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General Rescue Manual

March 2006
Table of contents
Table of contents
1 1.1 1.2 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3
.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 In
troduction .....................................................................
............................. 1 Purpose ........................................
................................................................. 1 Definition o
f USAR .........................................................................
................ 1 General rescue background....................................
.................................... 3 Objectives ..............................
........................................................................ 3 The a
im of rescue ...................................................................
....................... 3 Functions ............................................
........................................................... 3 The psychology of
rescue .........................................................................
..... 3 Rescue workers .........................................................
.................................... 4 Personal traits of the rescue worker.....
.......................................................... 5 Personal behaviour
................................................................................
........ 6 Team composition.....................................................
..................................... 6 Activation .............................
.......................................................................... 7 Dep
loyment.........................................................................
........................... 7 Safety in training and operations ................
............................................... 8 Objectives ...................
................................................................................
... 8 Introduction .............................................................
....................................... 8 The responsibility for safety ........
................................................................... 8 Strategies
to improve safety .............................................................
............. 9 Basic precautions...............................................
.......................................... 10 Personal protective equipment (PPE
) .......................................................... 10 Rescue fall prot
ection .........................................................................
......... 11 Casualty safety ...................................................
......................................... 12 Confined space operations .........
................................................................. 12 Moving in a
n unknown environment...........................................................
.. 13 Searching a darkened room.................................................
........................ 14 Moving on stairs....................................
....................................................... 15 Vehicle safety.......
................................................................................
........ 15 Equipment safety ...................................................
...................................... 15 Public utility hazards ...............
..................................................................... 16 Correct
lifting techniques ............................................................
................. 16 Team lifting ..............................................
.................................................... 17 Warning signals ........
................................................................................
... 17 Incident ground actions .................................................
........................... 19 Objectives ......................................
.............................................................. 19 Incident manag
ement ..........................................................................
........ 19 Initial action strategies ..........................................
....................................... 20 Site control ........................
........................................................................... 20 R
escue by stages ................................................................
........................ 25
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Table of contents
4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 5 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.
6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5
.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30
ii
Continuing action ..............................................................
........................... 28 Precautions in operations .......................
..................................................... 28 Crush injuries ........
................................................................................
....... 29 Debris clearance ....................................................
...................................... 29 When debris clearance is necessary ...
........................................................ 30 Methods of debris cl
earance ........................................................................
30 Precautions in operations ..................................................
.......................... 30 The appreciation process..........................
................................................... 31 Introduction to Search an
d Victim Marking .................................................. 32 Disaster
victim identification (DVI) ....................................................
........... 34 Suspicious circumstances.........................................
................................... 34 Conduct at the scene ....................
............................................................... 34 Ropes........
................................................................................
.................. 36 Objectives ...............................................
..................................................... 36 Introduction ..........
................................................................................
........ 36 Types of rope ......................................................
......................................... 36 Synthetic ropes ...................
......................................................................... 37 Ker
nmantle Construction ...........................................................
.................. 37 Characteristics of Static Kernmantle Rope ................
.................................. 38 Characteristics of rescue ropes...........
......................................................... 38 Breaking force.....
................................................................................
......... 39 Safe working load (SWL) ...........................................
.................................. 39 Care and maintenance......................
........................................................... 39 Washing ropes ...
................................................................................
.......... 40 Inspection .......................................................
............................................. 40 Retiring a rope ...............
.............................................................................. 4
1 Terminology ..................................................................
............................... 42 Rope packaging ..............................
............................................................. 43 Identification.
................................................................................
................ 44 Record systems .............................................
.............................................. 44 Climbing tapes ...............
.............................................................................. 4
5 Construction..................................................................
............................... 45 Size.........................................
..................................................................... 46 Abrasio
n...............................................................................
........................ 46 Tape strength.......................................
........................................................ 46 The use of tape ....
................................................................................
........ 46 Care and maintenance................................................
................................. 47 Safety.....................................
...................................................................... 47 Flexib
le steel wire rope .............................................................
................... 47 Safe working load (SWL) .................................
............................................ 47 Construction....................
............................................................................. 48
Precautions in operations .....................................................
....................... 48 Inspection of steel wire rope .......................
................................................. 48
General Rescue Manual - March 2006
Table of contents
5.31 6 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 7
7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18
7.19 7.20 8 8.1
Storage of steel wire ropes ....................................................
...................... 49 Knots.................................................
.......................................................... 50 Objectives .......
................................................................................
............. 50 Introduction ..................................................
................................................ 50 Stopper knots...............
................................................................................
50 Figure 8 knots .............................................................
................................. 50 Figure 8 knot (Single figure 8)............
.......................................................... 51 Figure 8 on a bigh
t (Double figure 8) ...........................................................
51 Rethreaded figure 8 .........................................................
............................ 51 Figure 8 joining knot (Figure 8 bend) ..........
................................................. 52 Double figure 8 on a bight
(Anchor 8 or Industrial 8).................................... 53 Round turn and
two half hitches...............................................................
.... 53 Alpine butterfly .......................................................
...................................... 54 Double fisherman’s knot ................
.............................................................. 54 Prusik knot ..
................................................................................
................. 55 Clove hitch ...............................................
.................................................... 55 Friction hitch..........
................................................................................
....... 56 Joining ropes........................................................
........................................ 56 Ladders.............................
.......................................................................... 57 Ob
jectives .......................................................................
............................. 57 Introduction ..................................
................................................................ 57 Construction
................................................................................
................. 57 Terminology ...............................................
.................................................. 58 Extension ladders ........
................................................................................
59 Step ladders................................................................
................................. 59 Inspection of ladders......................
.............................................................. 60 Maintenance of
ladders........................................................................
........ 60 Single rescuer ladder raise ........................................
.................................. 60 Erecting and extending the ladder (2 rescu
er) ............................................. 61 Erecting and extending the
ladder (3 rescuer) ............................................. 61 Angle of lad
der when raised ................................................................
........ 62 Overlaps ...........................................................
........................................... 63 Securing ladders ................
.......................................................................... 63 Se
curing the head of the ladder ..................................................
................. 63 Securing the foot of the ladder ...........................
.......................................... 63 Halving ladders ..................
.......................................................................... 64 La
dder climbing...................................................................
......................... 64 Rules of 3.........................................
............................................................ 65 Helping a casual
ty down a ladder ...............................................................
. 65 Managing casualties........................................................
.......................... 66 Objectives .......................................
............................................................. 66
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Table of contents
8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 9 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9
.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 9.24 9.25 9.26 10 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.
4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 10.10
Introduction ...................................................................
............................... 66 START .......................................
.................................................................. 66 Labelling
................................................................................
...................... 67 Consumer Code of Rights- Health and Disability Commiss
ion .................... 68 Stretchers .........................................
.......................................................... 69 Objectives .......
................................................................................
............. 69 Introduction ..................................................
................................................ 69 Folding or pole stretchers .
........................................................................... 69 B
oard rescue stretchers..........................................................
..................... 70 Basket stretchers .....................................
.................................................... 71 Wrap-around stretchers .
.............................................................................. 7
1 Blanketing the stretcher .....................................................
.......................... 72 Blanketing - Lateral/Recovery position............
............................................. 72 Loading the stretcher .........
.......................................................................... 73 Th
e four rescuer method...........................................................
................... 73 Blanket lift (four or six rescuers)......................
............................................. 74 Clothing lift (Three rescuers).
....................................................................... 75 Webbi
ng bands (Five rescuers) .......................................................
............ 75 Specialist lifting/loading devices..............................
..................................... 76 Summary of stretcher types and uses....
...................................................... 76 Lashing the casualty t
o the stretcher ........................................................... 76 L
ashing the folding stretcher ...................................................
..................... 77 Lashing - Lateral/Recovery position....................
......................................... 77 Lashing - Board rescue stretcher ..
............................................................... 78 Alternate Boa
rd rescue stretcher lashing ....................................................
. 78 Securing a basket stretcher with securing straps...........................
.............. 79 Securing a basket stretcher by lashing .......................
................................. 79 Improvised casualty harness ...............
........................................................ 80 Moving a stretcher o
ver uneven ground....................................................... 80 Movi
ng a stretcher in restricted spaces.............................................
........... 81 Improvised stretchers............................................
....................................... 82 Stretcher based rescue techniques ...
...................................................... 84 Objectives ...........
................................................................................
......... 84 Introduction ......................................................
............................................ 84 Definitions ....................
................................................................................
84 Additional equipment .......................................................
............................ 85 Low angle rescue techniques ....................
.................................................. 85 Attachment of the line ...
...............................................................................
85 Creation of the friction/“catch” ................................................
...................... 87 Limited High angle rescue techniques .................
........................................ 87 Guide lines ........................
........................................................................... 88 S
ingle point lower...............................................................
.......................... 88
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General Rescue Manual - March 2006
Table of contents
10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 11 11.1 11.2 11.3 12 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 13 13.1 13.2 13
.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 13.9 13.10 14 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.
8 14.9 14.10 14.11 14.12 14.13 14.14 14.15 14.16
Two point lower.................................................................
........................... 89 Four point lower ................................
........................................................... 90 Ladder Slide.....
................................................................................
............ 91 Ladder Hinge ...................................................
............................................ 93 Non-stretcher based rescue techn
iques.................................................. 94 Objectives ..........
................................................................................
.......... 94 Introduction .....................................................
............................................. 94 Vertical Lift Knot.............
.............................................................................. 9
5 Improvised casualty movement..................................................
.............. 96 Objectives: ..................................................
................................................. 96 Introduction ..............
................................................................................
.... 96 One rescuer techniques..................................................
............................. 96 Two rescuer techniques.........................
...................................................... 98 Anchors and holdfasts
.............................................................................100
Objectives ....................................................................
...............................100 Introduction ................................
.................................................................100 Natural anc
hors............................................................................
...............100 Constructed anchors..........................................
.........................................100 Improvised anchors.................
....................................................................103 Precauti
ons in operations ..............................................................
.............103 Selection of anchors ..........................................
.........................................103 Sling loading angles...............
.....................................................................104 Attachm
ent to anchors .................................................................
...............105 Safety summary ..............................................
............................................106 Pulley systems and lifting .....
...................................................................107 Objective
s ..............................................................................
.....................107 Introduction ..........................................
.......................................................107 Terminology .........
................................................................................
.......107 Types of pulleys ....................................................
......................................108 Characteristics of the lightweight res
cue pulley ..........................................108 Constructing pulley sys
tems .......................................................................109
Types of pulley systems.........................................................
.....................109 Mechanical advantage ..................................
..............................................109 Precautions in use ...........
...........................................................................110 L
ift/Lower rope rescue devices ..................................................
.................110 Commercial pulley systems .................................
.......................................111 Drum systems ........................
.....................................................................111 Standar
d procedures for use ...........................................................
...........111 Levers ..........................................................
...............................................112 Fulcrum blocks...............
.............................................................................112
Lifting .......................................................................
...................................112
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Table of contents
15 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.8 15.9 15.10 15.11 15.12 15.13 15.14 15
.15 15.16 15.17
Additional general rescue equipment ............................................
.........113 Objectives ........................................................
...........................................113 Introduction ....................
.............................................................................113
Karabiners ....................................................................
..............................113 Accidental gate opening.......................
.......................................................114 Concerns with screwga
te karabiners ..........................................................114 Kara
biner usage.....................................................................
.....................114 Shackles ..............................................
.......................................................115 Safety in operation .
................................................................................
.....115 Generators.............................................................
.....................................115 ELCB’S and RCD’S ..........................
..........................................................116 Power output of th
e generator ....................................................................
116 Precautions in operations ..................................................
.........................117 Electrical safety precautions .....................
..................................................117 Generator maintenance and
regular checks ...............................................118 Generator stor
age.............................................................................
..........118 Lighting .........................................................
..............................................119 Positioning lighting .........
.............................................................................119
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General Rescue Manual - March 2006
Section 1: Introduction
1
1.1
Introduction
Purpose
The purpose of the General Rescue Manual is to provide guidelines for standard m
ethods of training for General Rescue techniques in New Zealand. It is written t
o accompany the USAR Awareness Student Manual and reference to this manual is ma
de frequently. The development of the USAR structure in New Zealand has provided
the impetus for the review in 2004 of the General Rescue Manual. This, with an
increased emphasis on safety, has meant some techniques have been modified, othe
rs deleted or replaced. Interestingly, some of the core skills developed over th
e years in New Zealand have stood the test of time and are a credit to the pione
ers of general rescue in New Zealand. USAR Awareness and General Rescue combine
to provide rescue workers with a range of core skills to safely and effectively
locate, extract and rescue victims from a variety of events. It is not intended
to be exhaustive, but rather provide a framework for the development of individu
al rescue workers, and ultimately rescue teams. NOTE: This manual has been devel
oped to support and accompany practical training sessions delivered by suitably
qualified trainers.
1.2
Definition of USAR
An integrated multi agency response which is beyond the capability of normal res
cue arrangements, to provide initial medical care and removal of entrapped perso
ns from damaged structures or other environments in a safe and expeditious manne
r. New Zealand has made some significant steps in the development of the USAR st
ructure in recent years. The USAR Awareness Manual covers more about the history
and structure of USAR in New Zealand, but of particular note are: • • • The USAR Tier
System The Responder certification (Orange Card) USAR Registered Response Teams
and USAR Taskforces.
Individuals receive Responder certification, and an Orange Card when they have c
ompleted recognised, unit standard based training in USAR Awareness, the Coordin
ated Incident Management System (CIMS), First Aid and General Rescue. A USAR Awa
reness course should, in most cases, be completed in conjunction with training i
n General Rescue.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
1
Section 1: Introduction
A Registered New Zealand Response Team is a team of people who have a collective
level of skill (based on Responder certification) have met the minimum equipmen
t requirements and have Standard Operating Procedures. A USAR Taskforce is a nat
ional team of Taskforce Technicians plus support and specialists. A Task Force T
echnician is a person trained to carry out specialist structural collapse rescue
. More information on USAR Responders, Technicians and Specialists can be found
by visiting www.usar.govt.nz.
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 2: General rescue background
2
2.1
General rescue background
Objectives
On completion of study and/or instruction on this chapter of the General Rescue
Manual individuals: should know: • The aim of rescue and demonstrate awareness of:
• the 3 categories of rescue workers • personal traits of the rescue worker • some im
portant areas of personal behaviour related to rescue
2.2
The aim of rescue
To save the greatest number of lives in the shortest possible time and to minimi
se further injury to people and damage to property.
2.3
Functions
Common rescue functions include: • Access to, and the support and removal of, trap
ped people in the course of rescue operations. • Assistance with the recovery of t
he dead (managed and conducted by NZ Police). • Provision of support on request to
other services, authorities or specialist teams.
WARNING NOTE: In order to achieve the aim of rescue, all rescuers must be traine
d in basic life sustaining first aid to recognised standards.
2.4
The psychology of rescue
A moments reflection is all that is needed to realise that any situation requiri
ng a rescue operation, by definition is one which contains either dangerous or p
otentially dangerous elements. People tend to react differently to danger, but t
he most general responses are anxiety and fear, perhaps the most powerful of all
emotions. It must be remembered that it is not just the victim who faces the da
nger; in order to rescue the victim the rescuer must first enter the site of the
dangerous situation and face the same danger.
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Section 1: Introduction
Even if the main danger has struck and passed, additional dangers are still ofte
n present. The difference between the victim and the rescuer is that the rescuer
is better able to cope with, or handle, the situation. This is because the resc
uer has the knowledge and the resources to minimise risk and remedy the situatio
n. It is normal to be anxious and feel fear in the face of danger. These are emo
tional reactions common to both victim and rescuer. Many other emotional respons
es may become manifest during a rescue situation - pity, disgust, contempt, prid
e, concern, and many more. These are often exaggerated beyond all reason by the
urgency and pressures of the situation, thus lowering the efficiency of the over
all operation. The rescuer must be aware of the psychological needs of the victi
ms, not just their physical needs, and be prepared to meet these psychological n
eeds.
2.5
Rescue workers
An event requiring rescue operations will usually create three categories of res
cue workers: Category 1 – Survivors The immediate reaction of survivors in a major
incident, once they have discovered that they are not injured, is to help their
neighbours and families. They often do not know what to do, but obviously it is
a serious situation and thus they feel they must do something. These good inten
tions could aggravate the conditions of those being ‘helped’ to the point where the
loss of life may be greater than it should be. They could also get in the way an
d interrupt the functioning of trained rescue teams. However, uninjured and slig
htly injured survivors could well be the only hope of survival for many victims
(e.g. if toxic gases, dangerous chemicals, fire, or danger of fire exist at the
site of the emergency). The first group to commence rescue work at a site consis
ts of those survivors still physically capable of doing so. The potential for go
od is enormous but the danger inherent in rescue work by untrained personnel is
also enormous. Category 2 – Untrained personnel The second ‘wave’ of rescue workers is
drawn from people either witnessing the event from the immediate vicinity, or a
re drawn to the site by curiosity and a desire to assist the victims. Although n
ot quite as emotionally involved as the survivors, the danger inherent in utilis
ing untrained personnel is still a factor which must be considered. On the posit
ive side, they often bring necessary resources with them and can be effective if
brought under control and properly supervised. Unfortunately, a large number of
the ‘curious’ are just that. They have no desire to help, but just look. They get i
n the way, shout advice, and generally add to the excitement of the site – the ver
y thing that is least needed, especially from the standpoint of victims.
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 2: General rescue background
Category 3 – Trained personnel The last group to arrive at the scene is the traine
d rescuers: Police, Fire, Civil Defence, etc. It takes some time for various eme
rgency services to mobilise and arrive at the scene. The quicker they can arrive
, the less time there will have been for the first two groups to aggravate the s
ituation and create more dangers to surviving victims and themselves. The well-t
rained team will know what to do, and how to utilise the available resources and
untrained personnel in efficiently carrying out the necessary tasks in a manner
that will not further endanger anyone. Note: Experience overseas shows that up
to 80% of rescues are carried out by category 1 and 2 personnel. Category 3 pers
onnel rescue 15% with the last 5% being rescued by highly trained specialist tea
ms such as USAR Taskforces.
2.6
Personal traits of the rescue worker
Rescue work is not an easy task, nor is it necessarily a ‘glamorous’ one. Certainly
not all people are suited to such work. Physical fitness, personality, and emoti
onal stability are all factors in determining one’s suitability. Ideally, the resc
uer will have the following qualities: • Interest- A genuine interest in rescue wo
rk, not just because of peer pressure, trying to impress etc. • Training- The will
to continually undergo training to maintain a professional standard. • Cooperatio
n- Rescue work is usually a team effort, hence cooperation with others is vital.
• Dependability- The lives of victims and team members rely on the rescuer. • Initi
ative- The nature of rescue operations is such that it is often impossible to cl
osely supervise each team member. Each must be able to see what needs doing, set
priorities and do the tasks at hand. • Versatility- Each situation is unique. An
individual must be able to apply a wide range of skills and knowledge to new sit
uations. • Physical fitness- Rescue work of any kind is physically demanding and o
ften continues for long periods. Any physical limitations must be recognised and
taken into consideration. • Leadership qualities- Required by all rescuers at var
ious times and to varying degrees. Through the capable leadership of trained res
cuers, many more untrained personnel may be utilised. • Control over fears and pho
bias- It is important that rescuers know what they can and cannot do. Part of th
is knowledge consists of being aware of any phobias. It is also vital that the l
eader of a rescue team knows of any phobias in team members. Some phobias that c
ould seriously affect a rescuer and which may be identified in training are: o T
he fear of the sight of blood (Hemophobia) o The fear of heights (Acrophobia) o
The fear of confined spaces (Claustrophobia)
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
5
Section 1: Introduction

o The fear of water (Hydrophobia) Good dress and bearing- Appearance should inst
ill confidence in others.
2.7
Personal behaviour
The conduct of individuals says a lot about their psychological makeup and perso
nality. The nature of rescue work is such that it is particularly important that
personal conduct does not aggravate matters, but rather assists in creating a f
eeling that the situation is in competent hands, and everything possible is bein
g done to rescue and care for the victims. Bad behavior by an individual, e.g. b
ad language, reflects negatively on the whole team and its leadership. A few of
the more important general areas of conduct or behaviours follow: • Attitude—A serio
us, professional attitude must be maintained to gain confidence and support. Arr
ogance and superiority create instant antagonism. Loud talking, joking, and hors
eplay reduce credibility; they create a feeling of resentment and disgust and ad
d to the confusion, thus hindering the work and adding to the state of anxiety o
f the victims. Rescuers cannot consider themselves ‘professional’ if they add to the
confusion by loud shouting or frantic gestures. • Emotions—Emotions are hard to con
trol in the best of circumstances. In a disaster the control of emotions is a ve
ry difficult task but every effort must be made to prevent emotions from influen
cing good judgement and competence. Regardless of the excitement and the severit
y of the incident, the rescuer must be able to remain calm, and be sympathetic w
ithout becoming emotionally involved. • Courtesy—Courtesy, tact, and good judgement
are vital if the rescue task is to be completed quickly and effectively. Courtes
y must be given to all concerned. • Confidentiality—During rescue activities and tra
ining there may be times when rescuers will see and hear things which will be de
emed confidential. It is essential that they understand this, be ‘professional’ and
do not discuss these matters with others. A Code of Ethics for rescue workers is
currently being developed by the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group
(INSARAG) and when finalised should be used as a guiding document.
2.8
Team composition
Team composition will be determined by the various organisations within each are
a on the basis of safe accomplishment of set tasks. Regardless of the team compo
sition, a team leader must be appointed. A team of 6 – 8 members is required for e
ffective general rescue teamwork. Teams may be larger, but these are often split
into squads of 6-8 rescuers to allow them to be easily managed.
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 2: General rescue background
2.9
Activation
Each team should have a callout system established, and have determined the time
necessary to ensure a full team response. This system should include such detai
ls as: • Who calls out the team • Who will be responsible for them • Where to report • W
hat functions the team will perform • What equipment to take • Likely duration of ta
sk or event.
2.10 Deployment
On call-out, teams should clearly state to the organisation requesting their sup
port details of accommodation and any feeding assistance that may be required. I
f practical, each team should be self-sufficient in the provision of food for th
e first 24 hours. Note: Minimum requirements for team number, structure, activat
ion and deployment are established for teams wanting to register as a New Zealan
d Response Team.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
7
Section 3: Safety in training and operations
3
3.1
Safety in training and operations
Objectives
On completion of study and/or instruction on this chapter of the General Rescue
Manual individuals: should know: • Who is responsible for safety at training and r
escue operations Demonstrate awareness of: • Safe Person Concept or Risk Assessmen
t Management System • Safe lifting techniques Practically demonstrate a technique
for, in an unknown environment: • opening a door • climbing stairs • searching a darke
ned room
3.2
Introduction
The task of rescue involves the training of individuals and teams in a variety o
f skills, some of which, unless properly carried out, may well prove dangerous t
o the individual rescuer, the team, casualties, or bystanders. In all cases, the
safety of rescuers is of prime importance. It is therefore necessary, particula
rly in the early stages of training and exercises, to pay a great deal of attent
ion to safety measures, and to emphasise the need to strictly observe and enforc
e these measures. WARNING NOTE: All rescue training and operations must be carri
ed out with due regard to safe work practices, occupational health and safety re
quirements, and codes of practice and guidelines. Many of the safety precautions
to be observed are merely common sense. Unfortunately, they are so basic and si
mple they are often overlooked.
3.3
The responsibility for safety
Safety is the principal consideration in any rescue activity and it is the respo
nsibility of each rescuer to ensure that safety procedures and Occupational Heal
th and Safety requirements are followed, instructions observed, and operations c
arried out with a minimum of risk.
8 General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 3: Safety in training and operations
There are a number of guidelines, codes of practice, regulations, and procedures
that relate to safety, and to operational aspects such as critical incident str
ess, and risk management. These are constantly being amended and updated – it is t
he responsibility of organisations to keep their procedures and policies in line
with the current guidelines, codes of practice and regulations. Reference to th
e most relevant of these are made throughout this manual, and were correct at th
e time of printing. Additionally, individual services have procedures for the ma
nagement of these factors, and for determining individual and organisational res
ponsibilities. All of these factors must be taken into account in the management
of rescue activities. This section covers the key points of safety in training
and operations as they affect the rescuer, the casualty, or the bystander. Speci
fic safety points will be covered with each rescue technique, as they affect how
the particular rescue technique is conducted.
3.4
Strategies to improve safety
There are a number of strategies/systems that have been developed to improve the
safety of rescue operations. No matter what system is used, the objectives are
the same: Identify hazards and risks and take steps to: • eliminate • isolate or • min
imise the risk For example: Risk Assessment Management System (RAMS) RAMS is a p
rocess where the activities planned to be undertaken are evaluated for their haz
ard/risk and the steps that can be taken to reduce the risk are identified in a
systematic way. Safe Person Concept (SPC) The safe person concept provides a fra
mework for the application of the risk assessment and management process. It is
used extensively by the New Zealand Fire Service, and can easily be adapted for
the general rescue environment. The SPC uses a 5-step risk assessment and review
: 1. Identify potential hazards and risks 2. Likelihood - what is the likelihood
of these occurring - certain, very likely, unlikely or rare 3. Consequences - w
hat are the likely consequences - catastrophic, major, moderate or insignificant
4. Level of risk - what is the level of risk? Risk = likelihood x consequence 5
. Actions - what actions can be taken to eliminate, isolate or minimise the risk
.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
9
Section 3: Safety in training and operations
This is often presented in a table: eg for General Rescue Training Potential haz
ard
Rope breaking
Likelihood
(Certain, Very Likely, Unlikely, Rare)
Consequences
(catastrophic, Major, Minimal, Low)
Level of risk
(Extreme, High, Mod, Low)
Actions to be taken
All ropes used to meet standard (M) Only approved knots used (M)…
Rare
Major
Moderate
3.5
Basic precautions
Safety Officers should be appointed for any rescue activity. Team Leaders and Sa
fety Officers are responsible for safety at all times, but every team member nee
ds to be aware of their responsibility to raise safety concerns at any time. The
orders given by these officers are to be obeyed without question or delay, as t
hey are vital to safety. In general, the Safety Officer should not undertake any
other role - their focus is on safety. Equipment must be regularly and carefull
y checked both before and after use. Ropes can wear and rot, batteries can corro
de equipment, and machinery can break down. Faulty equipment can cost lives. Any
faulty or suspect equipment must be labeled immediately and removed for repair
or replacement (e.g. the rope that a rescuer used, inadvertently damaged, but di
d not check, may kill someone next time it is used). Personnel ‘at risk’ by working
at heights or depths must be protected by properly established and monitored saf
ety lines and systems. Wherever possible, rescuers should adhere to standard tec
hniques and practices. In any rescue technique, safety limits and margins have b
een built in for casualty and rescuer protection. These must never be ignored or
exceeded. WARNING NOTE: Under no circumstances is smoking permitted in the resc
ue environment.
3.6
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
PPE should be issued/made available to each rescuer and is a key in ensuring the
safety of rescue personnel.
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Section 3: Safety in training and operations
The following is a list of basic PPE for rescue workers - consistent with USAR A
wareness Student Manual: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Helmet Whistle Full-length clothing Head
les Dust masks Gloves First aid kit Knife or shears Boots Hearing protection Kne
e and elbow pads (advised for USAR Awareness)
It is important that each piece of PPE is appropriate for the task being underta
ken, and meets the appropriate AS/NZ or international standard. Helmets, in part
icular, must be worn at all times of risk, whether great or small. All safety eq
uipment must be maintained and replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s reco
mmendations.
3.7
Rescue fall protection
Rescue personnel who work in situations where they could fall three meters or mo
re are required, under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 to protect t
hemselves from this potential fall. Consideration should also be given at height
s of less than three meters if the result of the fall could lead to an injury. P
ersonnel should wear a harness if there is a potential risk of falling. This har
ness should meet the requirements of AS/NZS 1891.1: 1985 Safety Belts and Harnes
ses or equivalent standard, and preferably be of the full body type. As there ar
e many types of harnesses available including sit harnesses, fall arrest harness
es and rescue harnesses. Advice should be sought when deciding on what type of h
arness you require. Fall protection can be provided under two basic categories.
The first of these is fall prevention where the person is restricted from gainin
g access to the edge where they could fall, i.e. guardrails or a length of line
attached to an anchorage and the person’s harness which is short enough to stop th
em reaching the edge. The second method is fall arrest where some device is used
to stop a person from hitting a lower surface after a fall i.e. using a shock a
bsorbing lanyard or rope grabbing device.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
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Section 3: Safety in training and operations
For further information regarding safe work at height the Occupational Safety an
d Health Service’s Guidelines for the Prevention of Falls should be consulted.
3.8
Casualty safety
The safety of casualties is very important. Every effort, including the use of p
rotective
equipment, must be made to ensure that casualties come to no further harm once a
rescue team arrives at the scene. WARNING NOTE: Horseplay or casual handling of
casualties is unsafe and must not be tolerated. For the sake of realism in trai
ning it is an advantage to use live casualties in exercises and drills. Teams sh
ould bear in mind the added safety required when dealing with heights, water, an
d contaminated areas, where dummy casualties may be substituted. In most cases,
it is only by handling live casualties in training and exercises that rescuers w
ill appreciate the problems they will encounter on operations.
3.9
Confined space operations
WARNING NOTE: Confined spaces are very dangerous Activities in a confined space
must only be undertaken by appropriately trained and qualified personnel.
In rescue operations, many environments may fall within the definition of confin
ed spaces as laid down in Standard ASNZ 2865:2001 (Safe Work in Confined Spaces)
. A confined space is defined as an enclosed or partially enclosed space which: • • • • • •
Is at atmospheric pressure during occupancy Is not intended or designed primaril
y as a place of work May have restricted means for entry and exit May have an at
mosphere which contains potentially harmful levels of contaminant Does not have
a safe oxygen level May cause you to be buried.
Rescue activities in such environments must be carried out with particular regar
d to the problems of breathing in dangerous atmospheres.
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 3: Safety in training and operations
The RAPID® programme, has produced a self-paced training module for confined space
awareness. RAPID is a join initiative of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emerge
ncy Management (MCDEM) and the Local Government Industry Training Organisation (
LGITO).
3.10 Moving in an unknown environment
When in strange surroundings and unable to see, the safest course of action is t
o work by touch. The need for caution is obvious and accidents can be avoided by
remembering a few simple points:
If you do not know what is behind the door into a room, check the temperature of
the door with the back of your hand. If it is hot to touch, do not open the doo
r, as the temperature inside is excessive and/or a fire may be exacerbated.
The procedure for opening a door that opens away from the rescuer, if they are u
nsure what is on the other side. The rescuer is bent over so that the majority o
f their weight is over their back leg. This position reduces the likelihood of t
he rescuer being pulled into the room if the door tries to swing all the way ope
n in the case of strong wind or a difference in air pressure.
The procedure for opening a door that opens towards the rescuer, if they are uns
ure what may be on the other side.
The rescuer’s front foot is placed firmly on the floor about 20-30cm away from the
door. This prevents the door swinging all the way open in the case of strong wi
nd or a difference in air pressure. It allows the rescuer to close it if the env
ironment appears to be too hazardous to enter.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
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Section 3: Safety in training and operations
WARNING NOTE: Rescue workers should only enter smoke/dust filled room if require
d for their evacuation from a building during an emergency situation. If you nee
d to leave a smoke-filled room, crawl on your hands and knees. In this position
you are below dangerous heated gases and the bulk of the smoke. You will also be
above toxic, heavierthan-air gases that may have been generated by burning plas
tics and natural materials.
If moving in upright position, shuffle, don’t walk. The weight of the body should
be kept poised on the rear foot until the advancing foot has tested that it is s
afe to move forward; do not lift the feet from the ground – they should slide forw
ard as this will help detect obstructions and dangers. As you move forward raise
your free hand in front of your face, lightly clenched, with the back uppermost
, to feel for obstructions. If the back of your hand touches a live electric wir
e, shock will throw it clear. Your hand will not grasp the wire as it would if i
t were open.
3.11 Searching a darkened room
Make a complete circuit of the room, keeping close to the wall. Feel under, and
on, objects (beds, etc). Open and feel inside cupboards, wardrobes, divans, and
below other pieces of furniture • • • If a complete circuit is made in this way, in an
average sized room, there should be little danger of a victim being missed. As
a final precaution, the room should be crossed diagonally to make sure that no-o
ne is lying in the centre. In a larger open-plan area (office, etc.), adopt this
method with diagonals to the centre of the room from each corner. Partitions an
d furniture will also hamper movement.
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Section 3: Safety in training and operations
3.12 Moving on stairs
When ascending or descending stairs, keep close to the wall, since the treads wi
ll usually bear weight at this point even though their centre may be weakened. I
t may be safer, particularly in darkened environments, to go down stairs backwar
ds. This allows the rescuer to test the load bearing capacity of the next step b
efore putting their full weight on it. If there is any doubt as to the strength
of the stairs, allow only one person on each flight at any one time. The balustr
ade should be used with caution; it may have been weakened and may collapse if a
ny weight is applied to it. If a stairway has been seriously damaged, use sectio
ns of extension ladders to improvise a stairway.
3.13 Vehicle safety
Emergency vehicles must be driven by an authorised driver in accordance with the
Road Transport Act, particularly with regard to the use of warning lights and s
irens. Vehicles and trailers must be maintained in a road-worthy condition, and
regular checks and inspections should be made. Upon arrival at an accident scene
, the rescue vehicle must be positioned with due regard to the site hazards, and
warning devices must be used to protect the team and the vehicle. The aim of a
rescue team is to assist the public in time of need, and this should always be k
ept in mind when the team is traveling to an emergency. Little can be done for o
riginal casualties if the rescue team is involved in an accident en-route.
3.14 Equipment safety
There is a range of equipment that may be appropriate for specific situations. A
ll equipment should be used in close compliance with the manufacturers’ operating
instructions, and the following basic safety rules for rescue tools and equipmen
t should be followed: • • • • • Safety goggles and gloves must be worn when using power to
ols or hammering pickets. Careful safety consideration must be given before any
modification of equipment, or method of use, is attempted. Only blades, fuel, oi
l, hydraulic fluid, and parts that are recommended by the manufacturer should be
used. Petrol driven motors must never be refueled while they are hot, and they
must be kept apart from fuel supplies and casualties. All specific safety proced
ures for rescue equipment must be adhered to, and regular and careful safety che
cks must be carried out both before and after use.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
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Section 3: Safety in training and operations
3.15 Public utility hazards
Public utility hazards pose a range of safety issues for rescuers. The following
information is taken from the USAR Awareness Student Manual (pg 38): The disrup
tion of gas, water and power services will further complicate a rescue at a coll
apse incident. The escape of gas causes two areas of concern. The first is the d
isplacement of oxygen in a confined space and the second the potential for an ex
plosive mixture. With the displacement of oxygen, the victims and rescuers could
be overcome by the lack of oxygen. Ventilation or the use of breathing apparatu
s will assist, but atmospheric monitoring is essential to ensure a safe working
environment. If there is a risk of fire or explosion, cutting off the source of
ignition and providing safe and effective ventilation can reduce this threat. No
te: Constant monitoring of air quality throughout the rescue can reduce the like
lihood of explosion that would cause further casualties and greater injury. Due
to the additional weight and the possibility of trapped victims drowning, water
used for fire fighting purposes or from a ruptured pipe must be kept to a minimu
m and not allowed to accumulate. Water soaked debris can also make manual remova
l efforts more demanding for rescuers. Gas and water meters operating can indica
te if either hazard is leaking or flowing and are usually situated at an isolati
on point. In order to monitor Environment and Situational Hazards, a Safety Offi
cer should be part of each rescue team. The Safety Officer’s duties include: • monit
oring the scene for unsafe conditions and acts • warning team members of impending
danger • ensuring crews are rotated as required • monitoring the location of the te
am and its mission
3.16 Correct lifting techniques
At all levels of rescue and training operations, rescuers will be required to li
ft, haul or push loads, and must be trained to handle these tasks properly and s
afely where mechanical aids are not available or useable. As the thigh muscles a
re stronger than those of the arms, back, or abdomen, it follows that these are
the muscles that should be used for safe lifting.
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Section 3: Safety in training and operations
The sequence of actions for lifting a load is: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Assess need
(is there another way?) Assess ability- get help if necessary Clear path Extend
before you bend Keep back straight Use legs Keep load close
Don’t twist Don’t walk backwards Don’t step over things
Loads should be lowered in a reversal of the lifting techniques.
3.17 Team lifting
Team lifting is carried out using the same individual techniques already describ
ed, but with team discipline and control. • When the team is in position, the Team
Leader, or when lifting a casualty, a rescuer at the head end, gives the prepar
atory order: PREPARE TO LIFT. • Any rescuer not ready to lift must call: STOP, and
the Team Leader/rescuer must wait until all is in order. In the absence of any
such response, the Team Leader/rescuer will give the order: LIFT. • On this comman
d, all rescuers lift their portion of the load by the technique already describe
d, slowly, and in unison. • As with the individual technique, lowering a load is t
he reversal of the procedure with the Team Leader/rescuer using the commands: PR
EPARE TO LOWER, and LOWER.
3.18 Warning signals
INSARAG have developed a series of internationally accepted signals for use in r
escue operations – the signals detailed below are the same as those taught in USAR
Awareness.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
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Section 3: Safety in training and operations
Action Required Evacuate Cease operations Resume operations
Signal 3 short blasts 1 long blast 1 long blast, followed by 1 short
Signals can be given using portable air horns, vehicle horns and whistles. The e
vacuation signal should be relayed by members of the team to ensure that everyon
e has heard it. Note: ASTM Rope Rescue and other signal systems exist that confl
ict with the above.
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
4
4.1
Incident ground actions
Objectives
On completion of study and/or instruction on this chapter of the General Rescue
Manual individuals: Should be able to give a brief description of the: • principle
s that apply when setting up a Site Control • stages of rescue (REPEAT) • roles and
responsibilities in relation to the dead
4.2
Incident management
The first team arriving at an incident site will, at least initially, assume con
trol. This will require the set-up of an Incident Management System. The type of
Incident Management System used will depend on many factors including: • • • Size of
the incident Number of agencies involved Location of the Incident Control Point
(ICP)
When a multi-agency response may be expected, then the use of a Coordinated Inci
dent Management System (CIMS) is appropriate. CIMS is a separate course and is r
ecommended for all personnel involved in emergency management. For a situation o
nly requiring one team a “Site Control” system may be more appropriate using the com
mand structure already established for the team. Whatever system is established,
some basic principles apply including: • Personnel entry control system • Developme
nt of regular situation reports • Casualty tracking system • Recording of key inform
ation – normally done on incident control whiteboards. A team command system will
also be required when the team is tasked to do one component at a larger inciden
t.
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
4.3
Initial action strategies
Following the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Okalahoma City, a series
of initial action strategies were developed. These need to be considered at the
initial stage of the incident response: • Constantly gather information • Set up co
mmunication quickly • Limit supervisory staff • Establish inventory control system • C
entralise logistics • Determine length of incident
4.4
Site control
Site control will be set up in a suitable area close to the event. The Site Cont
rol Area is a vital area to ensure the efficient and effective control and manag
ement of an event. • Site Control can be set up anywhere where it is safe from the
effects and influence of the event and it must be at an appropriate location to
work from. • Site Control will manage and control the personnel at the event site
. • It will handle information flow both in and out of the event and take care of
all safety issues. • It will be responsible for situation reports being sent and r
eceived from the Incident Control Point (ICP). • Site Control in general is respon
sible for the efficient running of the event site. • It is a good idea to cordon o
ff the Site Control Area, make it visible, well identified and easy to find. Ide
ntifying the Site Control Area well saves time for personal entering the event a
rea. In any major event all actions taken at Site Control will be under the guid
ance of the Incident Controller (IC) who will be working to an Incident Action P
lan, all instructions received from the ICP must be acted on. The only variation
to this is if there is no ICP established, in that case the first to arrive at
the event will be responsible to set up Site Control, secure the site and start
on an initial Incident Action Plan.
4.4.1
Tasks required for setting up Site Control
Safety Officer A Safety Officer must be appointed to take care of safety issues
at an event.
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
The Safety Officer will be responsible for all safety issues that may effect tea
m members and casualties at the event site. This will include being responsible
for checking on any movement of walls, rubble material etc, and looking out for
hazards either present or evolving that could be a danger to personnel or casual
ties. The Safety Officer’s responsibility is the safety of all personnel and casua
lties at the event site and the Safety Officer must not get involved with other
tasks such as rescue etc. Note: A Safety Officer may also be required at the Saf
e Forward Point and/or at operational sites of teams. Information boards Suffici
ent information boards will be required to display all information such as: • Regi
stration Information. • Situation Reports. • Reconnaissance Information. • Map. • Incide
nt Action Plan.
Registration All personnel entering Site Control must be registered in and out a
nd a permanent record kept. A record must be kept of team members entering the e
vent scene as well. This is particularly important with team members entering in
to the danger areas of the event. Reconnaissance teams and rescue teams must be
accounted for. The information required is: • Name of the person entering. • The tea
m or organisation they belong to. • Time in. • The time they registered out of the S
ite Control Area. Stipulate the importance to register in and out when leaving t
he site. Some form of registration may also happen at the Safe Forward Point. Si
tuation reports Situation reports are a vital part of site control, they should
be sent direct to the ICP on a regular basis. It is imperative that the ICP be k
ept informed about the status of the event. Requests for resources will be inclu
ded in the situation reports and the reports should be done at fifteen-minute in
tervals, sooner if necessary.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
Only relevant information should be sent and the content of the reports document
ed. Any medium (radio, runner, phone etc) can be used to deliver reports. Situat
ion reports will include: • The number of the report. • Information sent. • Time sent.
• Method sent. All incoming information from the recipient e.g. the ICP, must be
documented. Reconnaissance Reconnaissance teams will be deployed and information
gained will be recorded. This information will be used in the Incident Action P
lan and all necessary relevant information relayed back to incident control. Rec
ord all relevant information on the map such as hazards encountered, location of
found casualties, landmarks and any dangers. Record all relevant information on
the information board and keep a permanent record as well. Map A map of the eve
nt area must be made. It must be precise and show as much detail as possible and
highlight known features, landmarks and any other relevant information. It is a
lso important to show where hazards are on the map and identify any other danger
s that could affect both rescue team member and casualties. Show on the map the
location of all known identified casualties and their condition, Green, Red, etc
. This will save time for future teams going to rescue them. Add landmarks to th
e map, these will act as reference points for those entering the event. Highligh
t on the map the location where the Site Control has been set up and send a copy
to the Safe Forward Point, this will aid personnel entering the event area to f
ind the Site Control after deployment from the Safe Forward Point (SFP). Inciden
t Action Plan (IAP) The plan to rescue the maximum number of casualties in the s
hortest possible time. If a team is the first to arrive at an event and the even
t is not under control from an ICP, the team will need to start to create an Inc
ident Action Plan. The plan is based on information gathered from all sources si
nce the onset of the event. The plan will be taken over by the Incident Controll
er as soon as an ICP has been established providing the size and nature of the e
vent warrants it. Incident Control will be in operation at all major events.
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
The plan will initially be oral instructions but as the management of the incide
nt becomes organized, written plans will be created and administered by the Inci
dent Management Team (IMT). The plan must be achievable and establish the incide
nt objectives. The Incident Action Plan will: Describe the overall operational o
bjectives and strategies Ensure continuity of control operations Provide for eff
ective use of resources Identify total anticipated resources Safe Forward Point
(SFP) The Safe Forward Point is the area where arriving personal and equipment a
ssemble before being deployed into the event proper. It is important to remember
that registration in and out is done at both the Safe Forward Point and at Site
Control. The Safe Forward Point will be established at a safe location near to
the event. It may be inside or just outside the inner cordon. The primary functi
on of the Safe Forward Point is a place where teams and resources will assemble
safely at an event. Security will be undertaken at the Safe Forward Point and a
safety officer must be appointed to take responsibility for safety issues at the
Safe Forward Point. Factors to consider when establishing the site are. • Access
to the event for all services. • Safety in the area selected. (Is it safe from all
hazards)? • Is it safe from the factors causing the event? • Protection from the el
ements. • Large enough to cater for manpower, equipment and casualties. Security S
ecurity personnel should be deployed to ensure that only authorised persons ente
r the Safe Forward Point and Inner Cordon. Only personnel wearing and equipped w
ith all personal safety gear may enter the inner cordon. It is important to esta
blish security as soon as possible, utilize some of the first personnel to arriv
e for this task. Security is important to deter unwanted people from the site wh
o could hinder or impede the rescue process.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
23
Section 4: Incident ground actions
Casualty handling and triage An area will need to be set up to manage and treat
the casualties being brought out of the event. Although it is not the responsibi
lity of the Safe Forward Point it is often located near by. Triage, treatment an
d care of the casualties is necessary before and until removal by the profession
al services. A register will be required for all the casualties processed. The i
nformation required would be: • Name of the casualties. • Condition and nature of in
juries, Red, Yellow, Green, Black. • Treatment and care given. • Time received. • Time
the casualties left the casualty handling area. Documentation for all casualtie
s treated will be necessary.
4.4.2
Other areas to consider
Staging area: An area where resources will be accumulated, this should be well a
way from the administration and casualty handling area. Such things as trailers,
rescue equipment, vehicles etc will be located there. Welfare area: An area whe
re the welfare of all the personnel involved with the event can be catered for.
Food, water, shelter and a rest area will need to be provided. A welfare area ma
y have been established outside the event area, however if this has not been don
e a welfare area must be established to cater for all personnel and casualties b
eing effected by the event. Weather:Weather conditions will influence an event.
Weather reports must be obtained and weather conditions considered. Cold and wet
weather will have a detrimental effect on all personnel and casualties. Time of
day:Depending on the time of day an event takes place. Rescue Personnel arrivin
g at an event could require specific resources such as lighting and water etc.
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 4: Incident ground actions
Plan ahead to make sure that all the required resources are requested and are in
place well before it is too late.
4.4.3
Timeline for site control
The inner cordon may or may not have been established by the ICP for the event.
If it hasn’t it is important to establish the inner cordon on arrival at the event
and secure the area. The first personnel to arrive will start setting up Site C
ontrol. The area for Site Control will be defined taking into consideration fact
ors such as suitably and safety. Registration area to be established. Casualty h
andling area to be established. Resource and Welfare areas to be established. In
formation boards put in place for: Map (showing hazards, victim location, landma
rks, dangers, site control location) All information received including reconnai
ssance. Incident Action Plan. (Planning will start immediately) Situation report
s sent to and received from the ICP. Hard copies should be made of all informati
on written on any of the boards. A Safety Officer appointed as soon as possible.
Reconnaissance teams deployed. Incident Action Plan (now becoming more precise
and detailed) Deployment of rescue team and equipment etc. Prepare to receive an
d treat casualties. Removal of casualties for professional treatment.
1.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
4.5
Rescue by stages
No set of rules can be devised to give leaders specific guidance on how to tackl
e every job, but by proceeding in stages in accordance with a regular plan they
are less liable to overlook important points and more likely to appreciate, and
organise, appropriate action.
R.E.P.E.A.T.
This method of Rescue by Stages is consistent with the International Search And
Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) rescue response guidelines.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
25
Section 4: Incident ground actions
R E P E A T
Reconnaissance & Survey Elimination of Utilities Primary Surface Search & Rescue
Exploration of all Voids & Spaces Access by Selected Debris Removal Terminate b
y General Debris Control
REPEAT is explained in more detail in the USAR Awareness Manual, but it is appro
priate to highlight the key content of this document: 1. Reconnaissance & survey
This is the initial activity undertaken upon arrival at a scene. It includes th
e resources available to the Team, including personnel, equipment, local experti
se, level of training, size and complexity of task, etc. It also takes into acco
unt external factors including the weather conditions, external and subsequent t
hreats, structure of building/s, surface conditions, etc. Information gained fro
m this activity should be used to compile a “master” rescue plan of the area or site
, where victims, resources, hazards, access, egress, etc. are shown. Reconnaissa
nce is an ongoing activity, and is not completed until the operation is finished
. Reconnaissance is: C Continuous Accurate A R Rapid, and T Thorough. It is esse
ntial that every member of a rescue team be trained in reconnaissance. In many i
nstances the Team Leader will be responsible for a number of tasks, and personne
l deployed must be capable of conducting reconnaissance and of reporting observa
tions. All sources should be exploited to obtain information regarding casualtie
s, damage, and likely hazards. The acronym TCHARD (or D-CHART) has been used to
describe the reconnaissance summary.
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
T C H A R D
Task Casualties Hazards Access/Exits Resources available Damage – extent
2. Elimination of utilities All utilities must be evaluated and controlled for t
he safety of all those involved. It does not involve any treatment to, or rescue
of, victims, as the main need is for information at this stage. (It is expected
that some rescue activities will be taking place simultaneously.) 3. Primary su
rface search & rescue Surface and lightly trapped victims should be removed as q
uickly and safely, as possible. Extreme care must be taken during this phase to
ensure that rescuers do not become victims. It is at this stage that many of the
techniques in Chapters 9,10 and 11 of this manual will be put to use. Where a n
umber of structures have to be searched, it is vital to adopt a disciplined Prio
rity Structure Assessment (PSA). The hazard marking system, and the victim marki
ng system must be applied at this stage. 4. Exploration of all voids and spaces
All voids and accessible spaces created as a result of the event must be explore
d for live victims. Audible call systems can be used during this phase, e.g. lin
e and hail search technique (as described in Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) Cate
gory 1, Awareness). WARNING NOTE: Only suitably trained dog units, or specially
trained rescue personnel should be used in ‘void’ and ‘space’ searches.
5. Access by selected debris removal The use of special tools and/or techniques
may be necessary after locating a victim. It may be necessary to remove only cer
tain obstructions to gain access to the victim. Information gained from the reco
nnaissance can be helpful during this phase.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
Local knowledge and/or expertise may assist in the identification of possible vi
ctim location, and also areas where structural safety is a concern. This knowled
ge may come from building wardens, survivors, engineers, etc. Areas that have be
en identified by search dogs, or the use of electronic search equipment will be
given priority at this stage. It would be unusual for heavy equipment to be used
during this phase. An exception would be when information indicates the possibi
lity of other victims located where a large amount of debris is obstructing oper
ations. The decision to use heavy equipment during this phase must be given seri
ous consideration, especially when there is a possibility that live victims are
still in the debris.
6. Termination by general debris removal This is usually conducted after all kno
wn victims have been recovered and accounted for.
4.6
Continuing action
Having made decisions and deployed personnel, Team Leaders must ensure reconnais
sance is continued with a view to allocating priorities for the further deployme
nt of resources. Rescuers deployed on a particular building, damaged by blast or
natural causes, should make careful observation of how that building has collap
sed. The art of rescue lies in being able to identify and exploit, all debris fo
rmations such as voids etc, which can be used to facilitate access to casualties
once their whereabouts have been fixed by firm information or inference. All re
scuers should attempt to locate and identify the parts of the building, especial
ly those parts where reconnaissance indicates casualties are likely to be. This
will provide a rough idea of where casualties might be found in relation to the
various parts of the damaged structure. At times such as this, a leader will nee
d to call upon all accumulated experience and training and combine them with eff
ective decision-making.
4.7
Precautions in operations
In the interest of safety to both trapped victims and rescuers, a thorough appre
ciation must be made before any rescue operation is commenced. The main safety c
onsiderations are as follows: • Do not move any debris in contact with the collaps
e without assessing its importance to the stability of the site. • Always stabilis
e a collapse with shoring before entering a void.
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
• • • • •
Entry and rescue procedures for confined spaces must comply with the provisions
of ASNZ 2865:2001. Always appreciate the forces and their possible direction of
movement in all types of collapse. Pack and support vertically, horizontally, an
d laterally whenever and wherever possible. In all materials used, consider thei
r strength in relation to the loads to which they will be subjected. Any disaste
r will invariably result in ruptured electrical water, gas, and sewer lines and,
although these will be primarily the responsibility of the public utility, it i
s essential that rescue personnel be trained to deal with such problems in the i
nitial stages.
4.8
Crush injuries
It should be remembered that casualties may be found who have suffered severe cr
ush injuries. These people will be suffering from shock and their breathing pass
ages may be clogged by the dust contained in the debris. Rescuers must take imme
diate steps to provide a clear airway for such casualties and treat for shock. P
eople trapped in debris and suffering from crush injuries need urgent, expert me
dical attention. These victims should be treated, if possible, before release fr
om entrapment.
4.9
Debris clearance
Two methods by which people trapped under a pile of debris can be extracted are:
• By clearance of debris, ie: by removing the debris piece by piece until the cas
ualties are uncovered and freed. • By the construction of tunnels and linking of v
oids (complying with confined space rules) If anyone survives at all, inside or
under a large pile of debris after a building has collapsed, it is because some
heavy timber, steel or concrete (a floor, or other portion of the structure) has
fallen or remained fixed, in such a way as to protect this person from the main
impact and weight of the debris. Furniture can sometimes protect a casualty. Un
less something of this kind has happened, it is unlikely that the casualty will
survive. This protection may be of a very unstable nature, and, unless great car
e is exercised, it may collapse. The chances of an internal collapse occurring c
an be minimised only by disturbing the debris as little as possible during rescu
e operations, and by making sure that, as one portion of the debris is removed,
the remainder is not dislodged and allowed to slide or fall.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
29
Section 4: Incident ground actions
Careful observance of these principles reduces the risk of further injury to tra
pped people, resulting in greater speed in the rescue operation. The ideal is “spe
ed with safety”.
4.10 When debris clearance is necessary
If no information is available regarding the approximate position of people trap
ped in debris, efficient rescue can only be effected by total debris clearance.
The essential difference between debris clearance as a rescue operation and debr
is clearance to clear a site is that, so long as there is a reasonable chance of
recovering casualties by debris clearance, it must be carried out by rescue tea
ms with the goal of rescuing any trapped victims that may remain. Rescue service
s must continue at work until it is certain that nobody is still alive, and that
the responsible officer (usually the Incident Controller), according to the res
ponse arrangements, decides that operations can be discontinued.
4.11 Methods of debris clearance
• When debris clearance is undertaken for rescue purposes, the debris should be mo
ved clear of the demolished building, and not merely from one part of the site t
o another. Debris can be removed by hand or by using other receptacles found on
the site. In a confined space or over obstacles, it is best to form a human chai
n. It may sometimes be necessary when clearing debris, to cut a lane through it
to reach a casualty. Great care must be taken in so doing, to ensure that the si
des of the lane do not collapse. These can be made safe, where necessary, by a s
imple form of shoring.
• •
4.12 Precautions in operations
• • • • • • • Exercise care in the use of edged tools in debris clearance. Debris close to
ualties should always be removed by hand. Rescuers must wear gloves. Rescuers mu
st not climb over debris during the clearing operation unless absolutely necessa
ry. Debris should be withdrawn only when it is certain that no further collapse
will be caused. Heavy equipment should be operated only at the direction of the
officer in charge. Movement of major debris elements must be carefully coordinat
ed.
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
4.13 The appreciation process
The appreciation process is a simple method of problem solving which is effectiv
e in rescue situations. It involves the logical assessment of the situation, and
the reconnaissance, and results in the formation of the workable plan. The appr
eciation process consists of six steps: Step One – Define the problem The problem
to be solved, or task to be accomplished, must be clearly defined. The problem m
ay be too large or complex to be easily tackled, and may be divided into a numbe
r of manageable elements, each with a set aim. Step Two – State the aim The aim is
a clear statement of what the team has to achieve in order to solve the problem
. The aim must be clear, concise, achievable, and expressed in positive terms. T
he aim will form the mission statement in an operational briefing and should be
as simple as: “To rescue the casualty from the bottom of the lift shaft”. Step Three
– Consider the factors Factors are points relevant to the problem that has to be
solved. Some factors that may have to be considered in an operational situation
are: • Number and location of casualties • Time and space • Topography • Weather • Availab
le resources, both personnel and equipment • Support requirements and availability
• Communications • Logistics • Priority of tasks. Each factor will lead to one or mor
e logical deductions, so that the leader should be in a position to say: “If this
is the case – then…” Factors in an appreciation may be set out as in the following exa
mple: Factor Deduction The casualty’s legs are trapped under a heavy steel beam. T
he rescue team must use cutting and lifting equipment to free the casualty.
Each factor should be thoroughly examined and care should be taken not to introd
uce irrelevant facts into the examination.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
Step Four – Determine courses open All possible courses that will attain the aim a
nd that are practical must be considered in the ‘Courses Open’ segment. Only facts d
ealt with in the ‘Factors’ should be considered and no new material should be introd
uced at this stage. Step Five – Decide on best course At this stage, a choice must
be made from one of the possible solutions developed by the appreciation proces
s. If more than one workable solution is produced and the best course is not obv
ious, the following criteria should be applied to each: • Risk — Which solution carr
ies the least risk factor in its execution, or the consequence of failure? • Simpl
icity — Which is the simplest course? • Time — If urgency is a factor, which course ca
n be completed in the shortest time? • Economy — In terms of resources, which soluti
on imposes the least demand? Step Six – Plan The plan will result from the choice
of the best course open. That is, it will be the best solution to the problem wi
th the most advantages and the least disadvantages. The plan must be simple, and
it must relate directly to the aim. When completed, the plan should be checked
against the following test questions: • Is the reasoning sound? • Is it set out in a
logical order? • Is everything relevant to the problem? • Has anything relevant bee
n left out? • Is it free of uncertainties or ambiguities? • Is it accurate (position
s, timings and so on)? • Has the aim been kept in mind throughout? • Can the plan ac
hieve the aim?
4.14 Introduction to Search and Victim Marking
Search Markings are used to record the actions of a team at a structure. The 1m
x 1m preferably International Orange marking is placed at the primary entrance o
f the structure and is started when the team first arrives. At this stage it wil
l generally cover:
Any hazard found in initial size-up
G or NG
Name of Team Time/Date of Start
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Section 4: Incident ground actions
A site control system will then be used to gather information on the team’s action
s, hazards, and other information found eg number of missing people. For general
rescue teams, once primary surface search and rescue is completed then they wil
l summarise the team’s actions, any additional hazards found, and some indication
of people still unaccounted for, and place this information on the search markin
g.
(Any hazard found in initial size-up) Additional hazards
G or NG Number of live removed Number of dead removed
Name of Team Time/Date of Start Time/Date of Finish
Persons unaccounted for Location of other victims
Once the team has completed its task and is leaving the site a circle is place a
round the search marking. Victim Markings are used primarily in the reconnaissan
ce phase to mark potential and confirmed victim locations whenever the victim is
not being immediately removed. They are updated as victims are removed, and can
also be used to identify whether the victims are alive or deceased eg:
V
Potential Victim location
V
Confirmed victim location
V
Only dead victims
V
Victims removed
Search and Victim Marking is covered more thoroughly in the USAR Awareness Stude
nt Manual.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
33
Section 4: Incident ground actions
4.15 Disaster victim identification (DVI)
• Although identification of the dead is a Police responsibility, routine procedur
es may not be feasible in a major disaster. Police Disaster Victim Identificatio
n (DVI) teams, located at various points around the country, will be deployed to
a disaster area and may require Civil Defence Emergency Management assistance.
In general, do not remove bodies from the position in which they were found with
out the agreement of the Police. Nevertheless, a rescuer may be justified in mov
ing a body: o When rescuers would be put at risk if they had to re-enter the dam
aged building or structure where the body is located. o Where it is necessary in
order to reach an injured person. o Where the body itself might be affected by
flooding, fire, or imminent collapse of a building or structure. The exact posit
ion in which a body is found may be critical to the identification of that perso
n, particularly if there is extensive mutilation. Where bodies do not have to be
removed from the building or structure for reasons of safety, make a notebook e
ntry of the location of the body and advise the Police as soon as possible. If p
ossible, do not leave the site until the Police have arrived. Where, in the inte
rests of safety, it is considered that bodies should be removed from the exact l
ocation of where the body was found, then the person finding the body must colle
ct all necessary information (including any identity obtained from survivors, an
d personal belongings found with the body). This should be recorded and attached
to the body.
• •
• •

4.16 Suspicious circumstances
• If you are in any way suspicious as to the cause of death (suspecting either mur
der or suicide), do not disturb the body and surrounding area, but record, secur
e, and then notify the nearest Police. Where there is danger of further damage t
o the body, (by fire, flood, or collapse of the building or structure, or danger
to rescue workers and Police), then the body may be removed to a safe place whi
ch can be secured. Give the Police all vital information (covering the location
and position of the body, cause of death, suspicions, circumstances, personal be
longings, etc.) included in a full report as soon as possible. Photographic reco
rds of the original position and surrounding area would be beneficial, where ava
ilable.



4.17 Conduct at the scene
• • In the presence of death, everyone should be respectful, subdued, and orderly. T
here should be no attempt at humour.
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 4: Incident ground actions
• •
Although survivors may be shocked when seeing their relative or friend covered,
indicating death, DO cover a severely mutilated body. Otherwise, treat a body as
you would a low priority casualty.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
35
Section 5: Ropes
5
5.1
Ropes
Objectives
On completion of study and/or instruction on this chapter of the General Rescue
Manual individuals: Should be able to describe: • The construction and characteris
tics of kernmantle rescue rope • The care and maintenance of rescue rope • The relat
ionship between breaking strain and safe working load
5.2
Introduction
Rope is one of the most important tools of the rescue team. Rescuers will use a
range of rope types for specific applications. All types have their advantages a
nd disadvantages, but provided the rescuer has thorough knowledge of the charact
eristics and capabilities of each type, all will give valuable service if they a
re appropriately cared for and maintained. New Zealand does not have a specific
rope standard. All ropes used for rescue should meet an existing international s
tandard, appropriate for the purpose for which they are being used. The existing
rope standards include: AS 4142 – Australian Standard for Fibre Rope ASTM F1740 – S
tandard Guide for Inspection of Nylon, Polyester, or Nylon/Polyester Blend Kernm
antle Rope NFPA1983:2001 – National (US) Fire Protection Association Standard for
Rescue Lines EN1891– Personal protective equipment for the prevention of falls fro
m a height. Low stretch kernmantel ropes
5.3
Types of rope
The ropes in common use with rescue teams are: • Synthetic fibre rope • Climbing tap
e • Flexible steel wire rope (SWR). WARNING NOTE: Natural fibre ropes/lines should
not be used for any purpose in the rescue environment.
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 5: Ropes
5.4
Synthetic ropes
Construction The manufacture of synthetic fibre rope commences with a chemical p
rocess that produces the raw material, such as Nylon or Terylene. The material i
s then melted and extruded through holes in a metal disc to produce long and fin
e filaments. The filaments are then stretched and cooled, with the amount of str
etch determining some subsequent rope properties. In basic terms, higher stretch
ing during filament manufacture will result in a rope with higher tensile streng
th and lower stretch in use. These filaments are then bunched to form multi-fila
ment yarns. Synthetic rope should be of ‘continuous filament’ or ‘multi-filament’ constr
uction, with each filament being a continuous length throughout the rope. It is
generally easier to detect a continuous filament rope, as it will be smooth and
shiny in appearance, without the ‘hairy’ appearance of ‘stable’ or short filament ropes.
The multi-filament yarns are twisted to form primary strands and twisted togeth
er again to make plied strands. The plied strands are then laid together and enc
ased in a plaited sheath. Ropes of multi-filament kernmantle construction are ma
nufactured from Polyamide fibre with a limited stretch factor and high static st
rength making them ideal for rescue purposes.
Note: Natural fibre lines are normally of Hawser Laid construction and are a pal
e brown/cream color. On closer inspection you will see the small natural fibres
that are twisted together- not the continuous thread of synthetic line. Rescuers
need to know what they look like so they can be sure to avoid them.
5.5
Kernmantle Construction
Primary strands
Individual filament
The term kernmantle comes from a German word Kern meaning core, and mantel meani
ng sheath. The kernmantle style of construction therefore consists of a kern or
core of filaments designed to sustain the greater part of the load. This core is
covered by a woven or braided sheath which supports a lesser portion of the loa
d, but which provides protection for the core against abrasion, dirt, and sunlig
ht (ultra-violet light). This construction style provides a rope that is strong
and resistant to damage, yet is light and easy to handle. These ropes also tend
to be highly resistant to spin or twist.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
37
Section 5: Ropes
5.6
Characteristics of Static Kernmantle Rope
Elongation A static rope is one designed with low elongation characteristics. Th
ese ropes normally elongate around 3% under one person’s body weight and not more
than 10% to 20% at ultimate breaking point. Elasticity The stretch of a static r
ope is normally attributable to the elasticity of the rope filaments. Static rop
es have poor shock absorbing qualities and any shock loading subjects the rescue
r’s body, the equipment in the system and the anchor system, to high impact forces
. Strength vs handling Static ropes tend to have thicker sheaths for greater cor
e protection. The increased sheath contributes more to the overall rope strength
, but results in a stiffer rope with poorer rope handling characteristics. ADVAN
TAGES of static ropes are: Low stretch Resistance to abrasion High tensile stren
gth DISADVANTAGES of static ropes are: Poor capacity for shock absorption Stiffe
r handling and knotting. WARNING NOTE: All ropes used in a rescue system must ha
ve identical characteristics to avoid unequal stretch and load reactions.
5.7
Characteristics of rescue ropes
There are a wide range of kernmantle ropes available on the market with variatio
ns in manufacturer, colour, sheath characteristics. The criteria for synthetic f
ibre rescue ropes are laid down in Australian Standard AS4142.3-1993, (Fibre rop
es- Part 3 Man-made fibre rope for static life rescue lines): • Minimum diameter 1
1mm • Static kernmantle construction • Minimum rated strength 3000kg • 100% Polyamide
(Nylon) • Spin resistant
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 5: Ropes
• • • • • • •
Abrasion resistant Good handling and knotting properties Maximum 3% elongation a
t 80kg load Maximum 10% elongation at 375kg load Maximum 20% elongation at 3000k
g load Contrasting core and sheath colours Coded with an identification tape in
the core. NB: this required characteristic limits the number of ropes considered
appropriate, as this is not generally required internationally. For this reason
a number of organisations are complying with alternative international standard
s.
Rope with a very low (preferably 0%) sheath slippage is also desirable.
5.8
Breaking force
The averaged ultimate breaking point of rope. Expressed in kilograms (kg) or in
kiloNewtons (kN) following rigorous testing. Also referred to as Breaking Strain
, Mean Breaking Strain (MBS) or Mean Breaking Load (MBL).
5.9
Safe working load (SWL)
The maximum working load that should be applied to a rope. This is consistent wi
th the factor of safety recommended for the conditions under which the rope is t
o be used (the breaking force divided by 10). E.g. Breaking Force of 3000kg = sa
fe working load of 300kg
5.10 Care and maintenance
The following points should be observed: • Avoid cutting a rope unless it is essen
tial to do so. f it is necessary, ensure the cut end is heat sealed as soon as p
ossible to prevent fraying. (As a temporary measure, tie a Figure 8 knot near th
e end of the rope or secure it with adhesive tape.) • Do not leave knots in a rope
as they considerably reduce its strength by seriously damaging the fibres. • Alwa
ys use proven knots and fastenings for ropes. Sharp bends or knots can overload
elements of the rope. • Use the correct size sheave in pulleys. Any attempt to for
ce a thick rope through a smaller pulley will cause damage. • Avoid shock-loading,
sudden jerks or violent stress on the rope. • Avoid stepping or walking on the ro
pe as this will force damaging grit and dirt into the fibres. • Avoid passing a ro
pe over a sharp edge or rough surface. If it is necessary to do this, protect th
e rope with sacking or other material.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
39
Section 5: Ropes


• •


Ropes that have been hauled through mud, sand or grit should always be cleaned a
fter the work has been completed. This is best managed by washing the rope in fr
esh, running water and following any manufacturer’s recommendations. Do not dry ro
pes in front of a fire or other heat source. Sread the rope on a ladder, laid ho
rizontally off the ground in a cool, shady area to enable the air to circulate f
reely around the rope. Store ropes under cover, off the floor, preferably in rac
ks, in a place free from extremes of temperature and out of contact with any con
taminating materials. Damaged or defective ropes must be appropriately labelled
and removed from service immediately. Details must then be entered on the rope h
istory record card. Ropes should not be exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged
periods as the fibres will degrade due to ultra-violet radiation. If a rope has
to be stored in an exposed location, cover it with a tarpaulin or some other fo
rm of protection. Ensure no contact is made with contaminants such as grease, oi
l, petrol, hydraulic fluid, acids, alkalis, and chemicals.
5.11 Washing ropes
Ropes should be washed when dirty to reduce the effect of grit abrasion on both
the rope and the equipment. The rope can be chained to prevent tangling. Polyami
de ropes can be washed in a washing machine, but the machine must be used on the
cold setting (never on hot). Use mild non-detergent soap (such as Lux soap flak
es) and fabric softner. The fabric softner replaces the lubricant the rope loose
s during washing. This is preferably done using a front-loading machine with gla
ss door and a steel drum. Where help is needed to clean a particularly dirty rop
e, refer to the rope manufacturer’s specifications. The washed rope can be pulled
under a very slight tension through an in-line descender to remove excess water,
and the rope dried in a cool shady area with good ventilation. A range of comme
rcial rope washers, normally some sort of brush that attaches to a hose, are als
o available.
5.12 Inspection
All ropes should be inspected before, during and after use. The inspection shoul
d be carried out by visually examining the rope and by thoroughly feeling the ro
pe. Visual examination should check for the following signs: • Discolouration of t
he filaments - Any changes in the original colour of the rope filaments could in
dicate contamination by chemicals.
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 5: Ropes
• • •
• •
Melting - Any smooth areas could indicate the rope has been damaged by heat fusi
on. White filaments - Where the sheath has been damaged, the white core filament
s may protrude. Size uniformity - The rope may be damaged by mechanical impacts
or over stressing. This may be evidenced by an obvious change in the shape and d
iameter of the rope. Abrasion - Excessive signs of abrasion may indicate the bre
aking of a sheath bundle and localised weakness. Stiffness - Any inconsistency i
n the texture of a rope and its stiffness. A bight of rope should have uniform r
adius around the bend, and inconsistencies may be soft spots that indicate core
damage.
Thoroughly feeling the rope should check for these additional signs: • Stiffened f
ilaments - This indicates possible overloading or contamination. • Changes in diam
eter - Depressed irregularities in the rope diameter (soft spots) may indicate c
ore damage, while increases in the apparent diameter may be due to severe twisti
ng of the core, or the protrusion of core filaments through the sheath. • Contamin
ation - Presence of dirt or other materials.
WARNING NOTE: Load testing of ropes is not recommended as a safe practice.
5.13 Retiring a rope
It is currently impossible to properly test a rope without destroying it, and th
e decision to retire a rope from service must therefore be based on careful insp
ection by a competent General Rescue Instructor, Rope Rescue Technician or Speci
alist. The following guidelines will assist in deciding when to retire a rescue
rope: • Abrasion - As a general rule when more than half of the sheath yarns are b
roken, or the abrasion ‘fuzz’ stands out from the sheath more than 25% of the rope d
iameter. • Loading - Where the rope is known to have sustained a shock loading or
to have been overloaded, it should be retired. • Contamination - Unless the materi
al with which the rope has come into contact with is harmless, it should be cons
idered contaminated. • Texture - A lack of uniformity of texture such as a presenc
e of soft or hard spots. • Diameter - Variations in the observable diameter of the
rope.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
41
Section 5: Ropes

Sheath protection - Where the white core filaments are visible through a hole in
the sheath, or where the core protrudes through the sheath as a white filament ‘p
uff’.
Whilst some services may have a policy on the life or limit of use of a rope, th
e bottom line with regard to rope retirement must be: IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT
Note: Further information on rope inspection and service life can be located in
ASTM F1740-96 Standard Guide for Inspection of Nylon, Polyester, or Nylon/Polyes
ter Blend Kernmantle Rope.
5.14 Terminology
For the purpose of this manual, the following terms are used in reference to rop
e and rope management. Other terms may be used in specific organisations. Anchor
ing: Fastening a rope to some suitably secure object. Belaying: Controlling a sa
fety rope attached to personnel or equipment. Bight: A simple bend in which the
rope does not cross itself. Hauling: The act of pulling on a rope. Half-Hitch: T
he closed loop on a rope; a simple fastening of a rope around some object by win
ding and crossing one turn so that one section of the rope bites on the other wi
thout actually knotting the rope. Kernmantle: A style of construction of synthet
ic fibre rope, consisting of a core (kern) and a sheath (mantle). Loop: A simple
bend in which the rope crosses itself. Mousing: Tying a piece of cord or wire a
cross the jaws of a hook to prevent a rope or sling from jumping out of the hook
. Parcelling / Edge protection: Wrapping a section of the rope to prevent chafin
g against some object. Paying out / Easing: Reducing the tension on a rope. Reev
ing: Threading a rope through pulley blocks. Round turn: One complete turn of a
rope around a spar or another rope.
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 5: Ropes
Running end: The free or working end of a rope. Standing part: The part of the r
ope which is taking the load or which is static. Tail: The short length of rope
or tape (approx 100-150mm) that extends past the completed knot.
Bight
Loop
Running End Round Turn
Turn
Rope Pack
Standing Part
5.15 Rope packaging
There are a number of techniques suited to the packaging of rescue ropes, includ
ing: • Stuff sacks • Chaining • Hanking • Coiling Stuff sacks These are the preferred me
thod of storage and carriage for long length ropes, and as the name implies, the
rope is merely stuffed into the pack and gently tamped down. The sacks can be s
imply bags, or packs with straps for carriage to the site, and while they are ex
pensive, rucksacks are best for most operations.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
43
Section 5: Ropes
Chaining Chaining involves creating a series of loose loops in multiple strands
of rope to form a “chain” which can then be hung up or stored. The diagram to the le
ft shows the process of forming a multiple strand chain.
5.16 Identification
A system of marking each end of a rope for identification of length, and with a
reference number to the rope history card, is recommended. Colour coding can be
used to quickly identify ropes, and should be located at each end of the rope. T
he suggested colour coding is: • GREEN - OK to use for all activities. • RED - not s
uitable for ‘live’ work. Discard damaged rope immediately. It is important you know
the colour coding that your team uses as this may differ from team to team. If f
aults are found during any rope inspection, immediate steps must be taken to rec
tify the problem(s) in accordance with Standard - AS4142.3 (or EN1891).
5.17 Record systems
All ropes should be clearly and permanently identified and a record kept of indi
vidual items, their usage, inspection, and maintenance. Suggested headings for a
record system are as follows: • Identity number • Item description • Purchase date • Us
age dates • Description of usage • Inspection date • Inspected by: (name) • Maintenance
carried out • Signature
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General Rescue Manual – March 2006
Section 5: Ropes
An example rope log:
Rope History & Usage.
Description. Rope ID # : Issue Date : Mfg By : Length : Diameter : Colour : SWL
:
IMPORTANT: Inspect ropes for damage or excessive wear each time it is deployed a
nd again after each use. Retire all suspect ropes immediately.
Date Used
Location Used
Type of Use
Date Cked
Inspector
Comments
5.18 Climbing tapes
Tape or webbing is one of the most versatile materials available to rescuers. It
may be used as tied, or sewn, slings or as a length of tape, and its applicatio
ns are limited only by the imagination of the rescuers. Some examples of the use
of tape slings in disaster rescue are: • Providing attachment point to anchors/ha
rd belay points • Lashing of stretchers • Creating improvised harnesses and casualty
support systems • Linking rescue equipment together. Tape slings are often tied o
ff in slings with circumferences of 1200mm and 2500mm, referred to as ‘single’ and ‘do
uble’ tape slings. The material is very versatile, and can be used to form slings
of any length for specific purposes. Only tape specifically made for rescue, cli
mbing, or caving by recognised equipment manufacturers should be used for vertic
al rescue. WARNING NOTE: Home sewn slings are totally unsafe and have no place i
n the rescue environment.
5.19 Construction
There are two broad design categories of tape - flat and tubular. Both types are
actually flat in appearance. However, if tubular tape is viewed in cross sectio
n, it forms a hollow tube. Standard tubular tape is normally the strongest and m
ost flexible form, and is therefore recommended for vertical rescue. Tubular tap
e is preferred for rescue as it is less prone to damage on an edge or rough area
than is flat tape.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006
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Section 5: Ropes
Tape is woven in many different ways and the characteristics that can be affecte
d by the style of construction are: strength, elongation, abrasion resistance an
d ultra-violet resistance. All of these factors are affected by the fibre used a
nd the weave tension in particular. While a tape with a very tight weave will be
strong, knot retention and suppleness will be poor. Obviously a good rescue tap
e is a compromise of factors.
5.20 Size
Tape is sized by a flat width, with 25mm and 50mm being the most commonly used s
izes. Smaller tape sizes are available, often as sewn slings. If they are used i
n General Rescue they must be certified or rated by the manufacturer.
5.21 Abrasion
Under certain circumstances, tape is liable to abrade or wear more rapidly than
rope and it has no sheath for extra protection. Additional attention must be pai
d to wear or friction areas and tapes must be discarded when doubt exists as to
its safety.
5.22 Tape strength
For vertical rescue operations, only tape with a minimum rated strength of 1500k
g should be selected.
5.23 The use of tape
As previously stated, tape is normally used in the form of sewn or tied slings f
or all manner of anchorage tasks, improvised harnesses, casualty slings and othe
r attachments. Where tape is tied to form slings, the only safe knot is the Tape
Knot. This is tied as shown in diagrams at left. The team equipment should incl
ude various sized slings. This is the preferred method as strength loss due to k
notting is minimised by the use of a single sling. As a very rapid means of join
ing a large or extra large sling, one or more tapes can be joined by means of a
Karabiner, or preferably by untying the slings and joining them into a large sli
ng with Tape Knots.
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Section 5: Ropes
WARNING NOTE: Always check Tape Knots before using slings.
5.24 Care and maintenance
Tape must be treated in exactly the same manner as synthetic rescue rope, subjec
t to all normal inspections and safety procedures and recorded in the rope recor
d system. It should be protected from abrasion, contamination, friction heat, sh
ock loading and should be inspected before, during and after every use.
5.25 Safety
The following safety points relate to tape: • When slings are carried on operation
s, they should preferably be carried on the harness, or diagonally around the ne
ck and under one arm. (Many rescuers carry spare slings around their necks, and
it must be recognised that this is a potentially lethal practice; should the res
cuer fall, the loose slings can snag, resulting in serious or fatal injury.) • Kno
ts must be regularly checked for signs of overstrain or loosening, and properly
retied, or cut, heat sealed then retied, where necessary, with minimum tails of
100mm. • All tape must be regularly and carefully inspected for signs of damage or
abrasion, and where damage is suspected, or serious abrasion has occurred, the
tape must be withdrawn from service. Where a sling has been subjected to a sever
e loading, it may be seriously damaged but the damage may not be obvious. ALL SU
CH SLINGS MUST BE DESTROYED.
5.26 Flexible steel wire rope
SWR’s have many rescue applications, including heavy haulage and lifting, and stru
ctural demolition. The most commonly used SWRs are those fitted to vehicle and h
and operated winches. WARNING NOTE: Steel Wire Rope should not be used for human
rescue, only the lifting and moving of equipment.
5.27 Safe working load (SWL)
Steel Wire Rope is manufactured to a tested Mean Breaking Load (MBL) which shoul
d be clearly displayed on the end plates of the rope drums or an attached rope i
dentification label.
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Section 5: Ropes
The safe working loads for these ropes can be calculated by dividing the MBL by
a safety factor of 10 which is considered to be an appropriate factor for rescue
purposes. Mean Breaking Load (kg) = SWL 10
5.28 Construction
Steel wire rope consists of a number of strands (normally six) with a fibre core
. Each strand consists of a number of steel wires – the most common form of constr
uction being 6/19, indicating six strands, each of nineteen steel wires and with
a fibre core.
During manufacture, wires and strands are coated with lubricant to prevent corro
sion and friction in the rope, or they are galvanised.
5.29 Precautions in operations
Wire ropes should not be bent sharply at any point. As a general rule the smalle
st diameter around which a SWR should be bent should be approximately ten times
the diameter of the rope – anything less than this will cause damaging and uneven
stresses on the rope: eg: 10mm rope needs a 100mm bend.
5.30 Inspection of steel wire rope
SWR should be regularly inspected in the following manner: • Check the shackle use
d with the rope to see that it has not suffered distortion or strain and that th
e shackle pin is in good condition; easily screwed home by hand. • Examine the thi
mble and the splice. The splicing cannot be seen as it is covered by the wire bi
nding or ‘serving’, but if the binding is loose or shows signs of bulging, it is pro
bable that the splice is starting to come undone. • Wearing gloves, work along the
rope, a hands breadth at a time, checking that it is reasonably round, i.e. it
has not been flattened or suffered distortion which causes the wires to open and
thus weaken the rope. • Look for broken wires. A broken wire in a rope should alw
ays receive prompt attention. Delay may lead to serious accidents and will certa
inly cause damage to other wires. The method often used to deal with a broken wi
re – nipping the wire off using pliers – is not entirely safe as a small jagged end
is
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Section 5: Ropes

left. To save time and trouble, simply bend the wire backwards and forwards with
the fingers until it breaks. Look for kinks. When a rope has been kinked, the k
ink may pull, but when the rope is stressed, and although it may appear reasonab
ly sound, the structure of the rope has been distorted and damaged. The length a
ffected by the kinking may only be small, but this becomes the weakest part of t
he rope. The presence of a kink is best detected when the rope is lying slack on
the ground. Rope of any sort found defective should be labelled and placed apar
t from good ropes until they can be examined by a competent person.
5.31 Storage of steel wire ropes
Wire ropes should be stored under cover in a clean, dry place and in such a mann
er that no part touches the ground. They must never be stored by laying on concr
ete or other floors, as these have an adverse effect on the steel. Regular inspe
ction for the presence of corrosion is necessary.
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Section 6: Knots and lashings
6
6.1
Knots
Objectives
On completion of study and/or instruction on this chapter of the General Rescue
Manual individuals: Should be able to tie unaided: • Single, Double, Rethreaded an
d Joining Figure 8 • Round turn and 2 ½ hitches • Alpine butterfly • Friction hitch • Clov
e Hitch
6.2
Introduction
Rescue personnel should be familiar with the following knots and by constant pra
ctice learn how to make and adapt them with speed and proficiency. Knots must al
ways be tied tightly, dressed down, and inspected. As a good rule of thumb, any
knot that does not look neat and correct is almost certainly incorrectly tied.
6.3
Stopper knots
Stopper knots are not required if adequate tails are left on knots (more than 15
0mm) and the knot is “dressed” (tightened to the correct position as it would when t
aking a load). Individual teams may have Standard Operating Procedures that requ
ire the tying of stopper knots.
6.4
Figure 8 knots
The figure of 8 knots are the preferred knots for forming end loops in synthetic
kernmantel ropes, and are highly suited for this purpose in all ropes. They are
used to form a non-slip loop that is easy to undo, with a low percentage reduct
ion of the safe working load of the rope.
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Section 6: Knots and lashings
6.5
Figure 8 knot (Single figure 8)
This knot can be used in the same manner as the thumb knot, to prevent a rope en
d running through a pulley, or fraying, or to secure a knot tied in a synthetic
rope. In general, it is more useful than the thumb knot as it is easier to untie
. • To tie the knot, hold the rope away from you, take the standing part in one ha
nd, palm upward, and the running end in the other hand. • Pass the running end ove
r the top of the standing part making a loop, then carry on with the running end
down and then up around the standing part, then down through the first loop whi
ch you have formed. • Draw the running end tight and the knot will be a figure 8.
6.6
Figure 8 on a bight (Double figure 8)
The figure 8 on a bight knot is used to form a non-slip loop, which can be place
d over a spike, bar, etc. To tie a figure 8 on a bight: • Double sufficient rope t
o allow the knot to be tied. • Hold the doubled rope away from you, take the doubl
ed standing part in one hand, palm upwards, and the doubled running end in the o
ther hand. • Pass the doubled running end over the top of the doubled standing par
t making a loop, then carry on with the doubled running end down and then up aro
und the doubled standing part, then down through the first doubled rope loop whi
ch you have formed. • Draw the doubled running end tight.
6.7
Rethreaded figure 8
The rethreaded figure 8 knot is used to form a non-slip loop, which must be tied
around a bar, through a stretcher, hand-hold, etc. • Tie a single figure 8 knot a
s described previously, leaving about 1 metre as the running end.
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Section 6: Knots and lashings


Take the running end and pass it around the object, then follow exactly the path
back through the knot that the running end took when forming the original Figur
e 8. Dress and tighten to form the rethreaded figure 8.
6.8
Figure 8 joining knot (Figure 8 bend)
The figure 8 joining knot is the preferred knot for joining synthetic kernmantel
ropes of the same diameter. • Tie a single figure 8 knot as described previously.
• Take the running end of the second rope and follow exactly the path back throug
h the first knot (as in the rethreaded figure 8). • Dress and tighten both ropes t
o form the figure 8 joining knot.
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Section 6: Knots and lashings
6.9
Double figure 8 on a bight (Anchor 8 or Industrial 8)
This is an exceptionally strong knot to form 2 loops at the end of a rope. It al
lows you to independently adjust the loops, so that each loop can be used as an
anchor point. • To tie, start with a basic figure 8 on a bight, except do not pass
the bight through the final loop. • Form a new bight in that end, and place this
through the final loop. • • Place the original bight (single rope loop) over the dou
ble and pull it down to the base of the knot. To check that it has been tied cor
rectly, there should be three loops of rope around the base of the knot and two
separate bights of rope coming out the end of the knot.
6.10 Round turn and two half hitches
This knot is used for securing the running end of a rope to a spar or ring and h
as the advantage of being able to be tied with the line under tension. • It is for
med by a round turn on the spar or ring, with two half hitches on the standing p
art of the rope. • It has the great advantage of allowing a load to be adjusted us
ing the round turn, then finally secured by forming the two half hitches on the
standing part. • Extra round turns raise the breaking strain of this knot.
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Section 6: Knots and lashings
6.11 Alpine butterfly
This is a very strong and useful knot for forming a locked loop at any point. To
tie the knot, • Pass the running end around the palm two times, laying the ropes
beside each other, with a gap in between. • Pass the rope around a third time, lay
ing the rope between the other two. • Pick up the outside rope, pull out slightly
to form a loop, and pass the loop on top of the other two and then down to pass
between the palm and the ropes. • Pull the loop out from the palm. • Slide the knot
off the hand. • Pull the ends and loop to dress and secure the knot.
6.12 Double fisherman’s knot
This knot is the most commonly used to create loops of synthetic rope e.g. Prusi
k loops. • Lay both ropes side by side in opposite directions. • Make two round turn
s to the left with the right hand running end, and feed the end under two round
turns. • Make two round turns to the right with the left hand running end and feed
this end through the two round turns.
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Section 6: Knots and lashings
• • •
Dress and pull tight. Whilst the Double Fisherman’s knot can be very difficult to
untie once it has been loaded, its great strength is a positive advantage in res
cue operations. Take care when joining ropes of same colour that there is a knot
in each running end - otherwise they will be able to pull through.
6.13 Prusik knot
The Prusik knot is a method in which a cord sling can be attached to a rope to p
rovide an attachment loop or hand loop. The position of the loop can be easily a
djusted on the main rope. The cord sling must be at least 3mm smaller in diamete
r than the main rope for the knot to work, and the Prusik knot must never be sho
ck loaded. If you intend to attach a Karabiner to the Prusik loop, the double fi
sherman’s knot should be offset to one side.
To tie the Prusik knot, • Form the loop by joining the ends of the cord with a Dou
ble Fisherman’s Knot (as shown previously). • Place the looped cord over the rope an
d pass one loop (the first loop) inside the other part of the loop (the second l
oop). • Pass the first loop through the second loop two more times (so that there
are three passes of the cord on each side). • Pull the first loop evenly to ‘lock’ the
turns around the rope. • It is now ready to use, in conjunction with a Karabiner
or similar device. • To move the knot along the rope, remove the pressure and slid
e the knot along by pushing at the turns around the rope.
6.14 Clove hitch
The clove hitch is a useful knot to tie off the running end of a rope relatively
quickly on equipment etc, but should not be used for rescue systems which rely
on the knot holding a human load.
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Section 6: Knots and lashings
To tie the clove hitch: • • • Wrap the running end of a rope around a pole, or other s
urface. Come around and cross the line back over itself Take it around again and
place the running end through the loop formed by the cross.
6.15 Friction hitch
This hitch (also known as the Italian hitch or Munter hitch) is used to create f
riction in a lowering or raising line. • Pass a bight through a Karabiner or over
hard belay point • Thread one end of the line through the bight • Pull tight to dres
s the hitch, and create the friction point.
6.16 Joining ropes
In the rescue environment synthetic rescue lines of the same diameter can be joi
ned using a Figure 8 Joining knot (see 6.8). Ropes of uneven diameter should be
joined using a hard link, eg Karabiner connecting into a figure 8 on a bight tie
d in the end of each rope.
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Section 8: Managing casualties
7
7.1
Ladders
Objectives
By the end of studying and undertaking training on this chapter of the General R
escue Manual individuals should be able to, with other similarly trained people:
• Check a ladder • Erect a ladder (three rescuer) • Secure the ladder, both top and b
ottom • Climb the ladder • Lower the ladder
7.2
Introduction
Ladders are readily available at most rescue sites and during a disaster may be
used for improvised rescue techniques. It must be remembered however, that ladde
rs have been constructed to be used in a specified load bearing position and sho
uld normally be used in accordance with AN/NZS Standards and the Manufacturers s
pecifications. Some guidelines for the use of ladders are contained in the OSH P
ublication Guidelines for the Prevention of Falls.
7.3
Construction
Ladders come in a variety of styles, lengths and materials. Aluminium, timber an
d fibreglass are the three most commonly in use.
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Section 8: Managing casualties
7.4
Terminology
Head
The following terminology is standard for ladder operations:
Head The top of a ladder.
Stiles/Strings The main structural part of a ladder.
Stiles (Strings)
Latching device/Pawl Metal hooks fitted to extension ladders to lock the ladders
in extended form.
Pulley Guide
Rungs/Rounds Cross members used in climbing a ladder.
Hauling rope Pulling line for raising extension ladders.
Foot/Heal The bottom or ground end of a ladder.
Latching Device (Pawl)
Single ladder A one-piece ladder. Hauling Rope
Extension ladder A ladder built in sections, one or more of which can be extende
d. Rung (Round)
Foot (Heal)
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Section 8: Managing casualties
7.5
Extension ladders
Extension ladders are commonly in two sections, with the upper section sliding o
n and between the stiles of the lower section. Latching devices are fitted to th
e lower end of the upper section and operate on a movable shaft. Hauling ropes a
re taken through a sheave fixed near the top of the lower section, brought down
and fastened to hooks or cleats at the bottom of the upper section. One cleat is
attached to the latching device thus providing an endless line by means of whic
h the top section can be extended or lowered and the latching devices, which are
mounted on the upper section, can be engaged or released. To easily distinguish
them in the dark, the stiles of the top section can have a white line to indica
te the limit of safety when extended for use. Timber ladders are strengthened on
the underside of the stiles by galvanised wire or fibreglass which is stretched
tautly in the groove along the edge of the strings being secured top and bottom
. Timber ladders are further strengthened by cross ties from stile to stile at i
ntervals. Ladders should not be painted as paint could hide defects. A small sec
tion, at each end, may be painted for identification purposes. Timber ladders ma
y be treated with linseed oil. Defective ladders must be withdrawn from service
and labelled: “Dangerous - Do not use” and either repaired or destroyed as soon as p
ossible. WARNING NOTE: A hazard exists when using ladders in the vicinity of ele
ctrical wires as all ladders have the potential to conduct electricity from wire
s or ‘live’ roofs or structures. Rescuers must ensure overhead clearance when erecti
ng a ladder.
7.6
Step ladders
Stepladders in common use are usually constructed of aluminium or wood, while ot
hers are of an aluminium/fibreglass composite construction. Some stepladders hav
e flat steps on one side, and the other leg of the stepladder may be extended us
ing round rungs to give a three to four metre single ladder. When using stepladd
ers both as a step, or as a single ladder, care must be taken to ensure that all
locks on the ladder are in place.
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Section 8: Managing casualties
7.7
Inspection of ladders
Every ladder should be visually inspected before each use. The main points for t
his inspection are: • That there are no cracks in any part of the ladder • No eviden
ce of rungs being loose (can be tested for twisting) where they are attached to
the strings • All bolts are secure • Rungs should be checked for wear, particularly
where the pawl crosses the rounds • The rubber feet should be checked to see that
there is no deterioration • The hauling rope and pulley should be checked for defe
cts that would affect use. WARNING NOTE: Aluminum ladders conduct electricity, a
nd are liable to excessive twisting.
7.8
Maintenance of ladders
Extension ladders must be regularly and carefully checked for damage or defects,
in accordance with the relevant Standards. Particular attention must be paid to
those ladders that are stored on vehicle roof racks and thereby exposed to the
weather regularly. The ladder should be visually inspected for cracks in the tim
ber, the security of the rungs and reinforcing wires, and for general appearance
. Pulleys, latching devices and extension guides should be checked for lubricati
on and security, and the latching device pivot points and pulleys lubricated as
necessary. Hauling ropes should be checked and replaced as necessary. Ladders sh
ould never be painted as the paint can cover quite serious cracks and defects. B
etter that timber ladders be left in a natural condition, and regularly oiled wi
th linseed oil, which will keep the ladder flexible, and prevent water damage or
rot.
7.9
Single rescuer ladder raise
A single rescuer can quite easily and safely raise a short ladder, by placing th
e ladder foot against the base of the wall or some other stationary object, and
under-running the ladder by walking in and pushing forward and upwards on altern
ate rungs.
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7.10 Erecting and extending the ladder (2 rescuer)
Place the foot of the ladder against a wall, kerb or some other fixed object. Th
e ladder is under-run in the usual manner by two rescuers, extended to the requi
red height and the foot of the ladder drawn outwards to the correct distance fro
m the wall.
7.11 Erecting and extending the ladder (3 rescuer)
• • Ideally three rescuers are required to form a ladder team. One person is respons
ible for the foot of the ladder, both in carrying and positioning where necessar
y. The others support the uppermost stile of the ladder on their shoulders. On a
rrival at the site, one person places the foot of the ladder with the reinforcin
g wires uppermost as near as possible to its required position and anchors it by
‘footing’. The others, working on their respective sides, raise the ladder from the
underneath side to the vertical position assisted by the first person. The othe
rs face the ladder, each ‘footing’ it, and then the first person, pulling on the hau
ling ropes, extends the ladder to the required height ensuring that the latching
device is properly engaged on the rung.
• •

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Section 8: Managing casualties

The ladder is then laid back by the first person, who walks backward until the t
op of the ladder comes to rest where required - against sill, wall etc.
Please note: Communication within the ladder team is very important. While the a
ctual calls may vary between agencies, what is important is that each member of
the ladder team knows what is happening and what their job is.
7.12 Angle of ladder when raised
When a ladder is raised, the bottom of the ladder should be placed at a distance
from the base of the structure equal to one quarter of the effective height. A
method to quickly check the angle is to stand in front of the set ladder with yo
ur toes touching the ladder. Holding the arm horizontal to the ground, your fing
ers should be between the strings, and between or on a round.
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Section 8: Managing casualties
7.13 Overlaps
Normal two part extension ladders must be extended with sufficient overlap for s
afety. • • • For small ladders (up to 3 metres not extended) an overlap of at least th
ree (3) rungs is recommended. A five (5) rung overlap is recommended for large l
adders. Wherever possible, ladders should be erected so that the head of the lad
der projects or overlaps the window, roof or other landing point by at least one
metre (4-5 rungs).
7.14 Securing ladders
Ladders need to be secured whenever they are positioned for ongoing access and e
xit from buildings. They need to be secured in such a way as to minimise risk of
slippage of the head and/or foot when rescuers are using them. The decision on
whether to secure the head and/or foot of the ladder needs to be made at each si
te the ladder is used. If the foot of the ladder is not secured, it should be “foo
ted” whenever someone is climbing the ladder.
7.15 Securing the head of the ladder
When it is necessary to secure the head of a ladder, a lashing may be applied to
any secure point, for example, a length of timber long enough to spread across
the inside width of a window, may be lashed to the head of the ladder.
7.16 Securing the foot of the ladder
This may be done as shown by means of fastening to a picket or by tying back to
any secure object behind the ladder eg: railings, fence posts etc.
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Section 8: Managing casualties
7.17 Halving ladders
In some cases it may be necessary to have two short ladders when only one long e
xtension is available. • This can be achieved by halving the extension ladder, (by
removing the sliding extension from the main ladder). • The ladder should be firs
t placed on the ground, the sliding section uppermost. • The ropes are uncoupled f
rom the pulley and hooks or cleats, the latching device freed and the upper exte
nsion withdrawn. To reassemble, reverse the procedure. • It should be noted that s
ome extension ladders cannot be halved.
7.18 Ladder climbing
WARNING NOTE: Ladders must be secured or stabilised by ‘footing’ at all times whilst
rescuers are climbing. The ladder should be climbed steadily, keeping the body
erect, the head upright, arms straight but not tense, without any tendency to hu
g the ladder, and hands grasping the rungs at a level between the wrist and shou
lders. • It must be remembered that the legs and not the hands carry the weight of
the body when climbing. • It is generally agreed that it is safer to use the inst
ep rather than the ball of the foot on the rungs. • If possible, maintain 3 points
of body contact to the ladder. For those more confident or experienced climbing
ladders 2 points of contact is acceptable. • When climbing off the ladder at the
top the rescuer should climb one rung above the roof (or other place ladder is r
esting on) and then step down onto the roof testing its stability. • In the unusua
l circumstance that a rescuer needs to carry out work at height from a ladder, t
he rescuer should be secured by independent belay/safety line, and harness.
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Section 8: Managing casualties
7.19 Rules of 3
Some of the key features of working with ladders can be summarised as the: 3 rul
es of 3 1. 3 people to raise/lower ladder 2. 3 rungs over/above entry/access poi
nt 3. 3 points of contact when climbing up and down
7.20 Helping a casualty down a ladder
Great care should be taken when helping a person down a ladder, even if that per
son is conscious and uninjured. Rescuers should keep in mind that many people ar
e unaccustomed to height and may ‘freeze-up’ or lose their hold. • The rescuer should
take a position, one rung below the casualty, with arms encircling the casualty’s
body and grasping the rungs. • The rescuer should keep in step with the casualty,
letting them set the pace. The rescuer’s knees should be close together, to ensure
support in case the casualty loses hold or becomes unconscious. • The rescuer sho
uld also talk to the casualty to keep up morale and overcome fear. • If the casual
ty becomes unconscious, they should be permitted to slip down until the crutch r
ests on the rescuer’s knee. • By repeating this procedure for each step down the lad
der, the rescuer can lower the casualty to the ground. For both methods, as a mi
nimum, a safety line should be attached to the victim, but ideally a suitable ha
rness, which can be belayed via the top round of the ladder. In many cases a saf
ety line/harness may also be attached to the rescuer. Note: The diagrams show tw
o methods. The rescuer will need to select the appropriate method for the situat
ion. WARNING NOTE: This technique could exceed the safe working load of the ladd
er or destabilise the ladder.
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Section 8: Managing casualties
8
8.1
Managing casualties
Objectives
On completion of study and/or instruction on this chapter of the General Rescue
Manual individuals should be able to: • Describe the START triage system • Describe
4 items that should be included on a casualty label
8.2
Introduction
Using General Rescue techniques contributes to the overall goal of “rescuing the m
aximum number of people in the minimum amount of time”. To achieve this rescuers n
eed methods of prioritising casualties for ongoing treatment and rescue. The ini
tial assessment and prioritisation will be done in the reconnaissance phase, but
will be ongoing, as conditions, both of the casualties and the environment, wil
l often change throughout the rescue process. In this section we describe one me
thod that has been developed to sort, or “triage”, a large number of casualties in a
short period of time and with little medical knowledge. The method explained be
low is known as START. Please note that other groups/emergency services may use
other, often more complex, methods of triaging based on their advanced medical s
kills and knowledge. Co-ordination and liaison between groups will be needed, if
multiple agencies are working on a site.
8.3
START
START was developed in California in the early 1980’s by Hoag Hospital and Newport
Beach Fire Department. S T A R T Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment
Those with minor injuries are immediately tagged GREEN - often referred to as “wal
king wounded”. START allocates all other casualties a triage category based on ass
essment.
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Section 8: Managing casualties
• • •
Red: Immediate - Life-threatening but treatable injuries requiring rapid medical
attention. Yellow: Serious -Not immediately life threatening. Black: Recognised
futility - Dead or still with life signs but injuries are incompatible with sur
vival in existing conditions.
The triage category is determined by quickly assessing (approx 30 seconds) the c
asualty’s RPM: R - Respiration P - Perfusion- sufficiency of blood flow M - Mental
State The following flow chart outlines the process of determining the category
for each casualty.
Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment
RED
8.4
Labelling
Whatever triage system is used, it is important that all casualties located duri
ng a rescue operation are labeled with a casualty tag. There is no nationally re
cognised casualty tag and many regions have developed their own casualty tags. W
hatever tag is used the basic information that should be included is: • Identifier
for each casualty - their name and/or an assigned number. • The location they wer
e found • The identification of the person who found them
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Section 8: Managing casualties
• •
The triage outcome undertaken at the time (colour assigned) Any treatment given
8.5
Consumer Code of Rights- Health and Disability Commission
The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers Rights became law on 1 Jul
y 1996 as a regulation under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act. It is o
bviously intended for “everyday” service provision as opposed to during an emergency
, however during rescue activities where care is being provided to a individual
the Code should be considered. The Code is very wide and extends to any person o
r organisation providing, or holding themselves out as providing, a health servi
ce to the public, or a section of the public, whether that service is paid for o
r not. The obligation under the Code is to take "reasonable actions in the circu
mstances to give effect to the rights, and comply with the duties”. There are 10 r
ights in the Code: 1. 2. The right to be treated with respect The right to freed
om from discrimination, coercion, harassment, and exploitation 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
9. 10. The right to dignity and independence The right to services of an approp
riate standard The right to effective communication The right to be fully inform
ed The right to make an informed choice and give informed consent The right to s
upport Rights in respect of teaching or research The right to complain
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Section 9: Stretchers
9
9.1
Stretchers
Objectives
On completion of study and/or instruction on this chapter of the General Rescue
Manual individuals should be able to: • Describe the characteristics of the four m
ain types of stretcher used, And with other similarly trained people: • Load a per
son into a stretcher using four rescuer, blanket and clothing lifts • blanket and
lash people into the folding, board and basket stretchers
9.2
Introduction
The four categories of stretchers in most common use are: • Folding or pole stretc
her - commonly referred to as NATO or Mk II stretchers • Board rescue stretchers • B
asket stretcher - often referred to by brand names of Stokes Litter, or FernoWas
hington • Wrap-around stretchers
9.3
Folding or pole stretchers
WARNING NOTE: These stretchers are not suitable for lowers, and are only appropr
iate for casualty movement on the flat.
The folding stretcher must be set up as follows before a casualty can be transfe
rred to it: • Unfasten the straps that hold the stretcher closed. • Spread open the
stretcher and lock the spreaders in place by pushing on each bar with your foot,
from the side to avoid standing on the bed, until it locks into place. • Do not u
se your hands as they can be pinched by the hinges.
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Where it is possible that the centre hinge of the spreader bar may be snagged, c
ausing the hinge to unlock and collapse the stretcher, a securing rope should be
used. A short length of rope can be tied from one stretcher handle to the centr
e hinge and then to the other stretcher handle in ‘V’ pattern.
9.4
Board rescue stretchers
Many organisations have Board rescue stretchers available. This type of stretche
r has a number of advantages for the rescue environment: • Providing protection fo
r the patient from underneath. • A number of handholds. • Relatively inexpensive. • Th
is stretcher is suitable for patient transport and some rescue techniques. • A foo
tplate is usually used to prevent the patient sliding downwards if the stretcher
is tilted towards the vertical position.
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WARNING NOTE: A rope lashing system should be used at all times other than when
the stretcher is moved over smooth and flat ground. Care must be taken if this s
tretcher is used for lowering as the high centre of gravity can cause the stretc
her to invert, particularly when using the twopoint suspension method.
9.5
Basket stretchers
There are two types of basket stretcher commonly in use. The older type has a st
rong tubular aluminium frame covered with ‘chicken wire’, whereas the newer has a fo
rmed plastic, fibreglass, or aluminium basket attached to a tubular aluminium fr
ame. The newer designs have an advantage in that they are less likely to be snag
ged or penetrated than the wire model. Other than the very old wire designs, the
se stretchers can accommodate a ‘scoop’ style stretcher, or spinal board, thus makin
g the transfer of a spinal casualty easier.
Basket stretchers provide good protection for casualties and are ideally suited
to a range of rescue techniques. The main drawback is the relative expense in co
mparison to other types of stretchers.
9.6
Wrap-around stretchers
Wrap-around style stretchers such as the Sked and the Fallright Evacuation Splin
t, whilst quite different in design and construction, share the same critical fe
ature in that
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Section 9: Stretchers
they conform very closely to the casualty’s body, thus adding very little width or
bulk for confined space operations. • Each of the wrap-around style stretchers ha
s its own advantages and disadvantages that must be weighed up prior to use. • Eac
h has its own individual casualty securing system. Manufacturer’s recommendations
about methods of attaching lowering and guide ropes must be followed.
9.7
Blanketing the stretcher
Before a casualty is placed on a stretcher, it should be covered with a blanket.
This adds to comfort, keeps the casualty warm, and to a large degree helps immo
bilise any fractures that may have been sustained. In very warm weather a cotton
bed sheet or sheets may be used instead of blankets. Single blanket method Lay
one open blanket diagonally down the stretcher with the corner of the blanket in
the centre of the top of the stretcher, and about 150mm overlapping. • Place the
casualty on the blanket with the head level with the top. • Fold over and tuck in
the lower half of the blanket. • Do likewise with the top half.
9.8
Blanketing - Lateral/Recovery position
In addition to warmth, comfort, and immobilisation, the blanket is used for padd
ing to keep the patient in the required lateral/recovery position. The following
is the recommended method: Before folding the blanket around someone :
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Section 9: Stretchers
• •
Roll a blanket end to end and position it on the stretcher so that the roll is u
sed to pad the patient’s back. A second blanket is placed on the opposite side of
the stretcher to support arm and stop patient rolling onto stomach.
9.9
• • •
Loading the stretcher
Loading a stretcher is an important part of casualty handling. Correct methods a
re essential for the well-being of the casualty to prevent aggravation of injuri
es. Final checks must be made by hand to ensure that a casualty is actually read
y to lift before a lift is executed. WARNING NOTE: The casualty’s head and neck mu
st be supported at all times. Casualty reassurance is important in all technique
s to reduce the anxiety of the casualty, and reduce the risk of them panicking w
hich increases risk to rescuers.
9.10 The four rescuer method
When using four rescuers to load a stretcher and where spinal injuries are not s
uspected, the following method can be used: • • The stretcher is made ready and plac
ed near the casualty’s head or feet. The leader instructs three other rescuers to
kneel down on one knee on one side of the casualty (casualty lying flat on their
back). They all have the knee closest to the casualty’s head elevated. The leader
kneels near the casualty’s head to support the neck. The other three place their
hands and arms underneath the casualty. Usually under the shoulders, small of th
e back, thighs, knees and calves. The leader gives the order: Prepare To Lift an
d, if no one dissents, follows it with Lift, whereupon all four lift. If necessa
ry, the casualty can be briefly supported on the rescuers’ knees. The stretcher is
then placed under the casualty.
• •


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Section 9: Stretchers
• •
Final orders are Prepare To Lower, then Lower. The three rescuers, assisted by t
he leader, lower the casualty on to the stretcher.
9.11 Blanket lift (four or six rescuers)
This is an effective method for loading or moving a casualty in a restricted spa
ce. • Make a stretcher ready using one blanket. • Roll a blanket lengthways for half
of its width and lay the rolled section along the side of the casualty (casualt
y flat on back). • The leader then directs two (or three) rescuers to kneel down o
n each side of the casualty. • The rescuers on one side ease the casualty over on
one side and the rolled section of the blanket is pushed well underneath the cas
ualty. • With the rolled up section of the blanket now under the centre of the cas
ualty, the casualty is eased over in the opposite direction and the blanket is u
nrolled. The casualty should now be lying flat on their back. • The sides of the b
lanket are rolled up close to the casualty’s body to provide handgrips for the bea
rers. They cross arms to help keep the lift even and the spine aligned. • On the o
rder from the leader, the casualty is lifted waist high, and carried to the stre
tcher. • On the order from the leader, the casualty is lowered onto the stretcher.
• The blanketing is then completed with one blanket, leaving the lifting blanket
in position. • This ‘blanket carry’ can also be used as an improvised stretcher for ca
rries over moderate distances.
WARNING NOTE: Suspected spinal injured casualties can be safely transported by t
his method with correct immobilisation of the spine and with particular attentio
n paid to the head and neck.
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9.12 Clothing lift (Three rescuers)
This is an emergency method which can be used when the casualty’s injuries are not
severe and time is critical. • Blanket a stretcher and place it close to the side
of the casualty. • Tie the casualty’s hands together with a triangular bandage or s
imilar material, or place in pockets/under their belt if unconscious. • Grab the c
asualty’s clothes along the centre of the body, and roll any loose fabric to form
a hand grip. • Three rescuers take up the position on the opposite side of the cas
ualty to the stretcher and position their hands. • The normal commands are given (
Prepare To Lift, etc) and the casualty is gently lifted, then lowered onto the s
tretcher.
9.13 Webbing bands (Five rescuers)
In some cases it may be necessary to transport a casualty some distance to a pla
ce where they can be loaded onto a stretcher. Webbing bands can greatly assist t
his operation. While there are many configurations that can be used, one suggest
ion is: • The bands are placed in position by pushing the long steel handle under
the natural body hollows and see-sawing the bands into the required position, i.
e. under the buttocks and shoulders. • After bands are correctly positioned, the f
ive rescuers take up position, crossing bands to help keep lift level and align
casualty’s spine. The normal commands are given (Prepare To Lift, etc) and the cas
ualty is gently placed on the stretcher.
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Section 9: Stretchers
9.14 Specialist lifting/loading devices
Specialist lifting/loading/extraction devices such as timber or synthetic spinal
boards, scoop stretchers, and spinal immobilisation devices or harnesses are re
adily available from rescue equipment suppliers. These devices should always be
used in compliance with manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations, and fol
lowing appropriate specialist training.
9.15 Summary of stretcher types and uses
Folding
Advantages Large quantities available. Compact. Easy for one person to move. Com
fortable. Little protection for casualty. Need to secure locking mechanism. Movi
ng casualties over level ground. Make good beds in mass casualty situation. NOT
to be used for rescue from height.
Board
Moderate quantities available. Protection from below.
Basket
Back and side protection. Comfortable. Lightweight.
Wraparound
Less bulky than other types.
Disadvantages
Usage
Special notes
High center of gravity when used for lowers. Uncomfortable for long periods of t
ime. Spinal injuries. Rescue from heights using General Rescue Techniques. MUST
use lashing line when moving over uneven ground or lowersDO NOT rely on webbing
straps.
Relatively scarce. Cost. Bulk.
Cost. Limited access to casualties to monitor/treat.
All purpose.
Restricted or confined space.
Use additional “lacing” when used for rescue from height.
9.16 Lashing the casualty to the stretcher
In many cases, casualties will have to be firmly secured to the stretcher to ena
ble it to be handled in different places. In all instances, except movement over
a short distance on even ground, the patient should be lashed to the stretcher.
If in doubt, lash the casualty in.
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9.17 Lashing the folding stretcher
The ideal size and length for stretcher lashing is 12 metres of 11mm or 12mm rop
e. • Commence the stretcher lashing by forming a Figure 8 on the Bight around one
of the top stretcher handles. • From this point take three Half Hitches around bot
h the casualty and the stretcher, first in the region of the chest, the second i
n the vicinity of the wrist and the third hitch just above the knees. • A round tu
rn is then taken around the feet and three Half Hitches applied to those already
formed on the opposite side of the casualty’s body. • The lashing is finished with
a Round Turn and Two Half Hitches on the remaining stretcher handle.


The position of the three securing Half Hitches can be varied according to the l
ocation of the injuries that the casualty has sustained. In the case of a female
casualty, the top securing hitch should be placed just above the breast line. B
ricks or timber placed under the stretcher D’s before lashing commences, will enab
le the rope to be passed under the stretcher more easily.
9.18 Lashing - Lateral/Recovery position
The lashing of the stretcher differs from the normal method in that the rope doe
s not pass around the feet. • The middle lashing is positioned under the casualty’s
buttocks to prevent movement downwards. • Instead of passing a loop around the cas
ualty’s feet, the line is Half Hitched around each handle at the foot of the stret
cher.
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9.19 Lashing - Board rescue stretcher
The patient should be lashed to the board rescue stretcher whenever it is going
to be lowered or moved over uneven ground, eg: rubble, confined spaces. Where ny
lon straps come with the stretcher, they can be used, but not as the primary way
of securing a casualty to the board rescue stretcher. A 12m rescue line, or cli
mbing tape, is used to lash the board rescue stretcher. The process is as follow
s: • Begin with a Rethreaded figure 8 through the topmost handhold or hole. • Pass t
he line down the side of the board. • Take a complete turn under the board and bac
k across the casualty’s chest. • Form a hitch and tighten gently. • This is repeated a
cross the casualty’s wrists and again just above the casualty’s knees. • A complete ro
und turn is taken around the feet. • The rope is then taken up the other side of t
he board forming hitches on each turn of the lashing. • Complete with a round turn
and 2 Half Hitches on the handhold opposite where the lashing was started. Some
board rescue stretchers have runners underneath with slots in them for the rope
to pass through. This has the advantage of minimising ropes being scraped on th
e ground or building edges.
9.20 Alternate Board rescue stretcher lashing
An alternate method for lashing the board rescue stretcher where there is insuff
icient room for the rope to pass through the runners, and there is a risk of the
ropes being damaged or caught is: • Begin the same as lashing the basket stretche
r (see 9.22 below) with a hitch around each of the bottom handholds. Criss-cross
up the stretcher coming from the outside of the stretcher, then up through the
handhold and diagonally across to the other side other the casualty. Working thi
s way minimise pressure on the handholds. Finish with a Round Turn and 2 ½ hitches
adjacent to the casualty’s shoulders.


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Section 9: Stretchers
When this lashing is used and the stretcher is going to be lowered consideration
should also be given to the Improvised Casualty Harness shown in 9.23. Note: Th
is technique is shown without a blanket for clarity- a blanket would normally be
used.
9.21 Securing a basket stretcher with securing straps
Some basket stretchers are supplied with securing straps with seatbelt buckles o
r ‘Fastex’ clips. These should be used in conjunction with a lashing, whenever the b
asket stretcher is used for anything other than moving the stretcher over even g
round. • When the patient is small there will be gaps between the patient and the
sides of the stretcher. It is not improbable that a casualty could slide out fro
m under the straps if the stretcher was tilted. Gaps between the casualty and th
e stretcher sides may be filled with blankets, clothing or pillows etc. before t
he straps are snapped in place. • Remember that the purpose of strapping or lashin
g is to combine the patient and the stretcher in a solid manageable unit capable
of being carried over hazardous terrain, or for rescue.
9.22 Securing a basket stretcher by lashing
• The casualty can be lashed securely to a basket stretcher with a 12m length of 1
1mm rope, or tape, with the lashing pattern dictated by the casualty’s injuries an
d size and by the attitude through which the stretcher will move. If the basket
stretcher has no foot plate, the casualty’s feet should be secured to prevent them
from sliding down the stretcher. If the casualty is to be shifted in a vertical
position the head of the patient must be secured. Pack soft material on either
side of the casualty’s head and tie a length of bandage to one lower rail, lay it
over the casualties head (not covering the eyes) and tie the other end to the op
posite lower rail. It is important to continually reassure any casualty who is s
ecured to a stretcher in such a confining manner.
• •

One option for the securing the casualty is shown below: • • • • Find the middle of the
tape or 12m line Hitch through hand-hold at feet end Criss-cross up stretcher Fi
nish with round turn and 2 ½ hitches around handholds adjacent to the patient’s shou
lders
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Section 9: Stretchers
9.23 Improvised casualty harness
An improvised casualty harness can be fitted to either the basket stretcher or b
oard rescue stretcher. It is useful whenever the footplate is not used/secured e
.g. small people, lower leg injuries, alternate board rescue stretcher lashing (
9.20) This harness can be made using rope or tape. • • • • Form a loop in the middle of
the rope Bring this between the casualty’s legs Bring the tails around the buttock
s and pass through the loop Ties off to hand holds on the side of the stretcher
using Round Turn and 2 ½ hitches.
Note: This technique is shown without a blanket for clarity- a blanket would nor
mally be used.
9.24 Moving a stretcher over uneven ground
The technique for moving over rubble is covered in the USAR Awareness Student Ma
nual, and the principles remain the same for any uneven ground. A stretcher shou
ld, wherever possible, be carried in the horizontal position or slightly ‘head hig
h’. When moving over debris or uneven ground, this may prove to be difficult, but
risks to both casualty and rescuers can be reduced to a minimum by adopting the
following procedures:
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Section 9: Stretchers
Using six rescuers Moving a heavy casualty over difficult debris conditions for
any more than 10 or 15 metres, will almost certainly require 6 rescuers. • • The lea
der should position three on each side of the stretcher. On the order Prepare To
Lift, the rescuers stoop and grasp the stretcher. When all is in readiness, the
leader gives the order Lift and the stretcher is raised to waist height. The ne
xt order will be Prepare To Pass. Any member of the team who for any reason is n
ot ready should inform the leader. Good footing on debris is hard to find, and c
are should be taken in this regard. On the command Pass, the stretcher is passed
until such time as it is supported by four rescuers, leaving two spare. These t
wo then climb carefully around the stretcher and take up positions at the other
end of the stretcher. The process is then repeated until the stretcher arrives o
n clear, solid ground. It is stressed that this operation calls for a high degre
e of teamwork and that the leader must retain control throughout. The leader mus
t ensure that while the stretcher is being passed, no member of the team is movi
ng on the debris.

• •

• •

9.25 Moving a stretcher in restricted spaces
In small spaces, if there is sufficient height and the casualty has been lashed
to the stretcher, it may be stood on end and moved around sharp corners. • • Where t
he height is insufficient to permit this method being used, a compromise between
the vertical and horizontal positions is necessary. The casualty should be carr
ied feet first as far as the middle of the right-angle bend, then the foot of th
e stretcher is placed on the ground and the head end lifted as high as the situa
tion will permit.
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Section 9: Stretchers



The stretcher can be worked around the bend, one rescuer easing the foot end and
the other the head. Under these conditions the stretcher should not be tipped o
n its side. To do so would only increase its height and also the difficulty in h
andling it. ‘Wrap-around’ style stretchers are specifically designed for confined sp
aces and that these should be used wherever possible.
9.26 Improvised stretchers
In any disaster, there may be insufficient stretchers immediately to hand for th
e number of casualties involved. Such situations will normally be multi-agency r
esponses and the resources of all involved agencies should be utilised. There ar
e many methods of improvisation and some imagination should be used when confron
ted with the problem. A number of the more commonly used methods are described h
ere. WARNING NOTE: Improvised stretchers should never be used for rescue techniq
ues, other than moving over flat ground. Platform stretchers Improvised platform
stretchers can readily be devised from doors, sheets of galvanised iron, or bed
frames.
Pole stretchers These stretchers are very simple to make and require two poles a
bout two metres long. Stout broom handles, water pipe or 50mm x 50mm timber are
quite appropriate for this job.
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Section 9: Stretchers
The poles should be laid parallel on the ground and about 600mm apart. The bed o
f the stretcher can be formed from a blanket, sacks, overalls or coats. The weig
ht of the casualty will hold the blankets in place.
Ladders Where for any reason, a very narrow stretcher is required, such as for p
assing through small window openings, tunnels etc. a small ladder or one half of
a small extension ladder can be used to an advantage. A decking of boards shoul
d be placed on the ladder (if available) and it is then blanketed in the normal
way. The lashing line is attached to a ladder string using a rethreaded Figure o
f eight, and then the lashing done at same positions as board rescue stretcher.
Chairs A strong style kitchen chair can be used for carries of casualties withou
t serious injuries.
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Section 11: Non-stretcher based rescue techniques
10 Stretcher based rescue techniques
10.1 Objectives
By the end of studying and undertaking training on this chapter of the General R
escue manual individuals should be able to, with other similarly trained people:
• select appropriate and perform safely a variety of low and steep angle rescue t
echniques including a stretcher lower/raise in a low angle situation • Single, Two
Point and Four Point Lower in the limited high angle environment. • Ladder Slide •
Ladder Hinge
10.2 Introduction
In any disaster occurring in an urban environment, it is likely that large numbe
rs of casualties could be trapped in upper floors of buildings, in basements or
other depths, or in many other difficult or inaccessible areas. In each case, th
e method of rescue will be dictated by the circumstances. This section attempts
to provide some of the alternative methods of rescue for the low and steep angle
situation. The simple option of carrying a casualty up or down an inside stairw
ay must not be overlooked.
10.3 Definitions
Low angle rescue Low angle rescue techniques are used to undertake rescues on sl
opes of less than 30 degrees, e.g. gentle slope or rubble pile. They are used wh
en the person’s injuries require them to be in a stretcher. The main weight of the
patient is taken by the rescuers positioned on the side of the stretcher, but a
llows control in the event that the rescuers may slip or trip. Steep angle rescu
e Steep angle rescue techniques are used when the situation requires the lowerin
g, or raising, of the stretcher in an angle generally between 30 and 60 degrees.
In this situation the weight of the patient and stretcher is taken by the lower
ing lines. Because of their specialist nature, steep angle rescue techniques are
not covered in this manual. Anyone interested should consult the USAR Best Prac
tice Guideline: Rope Rescue Tier Model. High angle rescue High angle rescue is u
sed for rescues above 6 metres and or where the angle of the incline exceeds 60
degrees. It requires specialist equipment and highly trained rescuer. Because of
their specialist nature, high angle rescue techniques are not covered in this m
anual. Anyone interested should consult the USAR Best Practice Guideline: Rope R
escue Tier Model.
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Limited high angle rescue This refers to rescue techniques that can be used for
the high angle environment, where the section of high angle (over 60 degrees) do
es not exceed 6 metres. This can include natural terrain or buildings, provided
it does not exceed 6 metres.
10.4 Additional equipment
Some of these techniques will be made easier by the use of additional equipment,
now often carried by General Rescue Team, for example Karabiners, descenders, a
nd climbing tape. Teams are encouraged to train for all circumstances.
10.5 Low angle rescue techniques
HAZARD ID AND CONTROL HAZARD Slipping/unstable rubble CONTROL MECHANISM Rescuers
to wear all standard PPE Use scouts to select and mark most stable and safe rou
te for stretcher Use Basket Stretcher in preference due to side protection offer
ed Use of ergonomic lifting and handling techniques Use standard 11mm static lin
es
Surface hazards Injury to rescuers Rope breaking
Low angle rescue techniques have two main components: the attachment of a line t
o the stretcher, and the creation of friction to allow the stretcher to be “caught”
in the case it is dropped, or builds up too much speed.
10.6 Attachment of the line
A line should be attached to the head of the stretcher, encompassing the alumini
um frame in a basket stretcher, or spreading the weight on a board stretcher. Th
ere are two main options. Option one: This option is very easy and very strong b
ut does require the use of an additional line. It is created by tying a figure 8
on the bight in the centre of a 12m line. It is then ½ hitched around the top han
dles and then thread down the sides taking a turn around each handle location. I
t is finished with a round turn and 2 ½ hitches. A second line is then attached to
the figure 8 using a Karabiner or rethreaded figure 8 knot.
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Section 11: Non-stretcher based rescue techniques
Option two: This option works well for small distances and when you only have on
e rescue line. Make a large loop by tying a Figure of eight on the bight.
Divide the loop and place each end through the stretcher handhold and then bring
back together overlapping.
Bring the Figure Eight on the Bight up through the cross over.
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10.7 Creation of the friction/“catch”
The type of friction or catch used in the low angle situation will depend on fac
tors such as the risk, equipment available, personnel available and height of th
e slope. Body belay The body belay is the most simple and involves using a rescu
er sitting down on stable ground and placing the belay line around their lower b
ack. This method should never be used if there is any risk of a rescuer/rescuers
being required to hold the whole weight of the stretcher. Simple friction This
method involves wrapping the belay line around a solid object such as a pipe or “I”
beam creating a round turn. The number of round turns can be increased if more f
riction is required. This method does not create a “catch” and will only work if the
attendant is able to maintain the friction. Therefore it should only be used wh
ere the friction is used to assist holding the load as rescuers re-position them
selves and would normally not be expected to take the whole stretcher load. Tand
em Prusiks A tandem Pusik system can be used independently or in combination wit
h simple friction (although this will require two people looking after the syste
m) Tandem Prusiks are attached to a solid object using a sling/s and Karabiner.
When applied to the belay line, they are kept loose until such time as there is
a “jerk” on the system and they “catch” the load.
10.8 Limited High angle rescue techniques
Single, two and four point lowers These lowers are named by the number of points
of suspension on the stretcher. The choice of lowering technique will depend on
the structural limitations, casualty’s injuries and equipment available. In the m
ajority of cases wherever possible, it is recommended that casualties be recover
ed in a horizontal position. HAZARD ID AND CONTROL HAZARD Rope failure/not long
enough
CONTROL MECHANISM Only 11mm static Kernmantle lines used (see Chapter 4) Line le
ngths checked before each lower, after passed around hard belay point All rescue
rs to be tied off if within 2m of edge, or to be behind fence or solid barrier n
o less than 900mm high Use hard belays whenever possible Use only Board Rescue o
r Basket
Rescuer falling from height
Losing rope control Stretcher breakage
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Section 11: Non-stretcher based rescue techniques
stretcher Loss of control of lower Failure of straps on basket stretcher General
scene control/safety Use of series of standard commands for lower control Addit
ional lashing line or tape used For the Single and Four Point Lower there should
be a rescuer at the bottom to receive the stretcher
10.9 Guide lines
Guide lines may be attached to stretchers during lowering operations to prevent
the stretcher from spinning and in order to clear obstacles. These guide lines a
re attached to the head and/or the foot of the stretcher, normally using a re-th
readed Figure 8. Rescuers controlling guidelines should wear gloves.
10.10 Single point lower
The single point lower can be used to maintain the stretcher in the horizontal p
osition and works well when you have a high anchor point to run the main lowerin
g line through. A pulley or karabiner is desirable for this. A mechanical descen
der can be used to control the rate of descent. If this is not available frictio
n needs to be created by the use of round turns or a Friction Hitch. A safety li
ne should be attached to the head of the stretcher as per 10.6. A 12m line is us
ed to create the bridle on the stretcher and then the main line is attached to t
he lifting point using a Rethreaded Figure 8. To create the bridle: Put a figure
8 on the Bight in the center of a 12m line Place that on approximately the casu
alty’s chest Form a hitch around the top handhold on each side of the stretcher
Pass the line along the side of the stretcher and form another hitch on each sid
e at one of the bottom handholds Bring the running ends up to the centre and con
nect to the first figure of 8 on the bight by either:
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Tying a figure 8 on the bight in each of the running ends and attaching the main
lowering lines by means of a Rethreaded figure of 8, or:
Using a Karabiner - in this case you can attach the running ends with a round tu
rn and 2 ½ hitches which is more easily adjusted to balance the stretcher.
10.11 Two point lower
This method is used for raising or lowering a stretcher over relatively short di
stances and where the casualty’s injuries allow for transport vertically. The casu
alty is blanketed and lashed to a stretcher in the normal way, with the possible
addition of a bandage tied across the forehead to prevent the head flopping for
ward should the casualty become unconscious. • Two lowering ropes are tied to the
head of the stretcher, one on each side, by means of a rethreaded figure 8, on t
he one but top handhold, and a ½ hitch around the top handhold. • The same procedure
is used for the foot of the stretcher and the bottom lines are passed out to th
e two rescuers on the ground. • The Team Leader (or leader of the “top team”) checks i
f all rescuers are ready, by calling “top team
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Section 11: Non-stretcher based rescue techniques




ready?” and waiting for a reply. This is followed by “bottom team ready?”. If all resc
uers are, the rescuers who are lowering the stretcher are directed to “tension” thei
r lines. The leader of the top team, and or any rescuers at the top who are free
to assist, ease the stretcher over the edge of the wall with the tension mainta
ined on the lowering lines. The two rescuers on the ground guide the stretcher c
lear of any obstruction and walk in, while still pulling on the guide lines, to
support the stretcher on either side as it comes down. This technique can be use
d equally well inside a building, using a hole found or cut in the floor. The mi
nimum team size for this lower is six, but as the weight is taken by two points
a hard belays should be used rather than a waist belay whenever possible.
10.12 Four point lower
• Where it is essential to keep the casualty horizontal, the four-point lower can
be used. With four points of suspension it also is more desirable for very heavy
patients, particularly if hard belays are not available. The stretcher is rigge
d and lowering lines are attached in exactly the same way as for the two-point s
uspension, except that the guide lines may not be required if the drop to the gr
ound is clear of obstacles. The casualty is then, or sometimes may already be, p
laced in the stretcher, blanketed and lashed appropriate to their injuries. Once
all rescuers are ready, and lines are tensioned if the hole allows, place the s
tretcher diagonally across the hole. As instructed the stretcher is then “straight
ened up” and lowered evenly. If the hole does not allow this the rescuers on the f
ar side pull the stretcher across until it is located over the centre of the hol
e.

• • • •
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Four rescuers are required to lower and at least one at the bottom to receive.
NOTE: An alternate method of performing the four point off a ledge involves the
addition of two lines on the inside edge of the stretcher which are passed under
neath the stretcher to two rescuers on the ground who pull the stretcher clear o
f the wall.
10.13 Ladder Slide
The Ladder Slide is very similar to a 2 Point Lower, with a ladder used to take
some of the weight of the stretcher. The Ladder Slide is the most practical opti
on for raising a loaded stretcher, e.g. out of a basement. It can also be used f
or lowering and is an option if no hard belay points are available. The process
below describes use of the Ladder Slide for raising a stretcher - for lowering,
reverse the process (excluding the first two steps). • The casualty is blanketed a
nd lashed to a stretcher, and two lines are secured to the head end using ½ hitch
and rethreaded figure 8. • The ladder is placed in position by three rescuers, and
moved until it forms an angle of approximately 45 degrees. • One rescuer foots th
e ladder and/or secures the bottom to pickets, and one or two rescuers act as hu
man props. • The lines are passed to rescuers at the top of the ladder and passed
around belay points if available. • The stretcher is placed on the ladder.
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Section 11: Non-stretcher based rescue techniques
• •
The stretcher is then pushed up the ladder by a rescuer who climbs up the ladder
, until such time as the head end passes clear of the opening. Rescuers at the t
op who are not holding the raising lines can then pull the stretcher in and move
away from the edge/window.
WARNING NOTE: In the ladder slide technique, the ladder is used in a manner othe
r than that for which it was designed and manufactured. This is an improvised te
chnique. As the load on the centre of the span will be close to 150kg, the span
must be propped by one or two rescuers, or shored.
Some specific points to be observed with the Ladder Slide are: • Communication bet
ween the rescuer coming up the ladder and the top team is very important. • There
should only ever be one person, either casualty or rescuer, on each section of t
he ladder at any time. • Where a timber ladder is used, it must be reinforced with
wire or fibreglass stile supports. • Where a basket stretcher is used on an alloy
ladder, there will be very little friction. • Where ladders are extended to provi
de sufficient reach, the overlap should be lashed with short rope or cord to avo
id stretcher catching on the pulley and dragging the extension with it.
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10.14 Ladder Hinge
This is a relatively simple method of rescuing a casualty from an upper floor, w
hen it is desirable to keep the stretcher horizontal, or the upper building is s
o unstable that it cannot be used to assist in the operation. It should be noted
that the ladder is used with its reinforced side away from the structure. The c
asualty is blanketed and lashed to a stretcher in the normal way. The ladder is
placed vertically against the wall in front of the opening. A rethreaded figure
8 is tied to one of the handholds at the foot of the stretcher in the same manne
r as for a Two Point Lower. • The rope is then taken around the stile of the ladde
r in a Half Hitch and the stretcher is raised until it is about 250mm clear of t
he window sill. • Six to eight round turns are taken around the ladder rung, the r
ope is HalfHitched to the stile on the opposite side of the ladder, and finally
secured to the other side of the stretcher using a Round Turn and two Half-Hitch
es. • Alternately, webbing and Karabiners can be used. • Lowering lines are attached
to the head end of the stretcher, and when all is secure, the word is passed to
the leader who gives the orders: Prepare To Lower and then: Lower. • The stretche
r is passed out of the window by hand until the head end can be supported by the
lowering lines. • One rescuer remains close to where the ladder has been footed,
ensuring no side-sway develops. • 1-2 rescuers then walk backwards, hand-over-hand
with each rung, controlling the speed of the whole operation. • The stretcher sho
uld finally come to rest on top of the ladder flat on the ground, from where it
can be quickly disconnected and the casualty removed to safety. • For larger ladde
rs additional lines can be attached to the head of the ladder and used as guidel
ines, controlled by people on the ground. NOTE: this method can also be readily
used to raise a casualty. WARNING NOTE: In the ladder hinge technique, the ladde
r is used in a manner other than that for which it was designed and manufactured
. The ladder must have a reinforcing wire.
General Rescue Manual – March 2006 93
• • •
Section 11: Non-stretcher based rescue techniques
11 Non-stretcher based rescue techniques
11.1 Objectives
On completion of training on the techniques described in this chapter individual
should be able to: • Tie and fit to another person the Vertical Lift Knot • With ot
her similarly trained people, use this knot to safely lower someone from height
not exceeding 2 stories
11.2 Introduction
This chapter describes a technique, the Vertical Lift Knot (VLK), that can be us
ed to rescue casualties without the use of a stretcher. It can also be very usef
ul for rescuer entry into and/or exit from sites. The advantages of the VLK is t
hat it requires minimal equipment and is relatively quick to set up. Often the s
ame anchors can be re-used, meaning a large number of people can be rescued quic
kly. The main disadvantage is that it provides little or no protection for the p
erson being rescued. It may also worsen injuries, so it’s use is generally limited
to the “walking wounded”. HAZARD ID AND CONTROL HAZARD Rope failure/not long enough
CONTROL MECHANISM Only 11mm static Kernmantle lines used (see chapter 4) Line l
engths checked before each lower, after passed around hard belay point. A safety
line is used- a re-threaded figure 8 around the chest. All rescuers to be tied
off if within 2m of edge, or to be behind fence or solid barrier no less than 90
0mm Use hard belays whenever possible Use of series of standard commands for low
er control Have someone at the bottom to receive.
Rescuer falling from height
Losing rope control Loss of control of lower General scene control/safety
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11.3 Vertical Lift Knot
The Vertical Lift Knot (VLK) is used to raise or lower casualties/rescuers in a
vertical position, sometimes in a restricted space such as a shaft. Originally u
sed to rescue workers overcome by gases in sewers, it is sometimes called the Se
wer Knot. The feature of the knot is that it can be tied in the bight of the rop
e without using the ends. This in turn means that the two ends of the rope are a
vailable to haul on, and to keep the casualty central in the shaft. The signific
ant safety feature of the knot is that there is no “knot” to slip undone. Remember a
t all times the comfort of the casualty must be taken into account and padding s
hould be used as necessary. • The bight of the line is taken behind the casualty’s n
eck, run down their front, passing between the legs front to rear and back up, t
heir sides towards the front, and then over the shoulders (with the running ends
closer to the arms). CAUTION: Make sure that the ropes do not cross over betwee
n the legs. • On each side a loop of the running end is passed under the first rop
e so that the arm can be passed through the loop. • The rope is adjusted to be sec
urely fitted to the casualty. Starting at the neck, adjust the ropes and padding
on both sides of the body. • A figure 8 on a bight, using both ropes, is tied beh
ind the casualty’s neck to complete the knot. The lowering line is then attached w
ith a rethreaded figure 8. The tails of the Vertical lift rescue knot can then b
e used as guidelines, or secured out of the way.
Note: An alternate method of tying the VLK is commonly taught and used, where th
ere is only a single twist on each side behind the neck. This method is safe and
acceptable. It is important that both sides are the same, and not a mix of the
two methods.
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Section 12: Improvised casualty movement
12 Improvised casualty movement
12.1 Objectives:
On completion of training on this chapter of the General Rescue Manual, individu
als should be able to: Given a conscious patient, and acting alone: • pack strap G
iven a conscious patient, and acting in a pairs with other similarly trained peo
ple: • fore and aft • two-handed seat • four-handed seat
12.2 Introduction
Improvised casualty movement covers techniques using no rescue equipment. It mus
t be clearly understood that the following techniques are for use in an emergenc
y and that seriously injured casualties should, where possible, be placed on a s
tretcher. Conditions such as fire or imminent danger of building collapse, may h
owever dictate that removal from the scene is the first priority. In some cases
this may even take precedence over life sustaining first aid. This subject is co
vered under two headings: 1. One Rescuer Handling Techniques 2. Two Rescuer Hand
ling Techniques
12.3 One rescuer techniques
One rescuer human crutch For this method to work, the casualty must be conscious
and capable of giving the rescuer some assistance. • Note the position of the res
cuer’s hands, one holding the casualty’s wrist and the other taking a firm grip of t
he clothes at the waist on the far side of the body. • The injured side of the cas
ualty should be closest to the rescuer.
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WARNING NOTE: All single rescuer techniques involve the risk of injury to the re
scuer.
Pack strap carry This is used on the conscious casualty with no fractures of the
extremities. • Turn your back to the standing casualty. Bring their arms over you
r shoulders to cross your chest. Keep their arms straight as possible, the armpi
ts over your shoulders. Hold casualty’s wrists, bend, and pull the person onto you
r back.



Firefighter’s crawl This is an useful method for when a casualty has to be removed
from a smoke filled building in an emergency - noting that rescuers will not en
ter a smoke filled building. • Both rescuer and casualty have their heads low down
where the clearest and coolest air is found if the building is on fire. • The ent
ire weight of the casualty does not have to be supported by the rescuer. • • The cas
ualty’s hands should be crossed over and tied with a bandage or similar. The Firef
ighters crawl method can be varied according to personal preference. Probably th
e most effective method is for the rescuer to place an arm, shoulder and head th
rough the casualty’s arms.
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Section 12: Improvised casualty movement
Removal down stairs method This method is used to recover a heavy casualty down
stairs, when the rescuer cannot use the pack strap or other methods. However, it
s use need not be restricted to staircases. • With the casualty lying flat, tie th
e wrists together using a triangular bandage or similar. • Next, the rescuer comes
to the head and lifts the casualty into sitting position. • The rescuer reaches t
hough under the casualty’s arms and grasps the wrists. • The rescuer is then in a po
sition to drag the casualty backwards, and if a staircase has to be negotiated a
large measure of support can be given to the casualty’s trunk by the rescuer usin
g a knee to ease over each successive step, remembering that the strongest part
of any staircase is close to the wall.
12.4 Two rescuer techniques
Two rescuer human crutch This method is similar to the one rescuer human crutch,
except that the casualty is supported on both sides with the arms of the rescue
rs’ crossed over on the casualty’s back and grasping the clothing on the opposite si
des of the body. 2 and 4 handed seats These are a series of two rescuer techniqu
es that involve creating a “seat” from the rescuer’s hands. A number of variations of
the 2- handed seat are possible that give you “free” hands to support the casualty f
rom behind and/or in front or leave hands free to open doors, or move things out
of the way. The method chosen will depend on the terrain, weight and injuries t
o the casualty, and possible obstacles. Two-handed seat • Rescuers kneel on either
side of the casualty, get them into a sitting position, lace one arm under the
knees and link up with the hand to wrist grip. • Their forearms are then crossed o
ver the casualty’s back, where they get a firm grip of the clothing or link arms a
cross casualty’s back. • The leader should give the normal orders for lifting and lo
wering.
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Four-handed seat • This is a method where each rescuer grasps their left wrist and
the hands are joined up. • This provides a comfortable seat for the casualty and
places a minimum strain on the rescuers. However, the casualty must be sufficien
tly conscious to hold on.
The ‘Fore and Aft’ method This is perhaps the most suitable way in which two rescuer
s can handle an unconscious casualty. • The casualty is put into a sitting positio
n. • The first rescuer stoops at the rear of the casualty. Reaching under the casu
alty’s arms, the first rescuer grips the casualty’s wrists. • The second rescuer stoop
s between the casualty’s legs grasping them underneath the knees. • The standard lif
t orders are given and the casualty is lifted into the carrying position. • Should
the casualty have a leg injury, the effects of this can be minimised by the fro
nt rescuer crossing the casualty’s legs over, then carrying them to one side. The
advantage of this method is that the rescuer supporting the casualty’s feet has a
free hand with which to open doors, clear debris, etc
It is again stressed that the one and two rescuer techniques are generally confi
ned to emergencies where removal from the scene is the first priority.
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Section 13: Anchors and holdfasts
13 Anchors and holdfasts
13.1 Objectives
On completion of training on this chapter of the General Rescue Manual, individu
als should be able to: • Construct a 3:2:1 picket holdfast • Describe the acceptable
anchor angles
13.2 Introduction
Anchors and holdfasts are used in rescue for the purpose of securing a line, rop
e, or wire that will be under load. They fall into three main classes: • Natural -
Trees and boulders • Constructed - Those that have to be set up (eg. by use of pi
ckets and lashings, anchor devices, buried baulks, or timber) • Improvised - Those
found on the site, (eg. Reinforced concrete or metal standards, metal framework
of buildings, baulks of timber across door openings, etc).
13.3 Natural anchors
The most readily identifiable anchor points are trees, large rocks, and spikes o
f rock. These must be carefully selected, with regard to load and direction of l
oad. These points should not be too close to risk areas and must be tested by a
hauling crew before use.
13.4 Constructed anchors
Picket holdfasts Pickets are suitable as anchors. It is recommended they be plac
ed into a holdfast system. These can be arranged as: • 1 : 1 or • 2 : 1 or • 3 :2: 1 s
ystem, according to the situation. The following points should be observed: 2:1 •
The pickets should be driven into the ground at about 90 degrees to the line of
pull, at an approximate angle of 45 degrees from ground level, leaning away
1:1
3:2:1
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Section 13: Anchors and holdfasts
• •
• •

from the load, and with two-thirds of their length into the ground. The stronges
t picket/s should be nearest the load. The lashings connecting the pickets shoul
d be at 90 degrees to the pickets and should go from the head of the one in the
front to ground level on the one behind. This determines the distance between th
e pickets, which should be more than 700mm apart. Anchor systems should be monit
ored at all times. As a rough guide to safe working loads a 1.5m x 25mm mild ste
el picket driven into ground with good holding qualities will safely support a l
oad of approximately 350kg. As the number of pickets in the holdfast is increase
d, the load it will support is increased by approximately 350kg for each picket.
NOTE: When using angle iron pickets, the V of the picket must face the load. Pad
ding must be used. From above the picket placement for the 3:2:1 picket holdfast
(before lashing) look like:
Load
Placement of pickets • Pickets are placed either using heavy hammers or impact dri
vers. • Pickets should be positioned and held by two rescuers, each holding one en
d of a short cord taken around the picket in a Clove hitch, whilst a third rescu
er hammers the picket into the ground. • Rescuers must wear safety glasses/goggles
and leather gloves. • Picket drivers can be used. These are simply a tube with ha
ndles attached and used in place of hammers to drive the picket by impact. Picke
t removal • Pickets can be removed from most placements with a large Stilson or pi
pe wrench. • The wrench is fitted to the shaft of the picket and used to wind the
picket around and out of the ground as the rescuer exerts an upward pressure on
the wrench handle. NOTE: For angle iron V pickets, reverse hammering, leverage o
r high lift jacks are suitable for removal.
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Section 13: Anchors and holdfasts
Picket lashings • Each lashing is formed using a 12m rope. • The lashing should be s
tarted by a clove hitch about 180mm from the head of the front picket. • Four turn
s should be taken around the base of the back picket and the head of the front p
icket, placing these above the clove hitch. • Turns should be applied around the l
ashing, (known as frapping turns) finishing with a clove hitch around the lashin
g, using up whatever spare rope is left. • The lashing must be tightened before co
mmencing the frapping turns. Ground anchor plates A number of designs for ground
anchor plates exist but the principle is the same using a series of long pins a
re used to anchor a plate onto the ground that can then be used as an anchor poi
nt, with a rated shackle or Karabiner attached to the front edge.
LOAD
Buried holdfasts With this holdfast, a stout piece of timber, a length of steel
girder, a large diameter water pipe or a vehicle spare wheel is required. • A tren
ch is dug to accommodate the material used and a small outlet made at right angl
es to the trench to allow the rope or wire to come to the surface. • The greater t
he load applied, the deeper the trench should be. • The buried holdfast is only sa
tisfactory where the angle between ground level and the rope is small. • This bein
g the case, the trench need not be filled in, but a rescuer should be detailed t
o check the holdfast when the initial load is applied. • Where a round section of
material such as a log or pipe is used for the buried holdfast, the positioning
of the rope is critical. • The rope should be taken around the holdfast so that th
e standing part comes to the bottom of the holdfast and the
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running end comes off the top of the holdfast. As the load is applied, this will
tend to roll the holdfast down into the trench rather than upwards.
Log and picket holdfasts • This heavy-duty anchor is set up with four pickets plac
ed about 400–500mm apart and a second row of four pickets is placed 1m behind the
first row. • A log, beam, or other suitable section of material is laid behind the
first row of pickets and each pair of pickets is lashed together. • The log or be
am then forms the anchor point for attaching the rope/system to. • This method is
of particular use in wet or soft earth since the log acts as a beam and bears ev
enly against the front row of pickets.
13.5 Improvised anchors
When using an improvised holdfast (e.g. an electric light pole, a baulk of timbe
r across a doorway, or a heavy vehicle), care should be exercised in assessing w
hether or not the item selected will in fact carry the load, and that it is corr
ectly placed relative to the anticipated load.
13.6 Precautions in operations
The following points should be observed in anchoring operations: • Padding must be
placed to protect anchors and slings. • Pickets should be of sound materials, pre
ferably steel, correctly placed and secured. • Anchors must be assessed as capable
of sustaining the maximum anticipated load in the appropriate load direction. • A
ny selected point must be tested in all appropriate load directions. • All anchor
points, slings and attachments must be checked regularly throughout the operatio
n.
13.7 Selection of anchors
Given the various types of anchors available, the selection of the most appropri
ate point or points must always be made on the basis of speed and simplicity. Th
e first choice for anchorage should always be a large single point capable of su
staining the calculated maximum loading. Where no single point is sufficiently s
trong to sustain the load, two points can be brought together so that the load i
s evenly distributed between the two points.
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Section 13: Anchors and holdfasts
13.8 Sling loading angles
A two leg sling may be used to support or secure a load from separate anchor poi
nts. The forces involved form a direct relationship between load and attachment
angle. The force increases on each leg the further apart they become, resulting
in the anchors pulling against each other until failure occurs. As illustrated,
when two legs of a sling system form an angle of 120 degrees, each leg supports
100% of the load. Increasing the angle further than 120 degrees magnifies the te
nsion exponentially. At 150 degrees, the force on each leg is almost 200% of the
original load. Care must be taken to minimise the internal angle of the slings
in order to reduce magnification of the forces on the anchors. This principal al
so applies to ropes where they are used in an anchor system.
Angle between anchors (a) 0 10 20 30 40 45 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 15
0 160 170
Resultant load on each sling in kg (b) 500.0 501.9 507.7 517.6 532.1 542.0 551.7
577.4 610.4 652.7 707.1 777.9 871.7 1000.0 1183.1 1461.9 1931.9 2879.4 5736.9
Relative tension on each side relative to load % 50.0 50.2 50.8 51.8 53.2 54.2 5
5.2 57.7 61.0 65.3 70.7 77.8 87.2 100.0 118.3 146.2 193.2 287.9 573.7
Load (b) kg Angle
Load (b) kg
1000 kg
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Sling load angles
(Based on applied load of 1000 k g) 6000 Resultant load on each sling (kg) 5000
4000 DANGER ZONE 3000 2000 1000 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 1
40 150 160 170 180 Angle between anchors (°)
Operationally, 90 degrees is a safe relationship between the two legs of the sys
tem, and the smaller the angle, the lower the load on each leg. At an angle clos
e to zero the load on each leg is around 50% of the original load, but care must
be taken to ensure the load does not pendulum onto one of the anchors. WARNING
NOTE: The angle at which anchor slings meet must never be more than 120 degrees,
and should preferably be less than 90 degrees.
13.9 Attachment to anchors
Ropes may be tied off directly to anchors, providing that the anchor material is
padded or will not damage the rope itself. Wherever possible, two independent a
nchor points should be used as the standard for any task, with the load equally
shared between the points. Rescue anchors are most commonly set up with the load
attached by means of climbing tape slings and rescue rated Karabiner. Sling att
achment methods have a large effect on how safe a system is. The following pictu
re from the Petzl technical work solutions manual 2004 shows just how much a sli
ng can be de-rated by various ways of securing around an object. To extend the l
ength of a webbing loop, karabiners or tape knots should be used. Forming a girt
h hitch, as seen as the first two methods in the diagram below, should be avoide
d.
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Section 13: Anchors and holdfasts
All karabiners used in a rescue environment should be of the locking type and be
oriented with the gate up.
13.10 Safety summary
The three-point safety plan recommended for all anchorage operations is as follo
ws: 1. 2. 3. Select points which are suitable, strong and safe, and check angles
between anchors. Ensure all connections are properly made and checked. Monitor
the anchor system at all times.
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Section 14: Pulley systems and lifting
14 Pulley systems and lifting
14.1 Objectives
By the end of study and training on this chapter of the General Rescue Manual in
dividuals should be able to: • Construct a basic 3:1 pulley system
14.2 Introduction
Pulley systems are used to gain a mechanical advantage in hauling, lifting and l
owering operations. A system is formed by threading the pulleys with rope and al
l rescuers should be familiar with the correct terms, applications, capabilities
and maintenance of this equipment. The traditional forming of ropes and pulleys
into block and tackle systems has largely been overtaken by the more modern Z-r
ig pulley techniques utilising Kernmantel rescue ropes and lightweight high stre
ngth rescue pulleys.
14.3 Terminology
Haul The act of pulling on the running end of the rope to operate the system. Mo
using Securing the hook of a pulley by wrapping small diameter cord or duct/elec
trical tape. Pulley A sheave in a frame or shell, provided with a connection poi
nt by which it may be attached to another object. Redirection pulley A pulley us
ed in a system to change the direction of the pull without affecting the mechani
cal advantage. Running end The free end of the rope to which the pulling power i
s applied. Running pulley The pulley attached to the object being moved. A pulle
y that travels up or down as the system is used.
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Section 14: Pulley systems and lifting
Sheave The grooved wheel over which the rope is run in a pulley. Shell The frame
or part of the pulley which holds the sheave and to which the strap, hook, or e
ye is attached. Snatch block A single sheave pulley with an opening or gate in o
ne side of the shell, through which a rope can be engaged or ‘snatched’ into the she
ave without threading the end of the rope through. This opening is secured by me
ans of a hinged or pivoted portion of the strap. Standing block The system pulle
y which is fastened to an anchor. Strap or cheek The side plate of the pulley to
which the hook or eye is attached. Swing cheek pulley A pulley design in which
the side plates or cheeks can be pivoted on the axle to open the pulley and perm
it access for the rope to the sheave.
14.4 Types of pulleys
The pulleys normally used in rescue systems are: • Single sheave pulleys • Double or
two sheave pulleys • Triple or three sheave pulleys • Snatch block Sheave size and
shape are important to safety. The diameter of the sheave must be such that the
rope is not turned too sharply or it will be damaged, and particularly with stee
l wire ropes, the shape of the sheave groove must be correct for the rope.
14.5 Characteristics of the lightweight rescue pulley
Lightweight rescue pulleys should be of swing cheek design and have the followin
g characteristics: • The sheave should have a diameter at least four times the dia
meter of the rope. • The cheek plates should be moveable so that the pulley can be
placed on the rope at any point without having to feed the rope through.
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• • •
They should also extend beyond the edge of the sheave to protect the rope from a
brasion. The axle should have rounded ends which will not snag on ropes, other g
ear or objects. The bearings should be of such construction as to allow the shea
ve to turn freely when loaded. A rated strength in excess of 1500kg and preferab
ly greater then 2500kg.
14.6 Constructing pulley systems
A modern lightweight pulley system such as the 3:1 rig is best built in place. T
he load line is bought to the anchored pulley, passed through it, and forward to
the moving pulley, through the moving pulley, and back to the running end.
14.7 Types of pulley systems
A lifting system is one in which the load is attached to the running (lowest) pu
lley, and the running end coming off the standing or upper pulley. When calculat
ing the capability of a lifting system, it must be realised that only the sectio
ns or rope between the pulleys assist in the lift, and that the running end does
not help the lift at all. Power is applied to the running end, and in the oppos
ite direction to the direction in which the load is to be moved. A hauling syste
m is one in which the running end comes off the running pulley (to which the loa
d is attached), and the standing pulley is attached to an anchor of appropriate
capability.
14.8 Mechanical advantage
The Theoretical Mechanical Advantage (TMA) of a pulley system can be calculated
by counting the number of sheaves or the number of sections of rope running betw
een the pulleys in the system. For a system involving five sheaves, the TMA woul
d be expressed as being 5 to 1 (or 5:1). This is a very simplified method, but i
s sufficient for this level of knowledge.
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Section 14: Pulley systems and lifting
For a 3:1 mechanical advantage, exerting 100kg of force on the running end will
produce 300kg of force on the load. The flipside to this is that the rescuer nee
ds to pull three metres of rope for the load to move just one metre. The Actual
Mechanical Advantage (AMA) is less than the theoretical one due to the amount of
friction caused by the ropes passing over the sheaves or contacting each other
in the returns. The actual efficiency of the pulleys in the system is also taken
into account.
14.9 Precautions in use
The following safety factors must be observed when working with pulley systems: •
Pulley sheave sizes must be appropriate to the rope used. • The rope must be free
from kinks and twists and must run easily over the sheaves. • All fastenings must
be securely made. • Pulley systems must be carried, never dragged on the ground. • A
ll hooks must be properly moused with fitted catches. • Suspended weight must alwa
ys be eased off gently and never lowered in jerks. • Rescuers must haul or lower i
n unison, positioned on alternate sides of the running end of the rope to keep t
he pull in a straight line using the hand over hand method. • Sections of rope nea
r the pulleys should not be touched when they are moving, as the rescuer’s hand ma
y be trapped by the rope and drawn into the pulley. • Not more than one tackle sho
uld ever be attached to either the load or the anchor sling. • Pulleys must be wel
l maintained, carefully handled and kept free of dirt and grit with all working
parts sufficiently oiled to ensure free movement. • Snatch blocks or single sheave
blocks should be used on the running end of the system as redirection pulleys w
herever possible. This will change the direction of haul to the horizontal, so t
hat the rescue crew can work to best advantage. • When using snatch blocks, check
safety pins are secured. • All anchor points should be capable of supporting the t
otal load involved.
14.10 Lift/Lower rope rescue devices
A number of pre-rigged lift/lower rescue devices are readily available on the co
mmercial rescue market. These systems operate either as traditional pulley rigs,
or as friction drums or capstans. The devices are therefore categorised as eith
er pulley systems or drum systems.
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Section 14: Pulley systems and lifting
14.11 Commercial pulley systems
These rigs are identical in design and operating principles to conventionally re
eved pulleys, with the most common configuration being a 4:1 TMA. Several models
are fitted with a rope brake cam in the shell of the anchored pulley, allowing
for the final rope return to be secured between hauls. This cam can be ‘tripped’ by
an accessory cord for lowering operations. Devices such as the ‘Rescue Master’ opera
te on the same principle but use a special inertial brake pulley. Systems such a
s the ‘Haulsafe’ and the ‘Rescuemate’ utilise lightweight rescue pulleys, and can readil
y be rigged with a length of rope that is appropriate to the most common applica
tion within the agency’s area of operations. The entire kit can then be stored and
carried in a rope pack ready for deployment on all lift/lower/haul tasks.
14.12 Drum systems
Drum controlled systems such as the ‘Griptech’ and the ‘Rollgliss’ provide friction for
a controlled lower by means of the number of turns of rope formed around a rolli
ng drum. They can be used with or without a travelling pulley, and in general pr
ovide a lower theoretical advantage for lifting/hauling than do the pulley syste
ms.
14.13 Standard procedures for use
• The device should be constructed with a length of rope which is sufficient for n
ormal applications in the area of response. This must take into account the rope
required to form the returns required for the specific device. When used for li
fe rescue purposes, the device should be rigged with rope that complies with New
Zealand Standard AS4142.3:1993 - Static Rescue Lifelines. The devices must be u
sed strictly in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. These systems can b
e anchored overhead for direct lift/lower operations, or can be used for horizon
tal hauling. When used horizontally, additional care must be taken to ensure tha
t the device is clear of all contact. Safety brakes or cams must be active or fi
tted for all lift/haul operations. Standard procedures must be followed with res
pect to anchoring, crew operations, commands and the wearing of gloves. WARNING
NOTE: For all mechanical winches, when steel wire rope (SWR) is under load, a he
avy blanket or similar should be placed across the rope so as to identify rope l
ocation and in case of failure of rope will assist as a rope brake.

• •
• •
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Section 14: Pulley systems and lifting
14.14 Levers
The purpose of all lifting techniques is to gain sufficient power to lift or hol
d a large load with a small, suitable applied force. The simplest appliance for
gaining this power is the lever. = Fulcrum point L = Load Force applied L 3x 1x
In this example, when the ratio between the lever before and after the fulcrum p
oint is 3:1, 1/3 effort is needed to lift the load (L), but it only goes 1/3 of
the distance the force applied travels. This is known as a Type 1 system. Anothe
r way this principle can be used is a Type 2 system:
The Type 2 system is not as efficient as the Type 1 system
14.15 Fulcrum blocks
A fulcrum should be of hardwood, never of brick or other crushable material. It
must be resting on a firm base, which should be as large as practicable so as to
distribute the weight to be lifted. The fulcrum must be placed as near to the w
eight as possible under the circumstances, and it should not be placed at any po
int where there is a possibility of a casualty being buried immediately below. A
n appreciation must be made before using the lever to ensure the equipment is st
rong enough, as a collapse would, be disastrous to a casualty.
14.16 Lifting
Power should be applied as near to the end of the lever as practicable. When mor
e than one lever is used, the load should be lifted evenly.
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Appendix One:
15 Additional general rescue equipment
15.1 Objectives
By the end of study and training on this chapter of the General Rescue Manual in
dividuals should be able to: describe the usage and any relevant safety consider
ations for: Karabiner Shackles Generators Lighting
15.2 Introduction
Most response teams will have a variety of other equipment that is intended for
use in General Rescue and/or relating to areas of specialization, e.g. High Angl
e, Swift Water. This chapter is to introduce people to some of the common equipm
ent being used. For specific information reference should be made to the manufac
turer’s instructions. There is some equipment necessary for teams wanting to regis
ter as New Zealand Response Teams (NZ-RTs). Information on this equipment can be
found on www.usar.govt.nz.
15.3 Karabiners
Also known as ‘carabiners’, ‘krabs’ or ‘biners’ these are the most common item of hardware
sed in vertical rescue. They are normally a ‘D’ or modified ‘D’ shaped metal link, havin
g a spring loaded opening section (the gate) in one of the long sides. The gate
allows ropes and slings to be clipped into the Karabiner for attachment purposes
. Karabiners are manufactured from either high-tensile steel or alloy, and may h
ave either a plain opening gate, or one fitted with a screw locking device or au
tolocking gate, which prevents the gate from accidental opening. Consequently, K
arabiners are referred to as snaplinks, screwgates, twistlocks, or autolocks. NO
TE: “Triple Action” Auto-locking Karabiners are considered to be ‘Best Practice’ in resc
ue situations. Most manufacturers stamp the rated strength of the Karabiner into
the metal for easy reference. Rescue Karabiners should be of minimum rated stre
ngth of 2500kg. WARNING NOTE: Snaplink style Karabiners are NOT recommended for
rescue.
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Appendix One
As these devices are made of specialised steel or alloys, care should be taken n
ot to drop them or knock them on hard surfaces. Small stress points can be intro
duced into the metal that may then cause deterioration of the device.
15.4 Accidental gate opening
The main job of a Karabiner is to maintain its link with the other elements of t
he rescue system. To do this, the Karabiner gate must remain securely closed. If
it does not, then the connecting elements will come apart and the system will f
ail. There are several ways in which Karabiner gates may come open accidentally.
Among the most common situations are those where: • The Karabiner is pressed agai
nst an edge or surface, forcing the gate open. • A rope or section of tape is pull
ed across the Karabiner gate, forcing it open.
15.5 Concerns with screwgate karabiners
Any Karabiner that regularly becomes unlocked without apparent reason must be wi
thdrawn from service. Screw gate Karabiners are designed to be locked only to fi
nger tightness. In their concern for safety, and in some anxiety, people will te
nd to over-tighten a Karabiner gate, and then be unable to unlock it. This most
commonly occurs when the gate is tightened while the Karabiner is under load. Wi
th some Karabiner designs, vibration can cause the gate locking sleeve to unscre
w. Karabiners should always be used in a manner which will ensure that gravity w
ill keep the sleeve in place.
15.6 Karabiner usage
Karabiners are designed to be loaded along the major axis or spine. As previousl
y stated, the gate is the weakest point of a Karabiner, and any side loading pla
ces an unnatural force on the Karabiner, severely reduces its strength, and may
cause it to fail. WARNING NOTE: Maximum strength is only achieved when the Karab
iner gate is locked. Karabiners must not be used unless the gate is properly clo
sed and locked.
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Appendix One:
15.7 Shackles
There are two principal types of shackle: ‘D’ and ‘Bow’. With ‘D’ being the most commonly u
ed in the rescue environment. Almost all are made from a plain round steel bar a
nd all are secured by a round section steel pin, and should comply with New Zeal
and Standards. The pin is located through one eye of the shackle and screws dire
ctly into the other (threaded) eye to secure the attachment in the shackle. Shac
kles must be selected which are large enough to accept the slings or other attac
hments, and which are appropriately rated for the loading and the task. WARNING
NOTE: Only the shackle pin should be used to secure the shackle. The practice of
replacing the proper pin with a nut and bolt is highly dangerous and may cause
failure of the shackle.
15.8 Safety in operation
The following safety points should be noted: • Shackles or pins that are worn more
than 10% of the original diameter must be removed from service and destroyed. • S
hackles or pins that have been bent, strained, deformed, or damaged must not be
used. They should be removed from service and destroyed. • Screw shackle pins must
be properly tightened and either moused or monitored to ensure that the pins do
not unscrew under load. • Always use shackles of the correct size and shape for t
he task.
15.9 Generators
Numerous brands and types of generators are available commercially, but all are
basically similar in construction. They have a frame or case, and for safety rea
sons are fitted with some form of Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (ELCB) or Residu
al Current Device (RCD) and a motor driven alternator to produce 240 volts AC (A
lternating Current). The ability of the alternator to deliver current is measure
d by its power output rating in WATTS. This is a power rating that is also often
rated in KILOWATTS (kW), ie: 1 Kilowatt = 1000 Watts
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Appendix One
15.10 ELCB’S and RCD’S
These are commonly used terms to describe the same thing. All portable generator
s are built to minimise the possibility of electric shock. For portable single-p
hase generators, an acceptable safe configuration is either: • Option one Floating
(isolated) windings, without an ELCB/RCD. With an isolated winding there is no
loss of power in the event of a single fault in the generator or in the load. No
r is there any indication of such fault. Accordingly, it is ideal for lighting.
A person touching ‘live parts’ will receive no shock. Option two Polarised (frame co
nnected) windings, with an ELCB/RCD With a frame connected winding plus RCD, a s
ingle fault on load-side equipment will trip the RCD and cause loss of power. A
person touching the ‘live parts’ will receive a minor shock, but will be protected b
y the RCD.

Portable ELCBs/RCDs must be tested three (3) monthly as per AS3760. Other device
s must be tested twelve (12) monthly. If frequently used in harsh or severe envi
ronments they should be tested at three (3) monthly intervals using the procedur
es set out in AS3760.
15.11 Power output of the generator
Rescuers must know how to describe the amount of power that a particular applian
ce will draw so as not to overload the generator. Lights and heating appliances
are normally rated in Watts. • Therefore when using lights only, it is a simple ma
tter to add the wattage of the number of lights being used and subtract the figu
re from the generator capacity to calculate the power still available. • Example:
3 banks of lights, each drawing 500 Watts are being used: • TOTAL WATTAGE IS 1500
WATTS Therefore, if a generator was rated at 2500 WATTS or 2.5kW, it can be seen
that there is still 1000 Watts capacity left in the generator. Appliances using
electric motors (eg: drills, chain saws, refrigerators, fans etc.) often indica
te the amount of current drawn from the generator, not the power. This is usuall
y found on a compliance plate on the appliance and is rated Amps. Example: An el
ectric chain saw is rated at 5 Amps, the power it draws from the generator is: P
OWER (IN WATTS) = 240 VOLTS (normal mains power) x 5 AMPS = 1200 WATTS
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Appendix One:
This particular chainsaw can be run from a 2500 Watt (2.5 kW) generator, but not
from a 1000 Watt (1.0kW) generator. • Rescue teams should calculate the power rat
ing of each appliance likely to be used and clearly mark this figure in Watts on
the appliance to save time and possible overload problems during an emergency.
WARNING NOTE: Motor starting current is approximately five times the rated full
load current of electric motors. When selecting generators for motor starting, t
his factor should be considered to avoid overloads.
15.12 Precautions in operations
Any combination of heat, petrol, and electricity, creates a potentially dangerou
s situation. The following list of precautions should be observed when operating
any generator. • Do not place combustible material on or near the generator. • Oper
ate the generator on a stable, level surface to prevent fuel spillage, excessive
vibration, and oil starvation. • During use, keep the generator at least 1 metre
away from buildings and other equipment. • Avoid placing anything around the gener
ator, or covering it up. Generators are normally air-cooled and require a free f
low of air to prevent overheating. • Always stop the engine before refuelling. • Be
careful not to spill fuel on the generator. If fuel is spilt, wipe the machine d
ry before starting the engine. • Do not fill the fuel tank above the designated le
vel. • Do not smoke when refuelling, or expose the process to naked flame. • Keep a
suitable fire extinguisher nearby and upwind of the generator at all times. • Do n
ot operate the generator in or near locations with poor ventilation such as tunn
els, under houses, inside tents, etc. Carbon monoxide poisoning can rapidly resu
lt from a build up of exhaust gases.
15.13 Electrical safety precautions
The electrical output of a generator is lethal. The following safety points shou
ld be observed: • Keep the generator dry. Exercise great care when operating in we
t conditions. • Never connect a generator to a household system.
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Appendix One
• •
• • •
Coiled leads should be completely unwound before use. On-the-job surveillance of
all electrical equipment, particularly leads, is essential. Checks must be made
when stowing or withdrawing equipment from storage. Multiple outlets on floatin
g generators are permitted if all equipment is double insulated or ‘equipotential’ b
ound. All inspection and testing of electrical equipment shall be carried out by
a licensed electrician and in accordance with AS3760. All electrical equipment,
including generators, leads, and fittings should be tested by a licensed electr
ician within each twelve (12) month period. The equipment must be tagged to indi
cate the date of inspection and name of the person inspecting.
15.14 Generator maintenance and regular checks
Before operating any generator, read the manufacturers instructions and: • Check s
ump oil level. • Ensure the correct fuel is used. • Use correct starting procedures.
• Generators must be properly maintained to the manufacturer’s specifications if re
liable and long service is to be expected. • Generators should be run regularly un
der load.
15.15 Generator storage
Many generators used by emergency services have periods where they may not be us
ed for some considerable time. If this is the case: • Store the generator with the
piston in the compression stroke, thus closing both the inlet and exhaust valve
s and also closing the breaker points. This procedure prevents corrosion of the
combustion chamber, corrosion of the contact points and prevents the valves from
sticking open when next the generator needs to be started. The compression stro
ke can be found by pulling the starter cord or turning the starter pulley until
it becomes hard to turn (the piston is rising on the compression stroke), then c
ontinuing to turn the pulley until just before the top of the piston stroke. • Dra
in the fuel from both the tank and the carburettor.
Fuel left for long periods in the carburettor can cause a chemical reaction that
adversely affects carburettor components.
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Appendix One:
15.16 Lighting
Working at night can increase the dangers involved with rescue work due to shado
ws, glare, and poor vision associated with artificial lighting systems. Rescuers
should experience night rescue situations in training and experiment with vario
us lighting arrangements, so as to eliminate as much as possible the three hazar
ds mentioned.
15.17 Positioning lighting
Little in the way of guidance can be given when lighting the rescue scene becaus
e all scenes vary greatly, but the following points are valid for most situation
s: • Position lights as high as possible to illuminate the area required. • If worki
ng at heights, do not shine lights from below to illuminate the situation. For e
xample, rescuers on rooftops can suffer a temporary and unsafe loss of night vis
ion by looking down into lights. • If lights cannot be positioned above the scene,
use hand lights or helmet mounted lights only, controlled by the rescuers worki
ng at that height. • A rescuer who is temporary blinded or suffering a loss of nig
ht vision for any reason, should stay still and not move until night vision retu
rns. • A rescue scene is better illuminated with a soft, medium density light for
movement within the area, with the particular work scene being illuminated with
higher intensity lights such as spotlights. • Position lights so that large shadow
s are minimised. • Keep lighting leads away from any dangerous area where damage i
s likely to occur. • It can be useful to aim a spotlight through a window/opening
to reflect the light off the ceiling and walls – ensure window is not an entry/egr
ess point.
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