Self Rescue Weekend

Following a successful SRT rescue and training weekend I have attempted to put into writing the rescue methods shown to us by Gerard (Maastricht). His technique for mid rope rescue probably originated in France or Belgium and was far superior to any others I have tried or read about in the SRT manuals of this country.

The main advantages for using this new method are that it is less complex to carry out, very much quicker and still allows lighter people to rescue heavier. However, there is one possible flaw in this method, at one point in this manoeuvre the weight of both the casualty and the rescuer are held by only one jamming device and no back-up i.e.:- should that jammer fail both parties would drop. Whilst back-up could easily be achieved by adding a second jammer this adds to the clutter, so complicating the technique and relies on the jammer to take the weight in circumstances for which it was not designed to do i.e.. a fall factor.

During the weekend I used both the standard textbook rescue techniques and the new European one and although I found the new method much better it is as well to bear in mind which ever method one cares to adopt it is essential to have practiced beforehand. The reasons for this would become clear to anyone trying to rescue someone for the first time. Even with the “instructions” someone to discuss the problems with, a copious supply of hot farm tea, even a helpful casualty, being outside suspended by a tree on a warm sunny day it’s still not easy. What should take less than five minutes can take over twenty! So be warned, have a dry run where the casualty/volunteer can help if you get stuck or if they get cramps or suffer from lack of circulation.

If you missed the last SRT rescue weekend, please try to attend the next or borrow the notes and manuals from the club library and set up your own self help group. If you are using Bullpot Farm up to three ropes can be hung comfortably from the tree just outside (by the pond).

Whilst I make every attempt to describe this technique accurately, it may not seem easy to follow. Do try it especially after using other methods.

MID ROPE RESCUE - To safely lower a person who has sustained sufficient injury, whilst prussiking, to render them unable to continue. e.g.:- Rock fall.

1.  Prusik up to the casualty, take with you the lower end of your pitch rope clipped into your harness.

2.  Remove the casualty feet from their foot loops and push their foot loop jammer (FLJ) as high as it will go.

3.  Using an oval krab, clip a pulley into the FLJ.

 4.  Feed the end of the pitch rope through the pulley and krab it onto the casualties main maillon-rapide (MMR).

5.  Stand up on your foot loops and transfer your chest jammer from the pitch rope to the rope from the pulley. (THIS IS NOW A COUNTER BALANCE SITUATION).

6.  Remove your FU.

7.  Counter balance the casualty using one hand to push the casualty up and the other to remove their chest jammer. IT IS IMPORTANT TO DO THIS IN ONE OPERATION as once the casualty has been pushed up it becomes impossible to remove their chest jammer.

8.  Put a descender into the casualties MMR, pass the rope through the braking krab and add a soft and hard lock.

9.  Lift yourself up, this lowers the casualty onto the descender.

10. Stand up in the casualties foot loops, remove your chest jammer, clip the casualties MMR via, two krabs to your MMR. It is worth getting the two krabs ready for this (YOU COULD PROTECT YOURSELF BY HAVING A LONG COWS TAIL INTO THE CASUALTIES M.M.R OR USING YOUR FLJ BUT SEE PREVIOUS NOTE)

11. Check all krabs etc. and that the descender is locked off.

12. Lower yourself - - - The casualty and yourself should now be suspended from the descender, locked off and ready to descend.

13. Remove the casualties FL). Take the locks off and descend slowly.

14. Count legs!


Bob Johnston.

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