1. #1
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    Default Hand-Carrying the Litter

    Hello.

    I'm quite new to SAR and just got back yesterday from a lovely weekend of basic training.

    I had a great time and few issues except for one: carrying the litter by hand.

    We're out in Colorado so there's a considerable possibility of carrying out a heavy vic in a litter for a good distance by hand over rough terrain with little relief and without a wheel or ATV or anything. So of course, this means that in training, we carried heavy vics in the litter up the steepest slopes over the roughest terrain for miles. Over and over again. It kicked my butt.

    I didn't expect this task to be easy (especially because I'm a smaller, 17 yo girl) but of course I'd like to minimize any hand blisters, wrist injuries and shoulder strains in the future.

    I know that I need to lean outwards and lift with my legs, but can anyone provide any further advice or tips? Even suggestions as to a type of glove that works well with litter-carrying or good exercises would be greatly appreciated. Preparation is most of the work anyways.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    Sounds like you had some fun.

    We use webbing to make loops (kinda like a dog leash) and wrap your hand through the loop. Also you can make bigger loops / slings and put over your shoulder and/or a combination of one end over shoulder and one end around your wrist.

    Sorry that I am not clear and that I don't have any pictures...but if you just play around with it you can come up with some sort of a system that may work for you.

    Also...it is not too smart to work till you are tired. Your team must rotate prior to getting tired. You will actually last longer if you do shorter shifts carring the load. You must also keep the machine fueled...eat and drink.

    Take care,
    MEDIC-0372

  3. #3
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    Not only can you use the webbing for had loops, but make should straps as well. You can then distribute the load to your entire body that way. Also, don't forget that you can rig rope systems to assist in hauling the crew that is carrying the basket. While this is not always possible, it is a great help. if you are going up a slope, rig a z-drag to assist this will help more than you can imagine. Rope gloves are great since they have extra padding on the palms. But as previously stated, rotate often to prevent getting tired and more importantly injuries.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

  4. #4
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    Default

    If you have a class 3 harness on you can use your pickoff strap to take some of the weight from you.
    Attach the strap to your "D" ring and to the stokes then take up some slack. It works OK, just depends on how far you have to go. I like the wheel myself.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD View Post
    If you have a class 3 harness on you can use your pickoff strap to take some of the weight from you.
    Attach the strap to your "D" ring and to the stokes then take up some slack. It works OK, just depends on how far you have to go. I like the wheel myself.
    this was my suggestion as well, but definitly causes back pain after awhile

  6. #6
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    Check out your local gym or fitness supply store for weight lifting wrist straps, and get them to show you how they work. They take the majority of the load and transfer it to your wrist (in-line with your forearm, not bent), so constant grip strength is not required.

    I would beware the metal hook units, as they might take you with them if they snagged in a fall. Just the simple leather or nylon woven straps will work well, and one set can be split up between two rescuers.

    Don't forget to swap sides from time to time to share the load between shoulders.

















    And then tell your cheap-***** SAR Manager to buy you guys a wheel. lol
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  7. #7
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    Oh yeah... the wheel is my best friend. However, in most of our training we don't use it so we can get used to the work of carrying the litter without the wheel, in case circumstances prevent us from having it.
    Thank you so much for the tips, though. I just got back from another weekend of training and my experience was far less painful. A better pair of gloves did wonders, as did doing more specific exercises for my shoulder, forearm, wrist and hand.

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