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How to Perform an Emergency Medical Rescue on a High Ropes Course

How to Perform an Emergency Medical Rescue on a High Ropes Course

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Published by tracywatson
High Ropes Course Emergency Rescue Step by Step
High Ropes Course Emergency Rescue Step by Step

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Published by: tracywatson on Apr 06, 2009
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07/23/2012

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IntroductionREAD THE INTRODUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING TO THEREST OF THE INSTRUCTIONS.The purpose of this document is to efficiently and safely show the proper way to performan emergency medical rescue on a static belay high ropes course.This instructional document is designed to be taught to people that are in the process of  being high ropes course certified to be facilitators and maintainers of a static belay highropes course. However, the instructions are detailed enough that someone who has noclimbing or high ropes course experience is able to understand them and perform therescue. (It is not recommended that a person attempts to perform a high ropes rescue of any sort without being fully trained and experienced in climbing and working a highropes course.)Prior knowledge needed to understand these instructions include terminology of equipment and climbing techniques and although first hand experience is not needed, itwould be helpful. A list with visual examples of all the equipment used and definitions of the terminology is presented on pages two, three, and four.The rescue procedure is designed to be done quickly with only one rescuer needed. Theentire procedure from start to finish should only take two to three minutes. It would bemore time efficient if two rescuers were used, one on the ground belaying and the other on the high ropes element performing the rescue, but two rescuers may not always beavailable so it is best to learn how to perform the rescue using only one rescuer. If the procedure is followed precisely then the only error that could happen is a gear malfunction.
Warnings: Do not make mistakes while performing this rescue or else death or seriousinjury may occur to you and the person you are rescuing. All warnings will be bolded and italicized throughout text.
Cautions: Sometimes a rescue situation is more complicated than it looked like at first bymeans of equipment trouble/failure or the climber is having a panic attack or is in shock. Be prepared with all the proper equipment before you go up and have ground supervision for a second pair of eyes on the situation for extra warnings of any unexpected obstacles. All cautions will be italicized throughout text.
DANGERS: THIS RESCUE PROCEDURE IS DONE AT UNSAFE HEIGHTS.EQUIPMENT MAY FAIL UNDER EXTREME SITUATIONS AND RESULT ININJURY OR DEATH. ALL DANGERS WILL BE TYPED IN CAPITAL LETTERS.This method of rescue is only for seriously injured or impaired climbers who are unableto climb back down by themselves. There are other forms of simpler rescues that requireless preparation and urgency that would be used for a climber who simply cut themselvesor become scared and are unable to continue with the static belay high ropes course. This
 
method of emergency rescue could also be used on a dynamic belay high ropes course, but would not be the most time efficient in most situations.The rescue process can be broken into three steps from start to end. The order of operation: recognizing the emergency, reaching the climber, and making the rescue.Terminology and Equipment for Making a Rescue on a High Ropes CourseDefinitions of Terms Used on a High Ropes Course
Belay – act of securing a person by attaching one end of a rope to them andhaving the other end of the rope attached to a stable pointsuch as another person (using a dynamic belay) or overheadcable (static belay)
Static Belay High Ropes Course (see fig. 1.1) – climberstravel along high ropes elements using lobster claws (seeequipment section) attaching them to an overhead cable tokeep them from falling off the element at all, does not allowthe climber to “fall” off the element at all and they can finishthe entire course without ever restarting as they would with adynamic belay; used more often for beginners and elderly because it takes less skill and balance than a dynamic belay;meant to build a sense of self accomplishment andconfidence by pulling the climber out of their comfort zoneand having them defeat what might have been a personalobstacle in their life.
Dynamic Belay High Ropes Course (see fig. 1.2) – climberstravel along high ropes elements using a dynamic belay; requires more skill and balance than static belay; allows climber to fall off edge of element and thencatches them immediately meant to build a sense of self accomplishment, confidence, and encouragement betweengroup members by pulling the climber out of their comfortzone and having them defeat what might have been a personal obstacle in their life.- Dynamic belay – belay that uses kernmantle ropewhich allows for stretching; facilitator is on the groundon one end of the rope with a belay device and tightensand loosens the rope that the climber is attached to theother end of up on the element. It is run through a pulleysystem that is attached to an overhead cable that is runabove the entire element to serve as a safety devicekeeping the climber from falling.
Pulley System – a rolling pin pulley rolls on the overheadcable and hanging below it is a fixed pin pulley attached by alocking steel karabiner. The kernmantle rope runs throughWatson 2
 
Fig. 1.1 Climber attaching her static belay to overheadcableFig. 1.2 Example of adynamic belay in use
 
fixed pin pulley and one end goes to the facilitator and the other end goes to theclimber 
Figure Eight Climbing Knot – the quickest to tie and safest climbing knot; thisknot is tied on the climbers end of the rope and a self-locking aluminum karabiner is hooked into the loop of the knot and the loop on the climber’s harness
Emergency Medical Rescue – any situation where a climber is seriously impairedor injured to the point that they either do not respond or are physically unable toclimb down from the high ropes element and a facilitator must urgently climb upand retrieve themEx: shock, heart attack, allergic reaction, panic attack, break of major bone, etc.
 Non-emergency Rescue – any situation where a climber becomes too afraid tocontinue with the course and refuses to move and a facilitator is unable to talk them down and is forced to climb up and retrieve them; not urgent (this happensquite often)
First Aid – emergency treatment given to an injured or sick person before professional help is available, sometimes all a person needs is first aid and professional help is not needed
Climber – the untrained person that is up in the air on the elements
Facilitator – the trained person that is supervising the climbers and making surethey are safe and doing the elements properly
Element (see fig. 1.3) – a single activity that a person does such aswalk across a beam that is typically anywhere from fifteen to fortyfeet in the air while strapped into a safety device such as the static belay; consists of two telephone poles, trees, or metal or woodtowers on each end to support the element and provide a way up toit, there is some sort of short course in between the support poles thatis between ten and fifty feet long.
Overhead Cable (see fig. 1.3) – professional grade aircraft cable thatruns the length above every element that either the climber connectshis lobster claws to in a static belay or that the pulley system is setup on in a dynamic belay to allow the climber to be held up on the element
High Ropes Course - combination of both vertical challenges and horizontalchallenges; constructed from wood, cable, and ropes installed above the groundand strung between trees, wood poles or steel framework; when individuals go upon a ropes course there is a prime opportunity for them to learn about risk taking,their own perceived limits, how they perform under pressure, and how they giveand receive support from other peopleEquipment Needed During Rescue and Their Uses
Static Rope (see fig. 1.4) – climbing rope used asfixed rope that does not stretch and so does notabrade easily when running over sharp edges, usually8 or 9 mm in diameter Watson 3
Fig. 1.3Balance BeamElementTop line isoverhead cableFig. 1.4 Static Rope with FigureEight Knot tied at the end

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