A question that we often hear is, “How proficient should rescuers be with knot tying?” We recommend that rescuers be able to tie any of the knots used by their team without hesitation, or without even having to look at the knot as they are tying it.
As part of the skills requirement in our Roco certification courses, we require students to tie each knot (with safeties, as required) within 30 seconds. This gives us a good idea of the student’s proficiency in the basics of knot tying.
Here's a knot drill that we recommend:
1. Give each team member a length of rope and a piece of webbing. Note: Some knots will require an object to tie around.
2. In a room capable of being darkened, call out the name of the knot to be tied and then turn off the lights. As each person finishes, have them shout “Completed.”
3. Once all members have completed the knot, turn on the lights and check for accuracy.
Having the lights off during this drill forces rescuers to use their other senses in remembering how to tie the knots. It helps to reinforce their skills and is an excellent way to identify the individual knot(s) that may require more practice for increased proficiency. When the pressure is on – as in a real rescue – you need to be able to count on all your team members to tie the needed knot in a timely and accurate manner.Download the Rescue Knots PDF