Rope Rescue

Testing Pulley Efficiency

When using pulley systems, mechanical advantage is expressed as the ratio of the amount of output force to the amount of input force. For example, a '3:1' system has three times the amount of output force as the input force. If a person pulls with 10 units of force, this system will apply 30 units of force to the load. This allows a person to lift a load much greater than would be able to be lifted without the help of the system. This is the mechanical advantage. Rope rescue, rope acces...

Do you trust your equipment quality?

Personal protective equipment used to be purchased directly from either the manufacturer or specialty stores but is now widely available on the Internet from unknown sources. There is a wide range of products available now but how do you know the quality of what you are buying? The products might look the same as well known name brand products but are they? There are a few major problems we have found with equipment available online with the most common being imitations of well known products ...

Rope Rescue and Rappelling. What is the difference?

We often hear a lot of confusion over the terms 'rappelling' and 'rescue'. What is the difference? In simple terms, rescue is a way to help someone from a dangerous situation. Rappelling, or abseiling, is an access method. Rappelling is a way to use equipment to go from a higher position to a lower position. Rappelling can be a form of self-rescue to get yourself out of a dangerous situation but when helping others it is normally only part of a rescue. Why do rescuers rappel? Rappell...

RPM Systems. Are they still relevant?

We have previously written about some of the differences between rope rescue and rope access. Another major difference is rope rescue work is focused around team skills whereas rope access is mostly focused on individual skills. Rope rescue uses teams to raise and lower a rescuer and patient. An easy way to think about the difference is in rope rescue work the ropes are moving whereas in rope access work the ropes are stationary and the technician moves up and down the rope. The most comm...

Rope Rescue Risk Management

Rope Rescue involves risk. Rope skills are technical and if not performed properly can result in serious injury or death. Risk also comes from environmental conditions such as bad weather and low visibility. Rescue requires an immediacy in order to save a life which can cloud judgement. How can this risk be managed? A patient is packaged into a litter in preparation for being attached to a rope rescue highline. Rope Access Technicians use planning to help manage risk. Bef...

Rope Rescue or Rope Access? What is the Difference?

What is the difference between rope access and rope rescue? Is rope access training the same as rope rescue training or are they different? Rope Access is a form of work positioning which uses practical rope work to allow workers to access difficult to reach locations without the use of additional support structures. Rope Rescue is any rescue that requires rope and related equipment to safely gain access to, and remove patients from, hazardous locations with limited access such as mountains or...

How Strong Is Your Equipment?

We often get asked about the strength of rope rescue and rope access equipment. When seeing a new piece of equipment the first question is often, "How strong is this?" This sounds like a simple question but the answer is more complicated. It is common to think all products are manufactured the exact same. In reality all manufactured products have variances. They are all a little different. These differences are managed through quality control. These differences can be made very small through bet...

Testing Damage From A Rope Grab

Rope grabs are used in rope rescue and rope access in order to create an attachment point onto a rope without the need to tie a knot. Although there are many different styles, most use a cam which exerts pressure on the rope to hold the device in place. The cam comes in two main varieties with either a ribbed design or tooth design which uses small spikes. Cam face of the Climbing Technology Ascender Simple, ISC Wales Mini Rope Grab, Climbing Technology RollNLock, and Petzl Tibloc. Because the...

Equipment Costs and Training Expenses

There is a balance between the cost of equipment and the cost spent on training. There is additional cost spent on training to remain proficient with the use of equipment. All of these costs must be considered when making a purchase. Something inexpensive might look like a good deal but when the total cost of ownership is considered it might end up costing much more than investing in the correct gear in the beginning. CMC MPD Multi-Purpose Device Development of modern rope equipm...

Munter Hitch, Super Munter Hitch, Italian Hitch

Carabiner Wrap, Munter Hitch and Super Munter

It is common for people to play a game called, "What If". It usually starts with someone asking, "What if I don't have a Figure 8" or another piece of equipment. There are some critical pieces of equipment, such as a rope, but many other items can be improvised. In Thailand, it is still common to use a 'Carabiner Wrap' for rappels. To do this, a rope is wraped once or twice around a carabiner. This provides some friction to allow someone to rappel down.

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