Chapter 16: Rescue
- List as least
two types of materials and designs used in rope manufacture. (p. 260-262)
- Define and describe the following:
Dynamic rope (p. 262)
Static rope (p. 262)
Webbing (p. 262)
- List at least five rules of rope etiquette (p. 264)
- List three harness classifications (p. 264-265)
- Describe how to correctly tie these knots:
Figure 8 on a bight (p. 266)
Figure 8 bend (follow through) around an object joining
two ropes together (p. 267)
Water knot (overhand bend) (p. 268)
List the different advantages and disadvantages of
materials used in carabiners (p. 270)
- List the functions of at least two different types of
carabiners and describe procedures used in caring for them (p. 270)
- Describe the advantages and disadvantages of at least
two types of stretchers or litters
- Describe how to tie an improvised harness (p. 265)
- Describe the procedures for packaging a patient and
transporting him or her via litter
PowerPoint slides, Chapter 15
LCD projector, laptop, rope and
webbing samples, carabiners, harnesses, litter
II. Teaching Points
A. Rope construction (p. 261)
- The most common materials now used to manufacture
ropes are nylon and polyester.
- Do not rot
- Easily inspected for wear
- High strength-to-weight ratio
- Natural fiber rope is still made; should be used for
utility purposes only
- Types of rope construction includes:
- Laid rope
- Braided rope
B. Laid rope (p. 261)
- Simply many small strands of twisted fibers that are
combined with other strands to form the diameter of the rope
- At one time, laid rope was the most common rope used
for climbing, caving, etc.
- “Untwisting” when loaded with weight, spinning the
rescuer during a rappel, and exposing all fibers throughout its length to
C. Braided rope (p. 261)
- Woven by overlapping multiple strands much like one
would braid hair
- Much like laid rope, these ropes also allow the
fibers of the rope to be exposed to abrasion and they stretch a great deal
- One attempt to combat the abrasion and elongation
problem was “braid-on-braid” construction, where a braided rope was woven
over a smaller braided core.
- Braided ropes
- Not recommended for emergency use or as a lifeline
- Commonly used for utility purposes.
- Can be found in most hardware stores
D. Kernmantle ropes (p 262)
using two parts:
woven tube that serves to support a load and also protect the inner core
of strands of fibers that are bundled together to provide the majority of the
strength of the rope.
ropes are very strong, easy to tie knots in, and very abrasion resistant.
of the sheath does not greatly affect the strength of the rope
is the type of rope construction recommended for a lifeline in rescue work.
types of Kernmantle rope:
inner core is made of strands that are relatively straight and parallel to each
it is important that the bouncing of load is limited, low-stretch rope should
stretch rope is not used in situations where a rescuer may fall any distance
that may shock-load a system.
inner strands are twisted or braided, thereby allowing them to elongate or
stretch under load.
is an important feature for any climbing activity, as the stretch of the rope
will act as a “shock absorber” during a fall.
property benefits not only the climber, but also the rope itself.
as strong or as abrasion resistant in comparison to low stretch.
E. Webbing (p. 262)
easier to pack, and can be used in a variety of situations
be used as an improvised harness or anchor attachment, or to secure a patient
to a litter
main types of webbing construction:
single piece of material woven into a strip
to be stiff
used in rescue applications
in two very different ways:
construction method is the better choice for rescue work.
chain structure method is weaker and susceptible to abrasion that could cause
it to unravel like a woven sweater.
to remember to purchase tubular webbing for rescue work.
F. Static safety factor (p. 262)
- Commonly accepted standard: NFPA 1983, Standard on
Fire Service Life Safety Rope and System Components
- NFPA 1983 requires a safety factor of 15:1 for all
rope and components.
- Means that the rope rescue equipment should
withstand a load 15 times greater than a one or two person load.
- Defines a one-person load as 300 lbs
- Example: 15:1 safety ratio would require a 4500-lb
breaking strength in order to meet the standard for a one-person load.
- Some wilderness SAR teams rely on a 10:1 safety ratio
for several reasons:
- Allows for lighter equipment
- Tend to be highly trained in the care and use of
rope and are very aware of its limitations.
- A knot in a rope will reduce its strength by 30%.
- A kiloNewton (kN) is equivalent to 225 pounds (102
G. Software care (p. 263)
- Rope, webbing, harness, and other “soft” rescue
equipment is referred to as “software.”
- Easily damaged gear must be used, monitored, and
- Keep a log.
- Regular inspection
- Ten rules of rope etiquette
- Never step on or drag a rope or equipment.
- Use software in a responsible manner¾keep
- Protect software from abrasion.
- Do not leave rope under tension for any length of
time and remove knots as soon as possible.
- Store software properly.
- Soiled software should be gently and properly
- Avoid exposing software to sunlight (UV) and high
- Avoid nylon running across nylon.
- Avoid storing rope kinked.
- Check all software for damage often.
H. Harnesses (p. 264)
- NFPA categorizes life safety harnesses into three
- Class 1¾seat-harness that is
designed for a one person load
- Class 2¾harness designed for a two
- Class 3¾a full-body harness
- Chest harness is optional; one advantage is it will
keep the rescuer upright.
- Ladder belts or Pompier belts (simple belts designed
to secure one to a ladder) are not appropriate for life-safety
I. Knot, ties, hitches, and bends
- Bend¾a knot used to join two
pieces, or ends of a rope
- Hitch¾used to attach a rope to a
fixed object or fixed rope
- Bight¾a bend placed in a rope
- Standing part of a knot¾that
portion of the rope that does not move in the knot creation
- Running end of a knot¾the
end that is being moved about in the tying of a knot
- Tail of a knot¾the
unused rope that is left over after the knot has been tied
- Figure Eight
- Square Knot or Reef Knot
- Figure Eight Bend
- Overhand bend or water knot (knot tied in webbing)
- Prussik sling¾can
be used to attach a harness to a lifeline
J. Carabiners and mallion rapide
screw links (p. 269)
- Metal link with a spring loaded gate
- Types of carabiners:
- Locking¾spring loaded gate with
some means of preventing it from opening
a spring loaded gate
- Locking carabiners are preferred for rescue
- Carabiners also come in a variety of shapes:
- HMS (pear-shaped)
- Mallion rapide screw links
- These devices are strong and generally made of
- Useful when a multidirectional load is expected
- Which carabiner to use: steel or aluminum?
some extent, more durable
more than aluminum
device is often easier to damage.
8. Carabiners must always be loaded
axially and never across the gate.
9. Carabiner care
- Must be properly stored and maintained
- Visually inspected before use
- Check gate and locking mechanism.
- Can be cleaned with soap and water
- Do not lubricate with oil.
- If lubrication is required, use small amount of
- Consider discarding if it has been shocked, loaded,
or has fallen from a great height.
K. Litters (p. 270)
- Also known as stretchers
- Used to transport an injured subject to a safe
- Can be hand carried or transported by nay number of
vehicles or aircraft
- Common types of litters:
various materials, tarps, tent material
- Basket¾combine steel frame with a
shell of either steel wire netting or plastic
- Wrap around¾a
drag sheet made from heavy duty, polyethylene plastic; excellent choices
for cave and confined space rescue
L. Patient packaging (p. 272)
- The manner in which the patient is packaged depends
- His or her medical condition
- The environment
- The manner in which he or she is to be evacuated
M. Litter accessories (p. 272)
- Litter wheel for long, relatively flat, or trail
- Litter shields are more effective than helmets for
protecting the heads of patients.
- Specialized sleeping bags
N. Litter handling (p. 273)
are used to move patients to a place of safety.
be lifted by ropes, carried by vehicles, or more commonly hand carried
sure to communicate with the patient.
not refer to the patient as “victim.”
not step over the patient if it can be avoided.
careful with the ends of webbing.
not to shine a headlamp or flashlight into the patient’s eyes
careful when using knives or scissors around the patient and rigging.
6 to 8 rescuers distributed around the litter, three or four to a side
person at the front of the left side is in charge and directs the activities of
the advantage of being fast, because little teamwork is required
gives the patient a comfortable ride
tiring for the handlers
Ground vision is difficult especially at night
than one team will be required if the distance to carry the litter is more than
the team can cover in about 15 to 20 minutes.
leapfrogging is a good method to use on long distances.
10. Caterpillar or lap pass
- Use when footing is unstable or there is an
obstacle that prevents the litter team from progressing and falling
becomes a possible hazard
11. Turtle carry
- Most useful for negotiating very narrow passages
- One hardy rescuer with gloves, kneepads, and a
sense of humor gets on his hands and the litter is balanced on his back.
- Two other litter handlers are positioned at the
head and the foot of the litter where they maintain balance and guide the
- Can be painful for the rescuer in the turtle role
12. Strap carry
Useful to prolong one’s endurance on long carry-outs
13. Tag lines
in places that are too low and narrow to do a standard carry, lap pass, or even
a turtle carry.
also be useful during low-angle and short, steep-angle maneuvers.