SOG - Rope Rescue - Jan06

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					                                      Operations Manual

         Chapter: Rope Rescue Guidelines

         Purpose: To establish uniform and standard guidelines for Rope Rescue for the
                           Central Ohio Strike
         Responsibility: It is each member's responsibility to comply with the provisions of
         these guidelines.

         Only members who have documented training and are practiced in rope rescue skills and
         have trained with the Central Ohio Strike Team, may be suspended from rope, rig /
         operate systems, and perform evacuations of victims.

         Rope rescue is a dangerous activity and safety shall be stressed. The choice of
         techniques, equipment, procedures, and personnel shall be made to maximize safety. A
         member's primary responsibility is to protect themselves and other members of the team.

         All other means of access and egress must be considered first. It should also be
         understood that this guideline is in no way all inclusive of all possible situations.
         During rope rescue operations judgment, training, experience, and coordination between
         team members is a necessity.

         1.      Planning
                 A systematic approach to the rescue operation shall be standard:

                 1. Establish Command
                 2. Survey the scene
                       3. Establish sectors (operations, rescue, rigging, etc.) as indicated by the
                 4. Control any observed or anticipated hazards
                 5. Evaluate equipment and systems already in service by first responding
                 6. Take steps to prevent further injury to victim or to rescuers.
                 7. Assess the victim/s condition to determine what resources will be needed to
                 perform the     evacuation and summon same if not on scene.

                 A safety check shall be performed on each system prior to use; this also includes
                 systems already placed in service, prior to team’s arrival. Only a team member
                 can deem rigging safe for use by any other team member. If the Squad Leader
                 does not delegate a safety officer position, then the Squad Leader assumes

                 Standard commands such as: "on belay", "off belay", "rock", "tension", "slack",
                 "haul", "haul slow", "set", "stop", shall be used at all times.

         4.      System set-up
                 The procedure used for rescue will most commonly be a system to lower rescuer
                 into proper position. This system will include use of a “RPH” system (rack-
                 pulley-hitch- load release) with a secondary belay in place for each rescuer.
     All raising and lowering systems shall have a tandem prusik belay rigged and
     available for use. Belays will be backed up and sized to accommodate actual or
     possible load.

     Anchor(s) selected and used for riggings should be evaluated and “determined”
     to be stronger than the system attached to it and, when possible, be a column,
     rail or other structural element with supports or attachments such that the
     anchoring attachments cannot slip or be slipped off the anchor.

5.   Operations
     Once a rescuer is over the edge, only a designated Edge Person will
     communicate with the rescuer(s) and the haul teams. The Edge Person shall be
     secured to an anchor.

     All personal equipment shall be pre-approved before use in either training or
     actual rescues. Equipment shall be subject to Squad Leader / Rescue Team
     Manager or their designee's approval. Their decision will be final. Nationally
     recognized organizations, such as NFPA, ANSI, OSHA, UIAA, etc., who are
     known for establishing requirements for rope equipment shall be referenced for
     guidelines used in equipment evaluation.

     All life safety rope shall meet NFPA 1983 standards, unless used as a non-life
     safety utility line. All rope shall be no less than one half inch (1/2) / thirteen
     millimeters (13 mm) in diameter. Prusik rope shall be a minimum of 8mm in

     All carabiners shall be locking and have a “General Use” NFPA rating.
     Carabiners may be "doubled" to achieve the appropriate safety factor.

     Tandem triple wrapped prusiks will be the system of choice for belays and rope
     grab devices. Mechanical ascenders may be used in ascending evolutions, or in
     systems that have no potential for shock loading.

6.   Safety

     Power winches, cranes, etc. are not acceptable as a means for the movement of
     rescue personnel or victims without careful evaluation from Team Manager.

     Any surfaces, edges, or items that could damage the rescue rope, webbing or
     associated system hardware shall be padded or otherwise protected whenever

     All systems connected to a victim shall be securely connected to the victim.

     When a rescue operation is being assembled and as soon as qualified personnel
     arrive on the scene, a Rapid Intervention Crew should be assembled and stand in
     alert for interventions for rescuer safety.