STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES TACTICAL OPERATIONS b ROPE RESCUE EFFECTIVE: OCTOBER 2007

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1 STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES TACTICAL OPERATIONS b ROPE RESCUE EFFECTIVE: OCTOBER 2007 ROPE RESCUE Goals Objectives 1. To save and protect lives 2. To mitigate any hazardous conditions 1. Life safety 2. Hazard Mitigation Typical Assignment 1. One engine company 2. One truck company 3. Rescue 4 4. Engine Truck 4 6. Battalion chief 7. One ambulance Upon confirmation of a confined space rescue, the incident commander shall request the following additional resources, as needed: 1. Additional units: Fire, mutual aid, EMS 2. US&R coordinator 3. Police 4. Public information officer 5. California Regional Task Force 5 PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT Protective clothing shall be worn as required by the situation, depending on evaluation of the hazards. The following is the appropriate level of protection to be utilized in rope rescues: 1. Steel-toed boots Page 1 of 9

2 2. Grass pants or regular duty pants 3. Long sleeved shirt or grass jacket 4. Gloves 5. Eye protection 6. Helmet (rope rescue type helmet with three point chin strap recommended) A higher level of protective clothing may be utilized at the direction of the incident commander, if conditions warrant. COMMAND STRUCTURE The first officer to arrive at the scene shall assume command of the incident and shall be the incident commander until relieved by a higher-ranking officer or a more qualified officer. Primary Assessment 1. Scene safety a. Are members and others in the area in a safe location? (1) In the path of high winds (2) Away from any hazards (3) Vehicle traffic (4) Falling objects (5) Is this a confined space? 2. What happened? What events led up to the rescue problem? a. Find a witness. b. Be alert to obvious signs of mechanical or structural failure. 3. Is the victim suicidal? 4. What is the condition of the victim? a. Level of consciousness b. Injuries c. How long since last contact? d. Multiple victims? Page 2 of 9

3 5. Is this a rescue or a body recovery? a. Weigh risks against benefits and potential for a successful rescue operation. First-Arriving Company Upon arrival, the first company officer shall establish command and initiate the following actions: 1. Isolate and deny further entry into the hazard/rescue area. 2. Establish communications with the victim as soon as possible. 3. Attempt non-entry rescue (if possible). a. Are on-site retrieval devices available? b. Is the victim already attached to a safety line? c. Lower rescue rope to conscious victim. d. Can the victim be secured to a stable object? 4. Secure and lockout any possible mechanical, electrical, atmosphere, and/or engulfment hazards. 5. Consider need for additional equipment. a. Balance of US&R assignment (if not already dispatched) b. Special calling additional units if multiple victims are involved c. Mutual aid resources available Secondary Assessment Before any rescue is attempted, command must determine as much information as possible. 1. Type of structure/area 2. Hazards to rescuers and victims a. Hazardous materials b. Mechanical c. Electrical d. Engulfment e. After shocks 3. Exact location and confirmed number of victims Page 3 of 9

4 4. Access points 5. Structural stability First-Arriving US&R Company Upon arrival, establish communications with command and re-assess the situation. Chief Officer 1. Establish a perimeter and control zones. a. Hot Zone: Area involving the victim, the most hazardous area. b. Warm Zone: Area, which can potentially become hazardous and involve a rescuer or bystander. c. Cold Zone: Area at a safe distance from the hazard and can not quickly become hazardous. d. Size of zones to be determined by: (1) Structural stability (2) Wind direction (3) Atmospheric conditions 2. Create an incident action plan. Upon arrival, battalion chief shall: 1. Consult with the incident commander regarding status of incident. 2. Assume command of incident. 3. Redirect strategy mode as required. 4. Consider additional resources. 5. Direct or redirect actions of on-scene companies. 6. Direct or redirect actions of incoming companies. 7. Provide logistical support. 8. Establish rehabilitation/rotation of companies as necessary. Page 4 of 9

5 SPECIAL-CALL/MULTIPLE-ALARM COMPANIES Unless otherwise directed, officers of special-called or multiple-alarm companies shall stage apparatus well clear of incident site and report to the incident commander for instructions PRE-ROPE RESCUE 1. Begin assigning incident command system (ICS) positions as identified in this procedure. a. Incident command b. Safety officer c. Public information officer d. Liaison officer (1) Acts as a technical liaison to facility personnel e. Logistics officer (1) Coordinates requests for rescue equipment (2) Coordinates with other agencies f. Operations officer (1) Develops a complete rescue plan including: (a) Access (b) Packaging (c) Retrieval (2) Coordinates rescue efforts g. Rescue group h. Retrieval group i. Edge (1) Communicates directly with rescue group (2) Commands haul team (3) Prevents unauthorized entry into hazard area Page 5 of 9

6 j. Haul team (1) Must consist of at least three members (2) Listens to the Edge person only for commands k. Medical group 2. Conduct a safety check on all rescue group personnel. 3. Conduct a pre-rescue briefing. ROPE RESCUE 1. Anchor points a. Vehicle (1) Ignition keys to incident commander, wheels chocked (2) Perpendicular to vehicle, not in-line (3) Use structural members or tires. b. Natural (1) Use thick, heavy tree trunks (2) Evaluate boulders, rocks, etc., before use (3) Use high-anchor points to prevent rope damage c. Building (1) Use heavy-structural members d. Aerial ladder (1) Be aware of doubled or tripled loads due to mechanical advantage systems. (2) Haul line from tip should be in-line with aerial to prevent side loading. e. Tripod, ladder jig, A-frame f. Anchor software (1) Hardware to anchor (2) Rope anchor or manufactured web anchor (3) Doubled or tripled webbing Page 6 of 9

7 2. Knots (4) Larks foot or single webbing a. The figure eight knot is the strongest and most versatile knot for rescue work. b. The overhand bend (water knot) is best for joining two pieces of webbing. c. All knots must be dressed for optimum strength and recognition. 3. Rope systems a. 2:1 (ladder-rig) (1) The easiest mechanical advantage system (2) Requires more members on haul team b. 3:1 (z-rig) (1) Single rope attached to load makes this system best for over the side work (2) Allows for longest possible retrieval system c. 4:1 (haul-safe) (1) Compact size makes it best for tripod work d. Safety line (Belay) (1) Used whenever possible (2) Should use separate anchor and lifeline (3) Secured to rescuer at chest and waist (4) Load belayed using some form of anchored friction device (5) Should be tended allowing no slack to develop e. Telpher line (1) System for lowering a load on an incline (2) Use a z-rig to tighten, leaving some slack (3) This system stresses the rope, it should be inspected after use f. Rappelling Page 7 of 9

8 (1) Used to reach the victim(s) or lower the victim(s) (2) Do not throw the rope bag over the side, lower the amount of rope needed to provide enough rope to build a system for retrieval. g. Tryolean (1) Similar to a Telpher, incorporates a pulley, which can be positioned over a victim (2) Use for swiftwater rescues (3) Stresses the rope; it should be inspected after use 4. Harnesses a. The Department uses a Class III full body harness (required for confined space). b. Class II harnesses are used for water rescues and low angle rescues. c. Victim harnesses are color coded. 5. Communication systems a. Voice communication is simplest, use radio communication for greater distances. b. Edge person commands the haul team; he/she communicates with the rescuer by name. c. Rope rescue command terminology: Slack - Slowly release rope until there is slack. Tension - Slowly haul rope until there is no slack. Haul - Smoothly begin taking up the rope. Lower - Smoothly begin lowering the rope. Brake on - Main line brake is set and under tension Brake off - Main line brake is off Safety on - Load is being belayed with minimal slack by a secondary lifeline Safety off - Load is not under belay d. Rope signals (O.A.T.H.) are second choice Page 8 of 9

9 OK - 1 tug ADVANCE - 2 tugs TAKE UP - 3 tugs HELP - 4 tugs SUPPORT FUNCTIONS 1. Lighting a. Lighting should be provided for all nighttime operations. b. Portable lighting can be provided by all Department trucks and Rescue 4. c. Headlamps are on all Department trucks in the OES box and Rescue 4. d. Light sticks are on all Department trucks in the OES box and Rescue 4. Page 9 of 9

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