Rescue Systems

Rescue systems are indispensable when conducting rescue operations. A large number of soldiers will not always be available to help with a rescue. Using a mechanical advantage rescue system allows a minimal amount of rescuers to perform tasks that would take a larger number of people without it.

a. Belay Assist. This system is used to bring a climber over a section that he is unable to climb, but will continue climbing once he is past the difficult section.

(1) First, tie off the following climber at the belay with a mule knot.

(2) Tie a Prusik knot with short Prusik cord about 12 inches below the mule knot, and place a carabiner into the loop. Place the tail from the mule knot into the carabiner in the Prusik cord.

(3) Untie the mule knot without letting the following climber descend any more than necessary. Do not remove the belay.

(4) Maintain control of the brake side of the rope and pull all of the slack through the carabiner in the Prusik cord.

(5) Pull up on the rope. The rope will automatically feed through the belay.

(6) If the leader has to pull for a distance he can tie another mule knot at the belay to secure the second climber before sliding the Prusik down to get more pulling distance.

(7) After the climber can continue climbing, the leader secures the belay with a mule knot.

(8) Remove the Prusik cord and carabiner, then untie the mule knot and continue belaying normally.

Notes: With all rescue techniques make sure that you always think everything through, and double check all systems to ensure that you don't accidentally untie the fallen climber or find yourself without back-up safety. Do not compound the problem! When doing any rescue work the rescuers will always be tied in for safety.

b. Belay Escape. The belay escape is used when a climber has taken a serious fall and cannot continue. The belayer is anchored and is performing an indirect belay, and must assist the injured climber or go for assistance. To accomplish this he must escape the belay system. The belayer will remain secured to an anchor at all times.

(1) After a climber has been injured, tie off the belay device on your body using a mule knot. To improve this system, clip a nonlocking carabiner through the loop in the overhand knot and clip it over the rope.

(2) Attach a short Prusik cord to the load rope and secure it to the anchor with a releasable knot.

(3) Using a guard knot or Munter mule, attach the climbing rope from the belay device.

(4) Untie the mule knot in the belay device attached to the harness and slowly lower the climber, transferring the weight of the climber onto the Prusik.

(5) Remove the climbing rope from the belay device attached to the harness.

(6) Release the mule knot securing the Prusik, transferring the weight to the anchor.

(7) At this point the climber is secured by the rope to the anchor system and the belayer can now assist the injured climber.

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