Physics in Rope Rescue? Absolutely!

When it comes to rigging, the laws of physics reign supreme. Small systems (e.g., a single knot) and large systems (e.g., a back-tied, elevated anchor supporting a horizontal line across a ravine) will only function effectively if they reflect an understanding of basic principles. Which physical principles are we talking about? Static and dynamic friction, mechanical advantage, vectors, fall forces, static loads, and many others determine … [Read more...]

Pat Rhodes April 12, 2017
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Training Rescue Teams: What Standards Apply?

If you are not a rescue expert, the process of moving an injured person from a hazardous location to a place of safety may seem hopelessly complex. And like any other complex process one would assume that various organizations who specialize in technical rescue would issue standards to guide us in training rescue teams. These are some of the issues we'll be covering in our upcoming Confined Space Rescue Team Leader classes to be held this fall in … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson September 27, 2016
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Rope Rescue: Mainline/Belay or Two Tension?

Traditional rope rescue techniques use two, separate rope systems: 1) A mainline (to raise or lower the patient/rescuer) and 2) A belay, or safety, line which will catch the load if the mainline fails. Given that each rope is attached to the load and an anchor, at some point someone wondered if you could swap them out and switch between using a belay as a mainline and a mainline as a belay. In other words, could you keep both lines … [Read more...]

Pat Rhodes November 6, 2015
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Confined Space Rescue: Justifying your Team.

When you are asked the question: Is it worth having a rescue team? Keep the following in mind. Incipient: adjective Definition: in an initial stage; beginning to happen or develop. Common sense dictates that most employees should be able to respond appropriately to an incipient fire. Alarms and extinguishers have saved countless billions in damages and few would argue against spending money to ensure a safe and effective response in the … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson November 6, 2015
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Confined Space Train the Trainer UPDATED!

For the last five or so years we have enjoyed considerable success with Version 3 of our Confined Space Entrant, Attendant, and Entry Supervisor curriculum. Nonetheless, we are excited to release Version 4.  On July 14-15, 2015 in Medford, Oregon we will be holding our first train-the-trainer seminar using Version 4 of our confined space training materials. This class is being held in association with the Southern Oregon Chapter of the ASSE … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson November 6, 2015
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Confined Space and Industrial Rescue: How and How Much?

Does your facility require a rescue team? What OSHA standards require some kind of emergency response procedures? If your facility needs some level of emergency response, how do you develop these capabilities? What types of procedures, equipment, and training is needed? Or should it be out sourced? These are some of the questions we'll be answering at the 2015 Governor's Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference during our March 12th … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson March 3, 2015
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How Capable Does My Confined Space Rescue Team Need To Be?

We are often asked how much training or equipment a confined space team really needs, and while we'd like to be able to respond with a simple answer, the answer is really not simple. The problem may be the use of the term 'rescue team' and what this term connotes; specifically a crack squad of former fire fighters who never encountered a hole they didn't want to jump into or a tower they wouldn't climb. But if we drill into the intent of the … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson January 28, 2015
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Suspension Trauma: Cause and Effects

Although fall protection harnesses have saved many lives, the human body is not designed to hang in a harness for any length of time. The problem is the design of our bodies, specifically our legs. Our circulatory system does not have the ability to pump blood all the way down into our legs and back to our torso. Our bodies, however, developed a unique way to deal with this; we have one-way valves in our leg veins. When we move our leg … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson January 28, 2015
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Questions to Answer When Developing a Rescue Team

Developing a rescue team is simple: recruit team members, purchase equipment, and hire someone to provide training. Easy enough. The real challenge is maintaining that capability over time. People leave the team, equipment ‘disappears’ and skills degrade. Having been involved in the development and maintenance of hundreds of rescue teams, we have learned that successful, long-lasting teams are built on a firm foundation. And firm foundations … [Read more...]

Pat Rhodes October 7, 2014
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What’s the “Footprint” of a Rescue Tripod?

Rescue Tripod "Footprint" Defined. This may seem simple, but can you define it if a student or fellow team member asked you? The footprint of a rescue tripod is exactly what it implies. Begin with something familiar: your footprint. The footprints you make in the sand are created by the compression of the sand by your body weight which is being transferred through your legs and down to your feet. Therefore the footprint represents an … [Read more...]

Pat Rhodes July 9, 2014
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