Check out this video sent to us by Francisco Palacios, owner of Ascendere SAS in Cali, Columbia. There seems to be a slight disagreement between the firemen and police on the scene of this training. What they are arguing over brings itself to light around the 00:46 mark.
There seems to be much debate about how to properly load the pulley on the track line. Ultimately the law does win, but they certainly are not right.
After sharing a bunch of stories from around the world, here are two rope stories from the general where Rescue 2 Training is based out of.
The first story is of a cave rescue out of Monroe County, WV. The victim was approximately 4000′ inside of the cave when he fell approximately ten feet and broke his leg. A mere 8 hours and 75 members later, he was back outside of the cave and on the way to the hospital. A picture from one of the local news stations shows just how much rope work went into this rescue.
I wasn’t there, so I feel a little bad about Monday Morning Quarterbacking it, but… A picture is just a snapshot of one small moment in time, but from looking at the picture, it seems that there were a couple of missed opportunities to tighten up the rigging a little bit. For starters, the double overhand safeties on the 8’s seems like a bit overkill. Additionally, the bights on the 8’s are overly long. And if clearance is an issue, and I assume it is being in a cave, why not just tie direct to the litter bridle with a scaffold knot and get yourself an extra 1′ or more of additional space? Those minor quibbles aside, to looks like it was a difficult rescue and that they had to construct a highline in a cave just to provide a high anchor point to pull him up.
Even closer to home is the report of a man who fell 75 feet down Sugarloaf mountain while hiking and then had a seizure. Being on the dividing line between two counties, both Frederick and Montgomery County units assisted with the helicopter evacuation flown by Maryland State Police. I’m not sure about Mont. Co, but I know for certain the the Frederick County ATR (Advanced Technical Rescue) team does perform regular drills with the MSP helicopters in order to perform on these types of calls without any confusion. If your agency has the potential to run extract calls with a helicopter, do you have any special training to make sure nothing goes wrong when the helicopter shows up?
From the Frederick ATR Facebook page (cool video there of rescuers perspective too):
An interesting point from the news interview in the link below: When asked if he would go hiking again, the man who fell said that he probably wouldn’t do it unless he go there proper footwear and even then, would only stay on the trail. That’s an interesting point that might be lost on most people who have no idea why they might have fallen. Good for him for being self aware!
The title of a “The Greatest Highline Ever” is being given to a group of people who probably knew very little about rope rescue as we know it and also probably wish they never had to set up this highline.
On May 11, 1945 an aircraft carrier called the USS Bunker Hill was near Okinawa, Japan supporting the invasion of Okinawa when it was struck by two kamikaze planes in quick succession. The ship was heavily damaged and the crew suffered massive casualties. 346 sailors and airmen were killed, 43 were lost at sea and never found, and 264 were wounded.
A light cruiser named the USS Wilkes Barre was one of several ships that came to the rescue. The Wilkes Barre was brought alongside Bunker Hill, with the Wilkes-Barre ’s bow placed hard against the Bunker Hill’s starboard quarter. The cruiser played 10 streams of water on the persistent fires, while 40 men, trapped astern in Bunker Hill scrambled to safety. Additionally, the injured were ferried to safety from one ship to another utilizing a highline. The title of “Greatest Highline Ever” goes to the “Greatest Generation”. Take a look at the pictures below and see if you agree. Additionally, take 3 minutes to watch the Youtube video below. There is some really compelling footage of the actual attack as well as some pretty gruesome pictures of the aftermath. Let’s not forget the sacrifice these guys made.
We’ve had a huge demand to run this class again this spring, so we’ve finally added this open enrollment class to our calendar. Here is your chance to keep up on the latest equipment and trends in the rope rescue world.
Join us in Pennsylvania Dutch country for our latest presentation of Modern Technologies in Rope Rescue at the Lancaster County Public Service Training Center on April 25 and 26 2015. Using the newest techniques on the newest equipment in an urban setting, come learn ideas that have been proven and tested in the real world in both urban and wilderness settings.
Topics included this time around include:
Use of the AZTEK kit to pass knots, perform a pickoff, basket attending, and a whole lot more.
In depth discussion and use of the Two Tension Rope System utilizing the MPD.
Use of the Arizona Vortex high directional in the urban environment.
The Rescue 2 Training original: The Appalachian Doortex! For urban anchoring and elevator rescue. High Directional? Anchor? Both!?… Come find out!
3 dimensional anchoring with the UFO.
The Skyhook capstan winch.
…And much more.
The cost of this two day, 16 hour class is $295 per person. Just bring a harness, helmet, and any ideas or equipment you would like to see used.
Please contact Kelly Byrne at 240-462-6610 or email@example.com registration information or questions.
Take a look at the first video in the link below. It’s a news story out of Fort Wayne, IN that I assume was supposed to be a simple feel good piece highlighting the local rope rescue team. If you want to jump right to the good stuff, go to the 2:10 mark in the video. What you will see is a really big, really expensive mousetrap.
I do feel a little bit bad about Monday morning quarterbacking this video… but not enough to cause me not to do it.
First, the critical point at the Kootenay Carriage. It would appear that there are two track lines, and two upper control lines (although no lower control lines) with tails going down to the rescuer and victim. The Kootenay, however, remains a critical point. Do I think it will fail? No. But we rig for failure caused by human factors, not equipment factors. Should that Kootenay fail though, the basket could take a major and possibly fatal swing fall.
Second, there is difficulty with attempting to get the basket back up over the edge after they took a ride down and back up the track lines. The reason given in the report is that the “ropes stretched”. While I don’t doubt they stretched, take a look at the link the news story below the youtube video. The second video is extra footage they got while doing the shoot. It is obvious from watching it that they were going to have this problem. While initially loading the basket over the edge you can see how far it drops down when it is initially loaded. It’s about the same distance that they are below the edge when they come back up.
Rope stretch? Maybe. Foreseeable problem? More likely. I’m curious if the attendant could have stood on the end of the basket in order to raise the head up and over the edge. Also a factor is the excessively tall bridle they use. Judging by the video, I’m guessing from the bottom of the basket to the top of the carriage to be six feet in height.
Third, you can see from this picture just how close the resultant is to being outside of the footprint of the tripod. When the track lines were tensioned to raise the load, I’m curious if the friction in the pulleys caused them to temporarily move the resultant until they found their center again.
Fourth, two statements made during this gave me a bit of heartburn. The first is that the “white rope didn’t work the way it was supposed to.” Ropes work exactly as they are rigged. Unless it broke under tension due to unseeable chemical degradation, it was rigging failure. It’s hard to tell what the white lines were rigged to, but I’m guessing they got pulled up off of whatever they were on. The second statement is that “nobody was dropped…they were lowered”. If it was unexpected and uncontrolled, it was a drop. Maybe I would have been inclined to say the same thing out of embarrassment while on camera, but lets call it what it is.
Last, neither the reporter in the basket, nor the one on the roof seen just before the tripod topples, have a helmet on. If I were running this show, it probably would have been an afterthought for me too. Having seen this video, I’d be willing to bet it would be a fatal blow if a tripod toppling like that hits you in the head, helmet or not.
I do applaud Ft. Wayne TRT for allowing this to air (if in fact they had a choice). It’s sometimes hard to admit a goof up. It’s even harder to have it on tape for guys to critique from a distance without knowing the full circumstances (me). The least we can do is try to learn from it.
Being a fireman and a rope geek, the topic of emergency escape and belaying is a big one to me. So I’d like to share with you this video that was found, through rigorous searching of the internet, covering just those topics.
Should you be interested in the device (doubtful), the name of the company is shown later in the video.
These two videos were posted previously, but the links have gone bad. So here they are again for you to see how things can go REALLY wrong if you don’t know what the heck you’re doing. Both are from Peru. Just so it’s out there again: If you are visiting Peru and they ask if you want to ride a highline, it’s probably in your best interest to politely decline.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to move somebody over water. Being a rope geek, I think it should always be done with rope. There might be some debate about whether it always the right answer, but I would argue that almost anything would be better than what transpired in the pictures below.
A sick passenger on a cruise liner was being transferred to a smaller boat to be taken to shore for medical treatment. She was placed on stretcher and transferred to the smaller boat while both boats were under way !
Things are going along just fine (but just look at the snow and ice on top of the smaller boat):
Moments later, rescuer Bob “Butterfingers” Johnson knows that he will never, ever get rid of his nickname. This is the victim taking her unintentional swim test in 27 degree water:
For another option of getting people off of a boat, check out the rope operation called a “Breeches Buoy”. It’s the older brother of the high line and was used for getting sailors to shore off of ships that had wrecked near the shore. It is basically a high line with all controls for lowering and retrieving the victim based on the shore.
While it obviously is not for rescue, the concept of wedging the bicycle between two tensioned highlines is an interesting thought. If you have any thoughts on how to apply it to rescue, I’d love to hear them.
Enrollment is now open for our Modern Technologies in Rope Rescue. The class will be held August 24 and 25 at the Lancaster County Public Service Training Center in Lancaster County, PA at a cost of $295 per student.
This class covers multiple versions of the bowline along with some pretty god reasons to consider them, several uses of the AZTEK kit, a thorough introduction to the Two Tension Rope System concept with the MPD, and the use of the Arizona Vortex Artificial High Directional in some pretty typical urban setup configurations as well as some Rescue 2 Training exclusive uses of it in a few of the Appalachian Doortex configurations. As you can see in the pictures below from our last class, we did a good bit of work with the Rock Exotica UFO. One particularly challenging and fun scenario was to change the direction of our main and belay lines 180 degrees on an anchor that was free floating in the middle of the stair landing. There was also some excellent use of the UFO to simplify the rigging of a Two Rope Offset.
In addition to the Arizona Vortex, Appalachian Doortex, MPD’s, UFO’s, and AZTEK’s, we’ll also have available for use in this class three new products (some not even on the market yet) from Rock Exotica:
Here are some pictures from our last MTRR class; we did some heavy duty 3D rigging along with some urban AZV usage:
This class is different each time we run it and we’ve developed new techniques each class with input and ideas from the students. If you’re interested in seeing and helping develop what’s on the cutting edge of rope rescue equipment and techniques, contact Kelly to reserve a spot in this popular class. Call 240-462-6610 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rescue 2 Training Mailing List
Sign up here for our mailing list and receive priority notice of forthcoming training opportunities and other cool stuff.