounted S&R). Definitely a lot slower than just humping in a rigging bag or two.

    Also I'd suggest using a rigging rack as your decent control device instead of any type of 8 Plate as they are much easier to operate, less likely to jam from operator error and rated at larger load capacities.

    Also - please note that all of these suggestions assume that you can at least reach the victim from the ground well enough to secure your rescue line (and harness if needed) to them - if you have to leave the ground and work from anything other than a ladder (or perhaps standing on an ATV) - i.e. on your own rope, then you MUST (let me say that again for emphasis MUST) get proper training.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
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    Instructor

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    Wink Tree Stand Rescue

    Hey, we know how this goes, we had a 16 yr old girl fall out of her stand about two months ago. We where able to park a big ATV under her and cut the harnest, getting her down. We had considered taking in a roof ladder and put it in place above her and supporting her with another rope to then cut the connector and letting her down, but did not go this way in the end. The trouble with this type of rescue - you only do it once in a blue moon and every tree is different, along with the woods it in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2DFire View Post
    before you try ANY rescue technique involving rope, that you undertake the proper training from qualified instructors.

    Given the infrequency with which (I hope) you'll be faced with this and an unknown level of expertise - I would not recommend any type of haul system. These take some education & training to set up & some practice to work safely.

    you MUST (let me say that again for emphasis MUST) get proper training.
    Can I point out that this is NOT a public citizen forum, but a FF forum and, in particular, a specialized rescue section?

    Do you mind not being so condescending as to assume that those of us discussing this issue are either unaware of the risks or untrained in the proper techniques?

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

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    Riversong, you may be supprised at how few people are actually trained in rope rescue. We train about once a year on it because it is seldom used around here. Some depts may never train on it. You MUST assume some ARE unaware of the risks and some ARE untrained in the proper techniques.

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    [QUOTE=N2DFire;745914]


    A 3rd option is an extension ladder against the tree as a high anchor point - however (from experience) humping any kind of ladder into some of these places is going to be a fairly time consuming task - even with the aid of 4X4's and ATV's (or horses if you have mounted S&R). Definitely a lot slower than just humping in a rigging bag or two.


    QUOTE]


    Well here is my idea. If you feel that the tree is not strong enough to support a rescue line and a safety I feel that ladders are the best option if time permits. I can really see a problem with lugging them into a wooded area. If the tree is not strong enought to support a rescue rope there is also a chance it might not support a ladder depending on the situation, so here's an idea. If you can get two ladders into an area construct an A-Frame with the 2 ladders; tying the tops together. I've down this with 2 roof ladders, but I would not see the problem with 2 extention ladders if you need the extra height. Construct it on the ground and raise it. This gives you a high point for a rope rescue. I figure most of you can figure this out from here. Just my opinion, but really it all depends on the situation, the patient condition, the available equipment, and the manpower.

    I must say this is a very intresting problem, and a very good topic discussion. Personally, I have had several hunters fall out of tree stands in my career, but they have all made it to the ground prior to ems/rescue arrival (and most not by choice).

    John Walter
    Central VFC

    I not an expert on tree stands, so im just going off what I know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rescuetech147 View Post
    If the tree is not strong enought to support a rescue rope there is also a chance it might not support a ladder...
    If it could support a hunter in a tree stand, it can support a rescue highpoint.

    If you can get two ladders into an area...
    Argh... Now it's two ladders to hump into the woods.

    Just call your neighborhood arborist. The ones trained in tree climbing are sometimes trained in arbor rescue as well. They can at least get a high anchor point installed - either on a natural crotch or a "false crotch", which is something any decent arborist knows how to do. And they don't need climbing spikes to ascend a tree, as long as it has branches.

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

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    N2DFire

    You have some great ideas. I am not an expert at all, but I have been trained by some very good people. I don't know if I would have thought about all the suggestions that you have made.

    I am very glad to be able to read in these forums and learn something new.

    I whole heartedly agree that before you try any rope system, that you must be trained. Training does not come with taking a 1 week class. Training comes with practice, at least that is what I tell my team. I also tell them, until someone proves to you that they know a rope system, talk to them like they dont know what it is. Your life may depend on it, or more importantly, my life may depend on it!

    Anthony

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riversong View Post
    Can I point out that this is NOT a public citizen forum, but a FF forum and, in particular, a specialized rescue section?

    Do you mind not being so condescending as to assume that those of us discussing this issue are either unaware of the risks or untrained in the proper techniques?

    - Robert
    Robert,
    First - contrary to your belief - this IS a public forum accessible by anyone world wide with an internet connection and the desire to read it. It just happens to have all of it's subject matter geared toward Fire, EMS, and related disciplines. There is no system of checking credentials at sign-up to validate if a user is in fact a public safety professional or a member of John Q. Public. As a matter of fact it's not even a requirement to create an account to simply read these forums. One must only register if they desire to actually post something.

    Additionally - once registered there is no method of blocking anyone who may not be trained "in the proper techniques" from entering the Specialized Rescue section so then any new eager Jr FF or Explorer (or other John Q. Citizen for that matter) could very well come in here and read what we post & discuss and decide to try it out on their own.

    Therefore I see absolutely no reason whatsoever to Assume that every single person reading this discussion board is certified and trained in the afore mentioned specialized rescue disciplines and as such recognizes the dangers inherent in performing some of these techniques.


    Secondly I see nothing whatsoever in my post that was condescending.

    Main Entry: con·de·scend
    Pronunciation: "kän-di-'send
    Function: intransitive verb
    Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French condescendre, from Late Latin condescendere, from Latin com- + descendere to descend
    1 a : to descend to a less formal or dignified level : UNBEND b : to waive the privileges of rank
    2 : to assume an air of superiority
    Source: http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary


    Nope - I was never undignified nor at any time did I assume an air of superiority. Matter of fact I acknowledged that I was no expert at the beginning of my post.
    Also in the part you quoted - my comment "an unknown level of expertise" was meant to be read as I don't know what experience level that you (the reader) may have. I sure you would agree that it would be in poor form to recommend that someone with no training or experience whatsoever run right out and begin using haul systems.

    I have seen several agencies see an area of need such as this, go out and purchase equipment, and slap it on the truck without so much as reading the literature that came with the product - let alone getting any professional training. If you think for one second that this wouldn't happen then you are kidding yourself.

    My sole thoughts & intention with my repeated warning was to stress the fact that this type of activity is best left up to competent & trained persons and should not be undertaken without training.
    If that warning saved one person from doing a "dumb thing" and getting themselves or someone else hurt then I have served my purpose. If in doing so I came across to you as condescending then so be it. As I have always said in my career I'd much rather someone go on living & be ****ed off at me than to be injured or killed because I didn't say or do something.

    And good sir - while we are on the subject of condescending - I highly suggest that you review some of your own post in the 2 or 1 Rescuer for High Angle. thread. With out the benefit of tone and inflection present in the spoken work - it would be quite easy for someone reading some of your comments there to reach the same (incorrect) conclusion that you did about me.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

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    Hello all...this sounds like a good topic. As long as our unfriendly "expert" stops bashing every one with his "quoting" "Bolding" and "bashing" tactics.

    Riversong...Please be nice.

    The cautions stated prior by some of the others on this forum should be heeded. I have another caution..."Do not asume" that if the tree can support one person (the hunter) that it can support another (the Rescuer).

    Prior to working in the Fire/Rescue business I worked for a very large tree cutting service. I was a foreman for a team that cleared the large strips over mountains for the large power lines. We responded to a crew that had a "tree climbing incident". A climber fell and was injured and stuck. A second climber climbed and did an "Overhead Anchor" and was about to assit the first climber and the tree broke and killed both climbers. The death was not due to the climbers falling but was due to the broken part of the tree falling and hitting the two climbers. It was determined that there was a rotten/dead spot in the tree that was unseen from the outside.

    The "Overhead Anchor" is a very good idea but much caution and knowledge must be used. We use the "overhead Anchor" all the time in "Tower" and "Structural/Industrial" high angle rescue. Remember your "Critical Angles" and your "Change of Direction" rules and how they appy to "Load Amplification". If you place an anchor on the tree above the pt with a "COD" of 0 degrees you double whatever weight that you apply to the anchor point...the tree. That makes your 200 lbs rescuer into a 400 lbs load and so on.

    Some one mentioned ladders. In some situations laddering the tree would be the safest thing. Also two ladders of the same size work great. Build an "A" frame with the two ladders. NOTE: At this time I do not have the time and/or interest to type out the instructions for building a safe "A" frame but I will state that you should NOT build one with out propper training...You need to know what you are doing. You can also raise a ladder perpendicular to the tree that is supported by ropes (Church raise) and climb to the victim. A little giant ladder would be great also.

    If you have a "Sky-hook" in your truck you may want to use it. Make sure that you check the rating on it first.

    Take care people and be safe...
    MEDIC-0372

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    Quote Originally Posted by MEDIC0372 View Post
    Hello all...this sounds like a good topic. As long as our unfriendly "expert" stops bashing every one with his "quoting" "Bolding" and "bashing" tactics.

    Riversong...Please be nice.
    Are you trolling these threads just to stick it to me? You are the only one on this thread who has attacked an individual poster, using name-calling and patently false accusations.

    You suggest that "quoting" which the forum is designed to do and which almost everyone does, and "bolding" which is also a common and perfectly appropirate practice since it is the only way - without voice inflection - that one can emphasize a point - are somehow insulting.

    And you'll notice that my very polite request for another poster to avoid condescension had half as many "bolds" (only one) as did the person's words I quoted.

    So "be nice"? I'd suggest you take your own advice, stop the bashing and stick to the subject so that we might all learn from each other.

    If you place an anchor on the tree above the pt with a "COD" of 0 degrees you double whatever weight that you apply to the anchor point...the tree. That makes your 200 lbs rescuer into a 400 lbs load and so on.
    And, by the way, you're referring to a 180 degree change of direction (from straight up to straight down). If it were 0 degrees, there would be no change of direction.

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

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    Riversong...I am not trolling these threads to stick it to you. I am sorry if it appears that way. There are many good threads in this forum and you have contributed well to them. You have some very good points and I for one, like reading them. But...there are threads that some people mess up by saying negative things to and about other people and their knowledge and tactics. I am not going to post examples but I am sure that if you read back over many of the threads in this forum you can find examples of peoples comments that tend to put a damper on the thread. As I said...I am sorry and I am not targeting you. If I am ever in your area I will buy you a Beer.

    In regards to the "COD" of 0 degrees doubling the load on the anchor...When I speak of the 0 degree angle I am speaking of the inside angle. The angle the rope makes when it leaves the pulley. That is the "critical" angle that I am speaking of. You could call it a 360 degree angle if you want but that would be describing the outside angle not the critical anlgle. Most books and schools describe the critical angle as the "interior angle" that is formed by the rope and/or webbing.

    I wish that I could draw a picture to explain but I can't. But if you draw a straight line across the bottom of a paper and draw a circle, on top of the line, but touching it in the middle of the line...I will explain. What you now have in front of you is a rope with a pulley in the middle of it with no change of direction. Now... draw a line straight up from the pulley (the circle) at a 90 degree angle. You now have an interior angle of 90 degrees. That angle will increase your load on the anchor by approx. 1.41 times the load being raised. Now...draw a line straight back to form an 0 degree angle. That will then create a force on the anchor of approx. 2 times that of the load being raised.

    Also you can draw a large circle on your paper and draw three lines (make three equal pie shapes) inside the circle. Now what you have is three equal angles of 120 degrees. At 120 degrees all forces applied are equal...so if you have an anchor system and/or an change of direction (pulley) and your load on one end was 100 lbs you would then have 100 lbs and each of the other two ends. If you bring two of the lines closer together (decrease the interior angle) you increase the load/force on the other line (or the terminal end of that line...we call it the anchor or the load). If you move two of the lines away from each other you decrease the load/force on the third line.

    These interior angles are what we call the "Critical Angles". On "CODs" we want to keep the interior angle larger to help decrease the load on the anchor system (the anchor system for the pulley). The opposite applies to the interior angle that is formed when we make an anchor system. It should be kept as small as posible to decrease the load on the anchor system itself.

    Sounds confusing I know.

    Also...I do know that some of you already know this stuff and if you do fine. It was intended for those that do not know.
    Last edited by MEDIC0372; 02-16-2007 at 08:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MEDIC0372 View Post
    Sounds confusing I know.
    Only if you make it confusing.

    In regards to the "COD" of 0 degrees doubling the load on the anchor...When I speak of the 0 degree angle I am speaking of the inside angle. The angle the rope makes when it leaves the pulley. That is the "critical" angle that I am speaking of.
    Except you didn't refer to either the "critical angle" nor the "inside angle". You spoke of the change of direction angle, which is a vector changing from up to down, or 180 degrees.

    If you refer to the interior angle formed by the rope as it enters and leaves the pulley, then the formula for the load on the pulley and its anchor is:

    2cos(angle/2)
    180o = 0 load
    150o = 0.5 x load
    120o = 1.0 x load
    90o = 1.4 x load
    45o = 1.8 x load
    0o = 2.0 x load

    These interior angles are what we call the "Critical Angles". On "CODs" we want to keep the interior angle larger to help decrease the load on the anchor system (the anchor system for the pulley).
    Actually, the rope angle on a COD (or CD) is determined by the terrain and which direction is most appropriate or safest for the haul line. Understanding how the necessary angle change will impact the load on the CD helps in building a sufficiently strong CD anchor (not using a small tree branch, for instance).

    The opposite applies to the interior angle that is formed when we make an anchor system. It should be kept as small as posible to decrease the load on the anchor system itself.
    You mean to minimize the load on the elements of the anchor system - such as the two strands of a basket-hitched sling around a wide pole, or the two or more independent anchors in a multi-point anchor system.

    anchor strand stress = 1/cos(angle/2) x ½
    30o = 0.52 x load
    60o = 0.58 x load
    90o = 0.71 x load
    120o = 1.00 x load
    150o = 1.93 x load
    160o = 2.88 x load
    170o = 5.74 x load
    175o = 11.5 x load
    176o = 14.3 x load
    177o = 19.1 x load
    178o = 28.6 x load
    179o = 57.3 x load

    A good rule of thumb is to keep the internal angles of a sling in the anchor system to within 90o, if possible, and to no more than 120o. If using a multi-point, load-sharing anchor because the individual anchor points are not "bomb-proof", then it is best to keep the angles in the sling system between anchor points to no more than 60o (0.58 load) and preferably around 30o (0.52 load).

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

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    Smile

    Yep...sounds like you got it.

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    Thumbs up Hmmm...........

    I have been around a bit, and have worked some jobs involving people ensnared in some fashion in trees, building frameworks, bridges, etc. First and foremost, N2D is absolutely right, on two counts, as well as some others. Although Rope work, with the possible exception of Confined Space incidents, is not done in IDLH Atmospheres, it is one of the most dangerous parts of our job. Therefore - ADEQUATE TRAINING before going to work is paramount. Period. Second, That this is a forum where absolutely no Fire/Rescue credentials are needed, should be glaringly obvious to anyone who has been around for a while. One thing that I did, about thirty years ago, was to help hump a 3 section 35ft ladder about a mile to set up a overhead haul system to Rescue a guy who got caught in a tree while gathering Mistletoe. THAT was a fun outing....... People do get themselves into some weird situations, or get put there by others. Last night, I ran a call to a nearby Amusement Park where a Roller Coaster car got stuck. Our S.O.P. is to provide a Standby Crew and let the Park Maintenence people do their thing. This works well, but the potential is always there, that we'll have to bring people down with our tactics and gear. Train, Train, Train, You never know........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  24. #24
    eliminator46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Don't forget the basics. If we can get above the PT, a simple cench around the main tree trunk a few feet above the PT, lock in a single pulley COD, down to the ground at an angle of say 45deg to anchor and second COD, you have instant 2:1 lowering system. A couple of guys could use to pick PT up to unload the feet, cut away and lower.

    By the way, great page, I am new to the site, but not new to the industry. You will never here me say I know all either.


    Semper Fi

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