Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rigging for Resuce Training

This weekend was the annual Rigging for Rescue (RFR) training for Seattle Mountain Rescue (SMR).  As members this is biggest chance to review our technical rigging skills before we have to put them to use.  I have yet to be on a mission that requires technical rigging but after a year with SMR and my second time through RFR I now feel ready.  Rigging in a rescue scenario is quite different from your average day rock climbing. It is very important to be familiar with the methods and equipment so your team can operate as safely and effectively as possible.

In a mountain rescue situation our goal is usually to get the subject off the mountain and deliver them to definitive medical care a quickly as possible.  This means we do a lot of lowering using gravity to our advantage.  Mountain rescue has an extremely good safety record.  This it largely do to the way we operate out systems, redundancy and safety factors are key.  It takes quite a few people to operate a rigging system; for most systems more than five rescuers is ideal.

I don't want to bestow any bad luck on anyone out there but I am hoping I will have a chance participate in a technical rigging mission this year.  I really enjoy the nerdy physic part of it and also just want to put my skill set to use.

Eagerly leaving the parking lot under clear skies

Rescuer practicing loading a subject into a little while on a cliff face.

Rigging a little to be lowered

A passengers prospective

A lowering device called a SCARB anchored to a tree

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